Dirt Road Addiction goes ‘roller coaster’ along country-rock tracks

PB Wilson and members of Addiction to dirt roads want to take listeners on a “roller coaster” with their new record, “The G&G Sessions,” said the singer-guitarist.

Rise, rise, rise with loaded country tracks, then dive into the depths of a powerful ballad. Arena-rock guitars take you along a meandering loop before the band shakes up their sound, flipping the script once again.

The album, out this week, is designed to reflect the Sedalia-based band’s live show. His current lineup – which includes Michael Bowman (drums), Kevin Ditzfield (guitar), Riley Jelinek (guitar) and Chris Clark (bass) – has been solid for two years, but Dirt Road Addiction started around seven years ago as a that cover band, Wilson said.

Those early shows brought together classic country, pop and heavier forms of rock, Wilson said, with a premium placed on the element of surprise. The band wanted to keep the audience on their collective toes, unable to predict the next song on the setlist.

“When we started doing original music, we wanted to capture that a little bit – you know, change it up and surprise people on what the next thing is,” he said.

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Dirt Road Addiction’s sound owes a debt to influences ranging from rockers like Red Hot Chili Peppers to country outfits Brothers Osborne and Zac Brown Band, Wilson said.

The band certainly have their roots in country music – which has earned Dirt Road Addiction slots like Tyler Rich, Lee Brice, Easton Corbin and Colt Ford. But, as “The G&G Sessions” shows, the band is ready to stretch.

“None of these songs sound the same,” Wilson said.

In pursuit of a successful 2018 EP, the band’s debut album features a road-tested tracklist. The band inserts new material into their live set and then gauges the response, Wilson said. Some songs turn out to be keepers, while others have a shorter shelf life.

Here, a number of tracks stand out, guiding the listener in the direction of Wilson and Co.. A song like “City Lights” opens with atmospheric electric guitar and an open groove, framing Wilson’s resonant melodic phrasing. .

Providing contrast, “How’s This Sound?” advances on the strength of thick, arena-ready guitars and just the hint of a country music accent.

An ode to the Lake of the Ozarks, “Lake Time” riffs on the Don Williams classic “Tulsa Time,” Wilson said. Beginning with the sound of a beer can bursting, the track lays down a swampy furrow before opening up the throttle and opening up into a cross country ride. Jelinek’s solo turns the notes into something ringing but raspy.

Elsewhere, “She’s Gone” is a classic country ballad that should inspire listeners to lift a few lighters — or their phones.

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Throughout, Wilson’s voice rings out with clear charm as the rest of the band pivot nimbly behind him. And while the center of the country holds, the group also conjures up Journey on its more soaring arena rock material and 3 Doors Down when the textures get heavier.

Those songs emerged from the pandemic years in which the band saw shows dry up, Wilson said. Sometimes he asked if running after music was still a valid act.

As people keep showing up and seem to be selecting a new favorite song from Dirt Road Addiction’s offerings, this question has found its answer.

“It’s really just people coming to our shows and singing songs that they shouldn’t even know, in my mind,” he said of the motivation that keeps him going.

Find out more about the group at https://www.dirtroadaddiction.com/.

Aarik Danielsen is the Features and Culture Editor for Tribune. Contact him at [email protected] or by calling 573-815-1731. Find him on Twitter @aarikdanielsen.

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