• Bryon Harris

Sons-N-Britches - 'Second Hand Smoke'

Hailing from Georgia, Sons-N-Britches is an alt-country band fronted by lead singer Daron Meek and guitarist/songwriter Mike Mullis. Combining traditional country with outlaw fire, smoky blues and raw Southern rock, Sons-N-Britches are a honky-tonk favorite. It is no surprise that Sons-N-Britches have opened the stage for big named artists like Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride, Travis Tritt, Roy Clark and many others. Currently, the band presents their second album, ‘Second Hand Smoke,’ (engineered by Grammy nominated Mark Niemic) which showcases their undeniable talent and appeal.

The CD opens with the upbeat song “Don’t Fence Me In.” An 8-bar intro kicks it off with some funky and syncopated southern guitar riffs, with bass and drums following. Daron begins the first verse, “My heart just wants to roam. My body doesn't need a home. Whether happiness or pain, a sunny day or heavy rain. I'll be running up until the end. Don’t fence me in!” Daron’s voice has just the right amount of grit and grain with a nice down-to-earth quality and clarity that allows listeners to hold onto the lyrics. Tasteful and twangy guitar solos are presented throughout. At the end of each verse and chorus, Daron drills home the message, “Don’t fence me in” in this free-spirit wild-child song about living a life untamed.

Check out this entertaining video of “Don’t Fence Me In.”

Second track is “No More Secs.” Opening with some light popping percussion and fun guitar licks, this song is all about “having lovin’ on your mind,” waiting all day to see your honey, going “upstairs” and being told to “wait a sec,” but those seconds turn into minutes, hours and even all night. The lyrics are fantastically fun and well-written. Ending with a cold shower, the musicianship is hot and in the pocket; you’ll be dancing and smiling, even laughing, from the first note to the last.

Changing the pace is the single and potential chart topper,” That’s Why We’re Blue” which opens with an emotive guitar solo that moves the soul. This tune showcases Sons-N-Britches country-blues acumen and the versatility of Daron’s vocal talent as he sings with passion and sensitivity. Fingerpicking guitar provides a nice foundation for the song as gorgeous, crying guitar solos and motifs create musical transitions. In the song, depictions of the end of relationship are poetic and genuine: a wedding dress stills hangs in the closet, memories of past holidays linger, walls are re-painted and furniture is moved. Like “rain upon the soul” mistakes were made that mirrored their parent’s past leading to blue feelings. “That’s Why We’re Blue” is a touching song that anyone who has regrets and pain over a lost love will relate to.

Another favorite track is the easy swaying Alabama’s Sleeping, a song about hitting the road in an 18 wheeler to California with thousands of miles to think about faithfulness and trust. The song has hints of Southern blues with a very, strong chorus, “While Alabama is sleeping. California is cheating. In your headlight there’s no reason that your rearview fade away. Following the chorus is an excellent, melt-your-bones blues guitar solo that picks up the melody and takes you away.

Following “Alabama Sleeping” is “True Love Lies,”a minor key ballad. Adding elements of Americana, Country and Blues this ballad tells a story of a man who falls in love with a “lady of the night.” Unique to this track is the instrumentation which is very lush featuring lots of plucking and string work. Track eight moves to the upbeat, charming and hilarious “Grandpa’s Weed.” “It ain’t legal in the state, but Grandpa grows it anyway.“ The tune is laced with bass-line solos and the contagious chorus will get you high. Sons-N-Britches closes the CD out the blues-shuffle rockin’ “Southern Fried Friday Night.” Fans will be getting their rebel on, opening a beer, flaming up the barbeque and kickin’ up their dancing boots under the stars.

Like second hand smoke itself, the album takes puffs from primary influences like the Dixie Wranglers, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash and Billy Joe Shaver, and after taking a good long puff, from years of playing and polishing their skills, Sons-N-Britches blow out tunes that are just as fine, contagious, strong and effective as the source they inhaled. Sons-N-Britches offer everything an alt-country fan could want in their latest CD ‘‘Second Hand Smoke’ with a variety of songs from heartfelt ballads to American stories on the road, from foot-stomping honky-tonks to rebel southern fried while speaking of heartache, love, and life. Fans can purchase "Second Hand Smoke" on iTunes or Spotify or visit their website.

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