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J Roddy Walston & the Business

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Album Review

Not too many bands would move to Baltimore, MD in search of their big break — as the city's most famous citizen, John Waters, once put it, "No one moves here" — and fewer still would consider making the jump to Charm City from Chattanooga, TN. But J. Roddy Walston and the Business are clearly not your average rock & roll band, and after listening to their self-titled second album (and first for Vagrant Records), this trajectory actually makes some sense. The band's music suggests a meeting of the minds between the Deep South and the East Coast — Walston's raw, twangy vocals and rollicking piano style and Billy C. Gordon's thick guitar lines cut with sharp interjections of slide, could both come straight from a Tennessee roadhouse, but the heavy stomp of Logan Davis' bass and Steve Colmus' drums is all-beef, no-filler hard rock stomp, the stuff of guys who've spent half their life trying to perfect Led Zeppelin's glorious thud and are within spitting distance of catching it. Put these two sides together, have them spend a few hundred nights playing bars where they struggle to be heard over flying beer bottles and shouts for more bourbon, and you could get something a lot like J. Roddy Walston and the Business. These ten songs have swagger to spare, but there's little in the way of crowd-pleasing gestures; this band is here to rock but you have to take or leave them on their own terms, and the material is strong enough that plenty of listeners are likely to climb aboard for the ride. Whether they're living on the edge in "Brave Man's Death," sharing tales of unsatisfying lovers in "Pigs and Pearls," or mixing risky metaphors in "Don't Break the Needle," J. Roddy Walston and the Business are a real-deal, roots-conscious hard rock band in an era when such things are believed to have gone the way of the 8-track tape. Picture a band that captures the lean and glorious Southern arrogance of the early Black Crowes and the FTW attitude of Appetite for Destruction-era Guns N' Roses — all without obviously lifting licks from either act — and you get one enjoyably butt-kicking surprise of an album.

Customer Reviews

Pure electricity!

Great album - great band! The songs are great and even better in person and live! You are guaranteed to become a fan!!!

J Roddy Rocks !

I am from Baltimore and they play their song " Heavy Bells" on 98 Rock a lot and I would say this band is a great new sound fit for us here. They seem to me to be a mix of Led Zeppelin- Joe Cocker and Kurt Cobain mixed with Jimmy Page like guitar riffs with smashing drums and bass! Thats why I came here to get more !


This band is changing the way music sounds. Rock n Roll is back baby!!!!! This album is my favorite by J. Roddy, reminds me of the first time i heard Nevermind from Nirvana and my head exploded


Formed: 2002 in Cleveland, TN

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Specializing in a classic-sounding Southern rock/Americana style that emphasizes songs and danceable kinetics over empty hipness and trendy pop gimmicks, J. Roddy Walston and the Business formed in Cleveland, Tennessee in 2002, moving north to Baltimore, Maryland two years later in 2004. After a couple of lineup changes, the band solidified as a classic rock four-piece with J. Roddy Walston handling lead vocals (as well as playing guitar and piano), Billy Gordon on guitar and additional vocals, Logan...
Full Bio
J Roddy Walston & the Business, J. Roddy Walston & The Business
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Customer Ratings