Billy Roberts and the Rough Riders hail from Australia, crafting a signature blend of Americana-flavored country and rock, showcasing tales that share personal stories and capture the best elements that music has to offer. Besides Billy Roberts, the band features Alex Quinn (Lead Guitar) and Rory Racione (Drums). If you draw a wavy line from Tom Petty through any Dire Straits, then meander through The Band’s catalog, and include Eric Clapton’s bluesy escapades, plus spend a good deal of pencil lead on the Allman Brothers, and throw in a heavy dose of Mussel Shoals sensibilities you’ll eventually end up pointing toward Billy Roberts and the Rough Riders. That’s exactly what the band sounds like on their brand new single “HillBilly Blues”.
“HillBilly Blues” is a confident yet unforced triumph offering a cohesive vision: an idyllic, musical world in which the echoes of so many great traditions like Blues, Memphis soul, Americana rock and organically driven Country flow together, blending with an entirely original, modern sensibility.
Here Billy Roberts and the Rough Riders stick their roots in Americana and Southern rock and add some R&B horns to make music that is timeless. It’s easy to forget, in an era of increasingly processed and packaged music that bands like this exist.
Billy Roberts and the Rough Riders keeps the tradition and fire of classic roots rock alive in the 2018’s, with flawless musicianship and raw vocals as well as great songwriting. People are hungry for a good song—a verse and a chorus you can count on, but with something different about it too.
The same old pop formulas can wear you out after a while. The familiar and the surprising, in perfect balance: that’s a holy grail for any endeavor. And this band hits those highs right here.
Just listen to how classic yet fresh the song is. From the opening horn chorale to the energetic but slow-burn verse and the stately guitar riffs on the chorus, this is a song with a purpose. Billy’s vocal is completely under control, open-throated and proud. The rhythm is driven as the horns continue to push the arrangement forward. At the same time, the guitar licks that link the tune together are irresistible.
On the one hand, this tune is handcrafted to perfection, but on the other hand, these players have the instincts and the chops to craft solos and riffs that really tell a story. Billy Roberts and the Rough Riders sound like a band that is writing memorable original songs just for your ears.
Their fusion of loose-limbed rock is never over-indulgent, and impeccably crafted. “HillBilly Blues” is a prime example of the synergy and harmony that come from the collision of mature musical personalities. Its surefooted completeness is something that is hard to come by.