At first ponder, rockers ZZ Top and country’s Dierks Bentley might not seem to have a musical connection, but thanks to the Nashville trio The Cadillac Black, they do.
Born and reared in Music City, The Cadillac Black lineup comprises Jaren Johnston on lead vocals and guitar, along with drummer Neil Mason and lap-steel player Kelby Ray. And just after wrapping up a college-circuit tour outing with Bentley, the players are set to open for Texas-born rockers ZZ Top this month.
“What we’ve tried to do with The Cadillac Black is create a sound that morphs everything we love–country/Southern rock/ heavy blues–into one big party for the ears!” bandmate Johnston told quadrust.com on Sept. 2. “We’ve kept that same mindset with touring. We have been very blessed to get to tour with everyone from rock ‘n’ roll legends ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynrd to country stars Eric Church and Dierks Bentley.”
The act’s debut single, “Get Your Buzz On,” is set for release to radio this fall. The track is one of 11 contained on the players’ self-produced, self-titled debut album, which recently dropped via digital retailers on the Nobody Buys Records label.
Not surprisingly, “The Cadillac Black” offering contains all-original material, which the act characterizes as “country fuzz,” meaning its a mix of “equal parts twang and distortion.” Per critics, they combine qualities of radio-ready country anthems, hard rock and traditional Southern folk.
Also of note is the fact that singer-guitarist Johnston’s songsmithing extends well beyond his own TCB project. He’s secured recent cuts by Dierks Bentley, Kenny Chesney, Sara Evans, Tim McGraw and Keith Urban. Regarding the latter artist, Johnston Urban’s “You Gonna Fly” chart-topper and was nominated for Music Row’s 2012 Breakthrough Songwriter Of The Year.
Nonetheless, The Cadillac Black outfit is the musical priority for all its members, and being on the road performing in front of live audiences, from country fans to rock enthusiasts, is what the lineup’s been readying for–never mind the genre blending.
“As you can imagine, ” Johnston said, “those stages are quite different from each other. But honestly, we feel right at home on both, especially because all of the fans are there to get rowdy, booze it up and hear some great music! We play the same exact set no matter who we are playing with, we just do what we do. …”
To learn more about the hometown outfit, sample music from its self-dubbed debut album, spy its tour dates or buy its CD, please access www.TheCadillacBlack.com.
- Video view: To meet The Cadillac Black players via video, simply access the clip embedded on the left side of this post.