Told ya I was doing promo. Here's a review that came in.
Review by Mike O’Cull, independent music journalist. www.mikeocull.com
Roots music is often strictly categorized by genre and the purist fans of each style like it that
way. Those who perform it stay within those pre-drawn lines most of the time as well. Blues
bands don't normally write folk or country songs and Western Swing bands seldom play Celtic
music. This works well enough and makes booking festivals easier but can be restrictive for
those who are into more than one style and who can pick up on the common ground these
styles share. Australian band Stormcellar lives entirely on that bit of real estate and makes
music that crosses lines without apology. Its new album, Defiance , shows a happy disregard for
the limitations of musical Puritans and easily mixes blues, country, folk, and other influences
into a sound focused on brilliant songwriting and playing rather than one that colors inside all
If you only heard the opening track, “Hard Rock,” you might think this is a great-sounding
Stones-influenced blues/rock band and, for that moment, you would be right. The next cut,
however, “Julie,” shifts gears completely and comes across like the best band from late-80s
Austin, TX you were never cool enough to find. These guys clearly have fun mixing up all the
music that turns them on and that sensibility makes Defiance a whole lot more compelling to
listen to than if it was just a dozen songs in the same bag. It seems that a whole lot of people
Down Under feel the same way, as Defiance is the third Stormcellar release to hit #1 on the
Australian Blues & Roots Chart.
Other highlights on this set include the delicate “Like A Stone” and the houserocking “Color My
World” but every song here is worth your time. Stormcellar is a band that has done one of the
hardest tricks of all, that being making simple roots music with individuality and modern appeal.
This isn't a history-lesson outfit obsessed with recreating one particular place and time. It's a
21st Century group that makes new music while standing on old shoulders. Highly
recommended. You should probably stop reading and go buy this record.