Americana singer-songwriter Riley Etheridge, Jr., whose new album Powder Keg is due out on March, 8, 2011, has signed to Rock Ridge Music for the release. Says Etheridge of the partnership: “I am excited about the potential of working with Rock Ridge Music. They are smart, experienced and fun folks who have a group of cool artists and creative ideas.”
Says Rock Ridge Music CEO Tom Derr: “Riley has set a nice foundation from which RRM can build. His talent and drive is what we will have as the benchmark.”
Etheridge may call New York City his home now, but his music sounds like he’s still living down South. A South Carolina native, Etheridge spent many years living – and playing music – in Louisiana, and listening to his sophomore effort, Powder Keg, it’s as if he has never left. Throughout this disc, Etheridge deftly blends together rock, country, blues, soul, and folk into a rich Americana sound. Powder Keg ignites with the fiery Southern-style, blues-rocking title track that opens the disc, and Etheridge keeps a Louisiana groove going on songs like the funky “Scene of the Crime,” the lively, Zydeco-flavored “She’s Ready Already” and the soulful rocker “Look At The State We’re In.” Etheridge’s musical journeys on this 10-song set also take listeners to Texas on his cover of Willis Alan Ramsey’s “Northeast Texas Women.”
Powder Keg features the core musicians from his debut album, Things I Used To Know (2009) – producer/guitarist Wendell Tilley, guitarist Shane Theriot (Neville Brothers, Boz Scaggs), Baton Rouge-based bassist David Ellis, New Orleans jazz pianist Larry Sieberth and drummer Doug Belote (Sonny Landreth, Jerry Douglas) – who often accompany Etheridge on stage too. The disc also boasts newer friends, like mandolinist/violinist Jonathan Yudkin (Rascal Flatts, Shelby Lynne), pedal/lap steel player Dan Dugmore (Linda Ronstadt, Randy Travis) and harmonica player Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson) – all Nashville session aces who lent their expert touches to the songs. Rube Ambler, writing on the website Atlanta’s A-List, compared Etheridge to Radney Foster, Billy Joe Shaver and Uncle Tupelo.
Etheridge is looking forward his forthcoming album release: “I am eager for people to hear Powder Keg– from writing on the road to the recording in New Orleans, making the album was a celebration that I hope listeners enjoy as much as we enjoyed creating it.”