Wayne Bledsoe: Dirty Guv'nahs stake their claim to some lost grooves

The Dirty Guv'nahs

© 2012 - Shawn Poynter

The Dirty Guv'nahs

"Somewhere Beneath These Southern Skies," The Dirty Guv'nahs (Dualtone)

If you haven't checked out Knoxville's next best shot to hit the Top 40, now is the time.

The six-man group The Dirty Guv'nahs is fully entrenched in the sound of classic rock and pop. Lead singer James Trimble taps back to the throaty rock vocalists of the 1960s and '70s. It's that gruff R&B touch that Bob Seger mastered in his "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" era. And while the group's sound once borrowed a little too much from the early Black Crowes' retro-rock and soul (as did scores of groups), with "Somewhere Beneath These Southern Skies" the Guv'nahs really find their own place in it.

The band's songs, mostly written by Trimble and guitarist Michael Jenkins, are consistently solid.

The band's sound is big, brash and emotional, augmented with some good horns (arranged by former Flecktone Jeff Coffin), and confident. It's classic goodtime music — a tight rhythm section, tasteful keyboards that aren't overused.

It's populist and unpretentious. While the group has a mostly young fanbase, it's the sort of music that old fans will find familiar.

The guitar riff on "Good Luck Charm" could've come from the Rolling Stones circa 1971.

The Guv'nahs are not breaking new ground. They're simply reclaiming some that should've never been lost.

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