For the longest while, there was a definite refrain you’d hear about heavy roots crew Levee Drivers. “Oh man, that band is awesome, you’ve gotta hear their song ‘Tennessee Girl.'” The Philly via Bucks County group’s signature tune from its 2008 self-titled debut is, make no mistake, a rager. It’s a blistering, burning railroad anthem chugging along like Johnny Cash through a distortion pedal. But for the longest time, that EP was the only recorded music the band had, and the Levees were being defined by a five-year-old song – even though catching any of their raucous live sets locally and on tour showed that songwriter and frontman August John Lutz III has many, many more compositions in his notebook. This winter, the Levees released their first new EP since their debut, Live at East Coast Recording. It’s got an acoustic undercurrent to it but not, you know, wimpy acoustic. You’ll hear in the songs the band performed for their Key Studio Session that even quieter Levees get notched up – from the booming kick drum on “Stars and Highway Blues” to the rambling rhythms and twangy harmonies of “Them Heartaches.” Of course they did “Tennessee Girl” – it wouldn’t be a Levee Drivers set without it. But they also introduced a new song, newer than the new EP, a searing rocker called “There You Go” that matches and possibly outdoes the band’s signature tune in rootsy rambunctiousness. Levee Drivers are heading into the studio next year to record another batch of new material – hopefully we’ll hear it sooner than later. Meantime, help them celebrate the new EP on Friday at Kung Fu Necktie; information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Below, download the Levee Drivers’ Key session and check out two videos from it care of local filmmaker Bob Sweeney. Also, don’t miss a sweet gallery of scenes from the session by photographer Caitlin McCann at the top of the page.
Levee Drivers, The Key Studio Sessions