Sometimes music can break your heart, and sometimes whiskey can mend it. Girls Guns and Glory is a bluesy group, led by the working-man vocals of Ward Hayden. His voice takes generous cues from Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and—at times—Otis Redding. He’s got that delightful Southern twang that makes classic Country an endearing genre, though it’s often peppered with a strained gravel that’s nothing-if-not genuine.
A heart-wrenching example is “Non-Workingman’s Blues,” a track from Girls Guns and Glory’s new Milltown Sessions EP. It’s a slow ballad that hits hard, with Hayden’s strong but defeated vocals laid over a precise banjo and perfectly placed blues-guitar. It’s kind of a masterpiece, really, a track that you can listen to on repeat for hours. The song is about being out of work, an archetype for the genre, but it’s the way that Hayden sings about John Henry, the American folklore hero, that really sells everything. “Worked himself to death, asked for water in his last breath…the beast that he’d slain took his place and still remains.”
You can read the rest of my review here.