From: NY, United States
Riley Etheridge, Jr. 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.
“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” (a heartfelt commentary on his beloved state where “levee come down and water rushes 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,” while the generational ode “54 Cadillac” (penned by Etheridge’s producer and longtime collaborator Wendell Tilley) reflects “a very real thing for men in the South not to share their feelings,” confides Etheridge. This idea of exploring the emotions that we keep right below the surface is one that Etheridge explores on “Powder Keg.” In the poignant, Zevon-esque “Nothing To Hide,” he examines how male bravado and vulnerability can affect relationships.
Throughout this disc, Etheridge also deftly blends together rock, country, blues, soul, and folk into a rich Americana sound - a term that he is quite comfortable associating with his music: “When I look on the Americana charts, I see John Mellencamp, Lyle Lovett, Steve Earle…guys I like, whose musicianship and influence make them hard to pigeonhole.”