You Sing, I Write: Band to Watch: Wes Tucker & The Skillets

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Band to Watch: Wes Tucker & The Skillets

Wes Tucker & The Skillets mix solid musical interludes with memorable lyrics on latest release, The Scorpion and the Dove. The 13-track album is the Virginia-based band's third release and features versatile musical arrangements. Having been praised by critics and fans alike, The Scorpion and the Dove impresses with remarkable guitar riffs and meditative, socially conscious lyrics.

While their music can be described as rootsy rock, certain tracks introduce a jazzy and soulful vibe while others share a country sentiment with harmonica, organ and tambourine as can be heard on "Let It Ride." The moving "What You Stole" begins the album with a catchy chorus and fitting musical accompaniment. A solid mix of ballads and rock tracks, it is often the guitar interlude that stands out to the listener, "What You Stole," being no exception. Mid-song instrumental features leave room for the guitarist to shine.

"Three Yellow Roses" is a beautiful ballad about lost love with light guitar finger picking. "Loving can leave you as fast as it came/But all the gold in the world can't buy back your day . . . You were always on my mind/Like a picture that I tried to hold on to/But even memory fades and/I can't delay the day," Tucker sings.

On many tracks, it is the guitarist that leaves the biggest impact on the listener. "Good To Go" is one example. With a slick and powerful electric guitar feature mid-track, the song quickly transforms and showcases an edgier side than witnessed on previous numbers. By far the stand-out song on the album, "Good To Go" exemplifies the talent within Wes Tucker & The Skillets.

Softer ballad, "Sad and Proud" switches gears from the intensity and guitar riffs of "Good To Go." With Tucker singing poignant lyrics, the listener witnesses a tale of hope and, partly a therapy session. "We just can't explain/All the secrets that we keep/And my confessions, they don't even make a sound/No one can hear you when you don't weep/You lock it up you store away your pain/Like your burdens are your own/You find out you can't carry all that weight by yourself/Sad and proud/Remember that no matter where you are/You're not alone."

While each track stands well on it's own, the main focus throughout most songs is the guitar accompaniment. Whether it's energetic electric guitar riffs or soft finger picking on a more somber ballad, the guitarist tells a tale of his own. Perfectly complimenting each song, the vocals and music embody one another well.

A melodica accompanies "Beloved One," a beautiful ballad of a man confessing his love. "Sometimes mountains crumble even diamonds fade/But the love you give is the life you save," Tucker sings. "Let Me Know" is jazzier and more soulful than previous tracks. In fact, it almost sounds like an entirely different band at first listen. But the listener need not be alarmed, Wes Tucker & The Skillets remain and continue to showcase their talent throughout. For more on Wes Tucker & The Skillets, be sure to visit them on MySpace.

Recommended: For fans of Hootie and the Blowfish, Dave Matthews, The Wallflowers.

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