The Local Boys create a sound infused with confidence and credibility. It’s no surprise really, especially when one considers that they’ve been practicing their craft for over two decades. The band —John Aaron (guitar/vocal), Steven Davidson (mandolin/vocals), Tommy Ray (banjo/vocals), Jake Joines (dobro), and Jesse Chattin (bass) — claim a combined stage experience totally over 115 years. Now based in Charlotte North Carolina, they began their journey in Maryland over 20 years ago, and have since taken their music across country where they’ve performed at such at iconic gatherings as MerleFest, Brushy Mountain Apple Festival, Louisiana Spring Fest, Mountain Music Day Festival, Heritage and Harvest Festival, and Hot Rod Power Tour, among them many.
That said, it’s somewhat surprising that they are only now getting around to release their debut album, Stories. Happily though, the wait has been worth it. As the title implies, it consists of a series of songs flush with narratives that seem both effortless and assertive. Their’s is a driving sound, underscored by tales told about journeymen (Great Ole Valley), ne’er-do-wells (Dope Head on a Moped), a special someone (Little Girl From Memphis), the perils of misfortune (How Good Men Fall), slacking off (Fishing), reflection (It All Felt Like a Dream), remorse (It AIn’t Right), and one indelible character (Big John Billy Hood). The music is solid, synched, and sturdy throughout, as further typified in the album’s pair of fast and frenzied instrumentals, Haley’s Ride and High Speed Dub.
Ultimately, Stories comes across as a bold and occasionally brash set of songs that underscore The Local Boys’ homage to tradition, and their own ability to interpret it their own relentless way. It’s an impressive introduction, one that suggests that their future lives up to the promise of their past. Suffice it to say, The Local Boys deserve thanks for sharing these Stories.