Thirteen Stars are a four-piece Southern Rock band from West Cumbria. The band has been working for some ten years now and signed to the ‘Get Off Your Rocka’ label in 2015. Hoss Thompson fronts on vocals/guitar with Jax Sedgwick also on guitar, Mike Reid on bass and Andy Bates on drums.
The Southern Rock genre in the UK has seen a resurgence in recent years, so can Thirteen Stars stand out in the pack? Well, yes they can, because in Hoss they have a distinct advantage with his gravel throaty vocal style certainly not native of his County. Thompson must have been weaned on Savannah cigars and whisky! Support slots have included The Quireboys, Skinny Molly and Hayseed Dixie, along with HRH and Planet Rock indoor festivals. Time therefore to spin their latest offering, ‘Finest Ramshackle Jam’, which is due out on Friday 19th June.
Opener, ‘I’m Ready’, is a meaty rocker with a catchy chorus line, whilst ‘Running So Long’ free falls distinctively into Tom Petty country, gliding across the everglades. Meanwhile, ’Sweet Lies’ slots in nicely at number three, building up to the album’s promo track, namely ‘Give It Good’. Think Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Ronnie Van Zant fronting the Red Hot Chilli Peppers on this dance/Rock number, while you slip your funky shoes on! Certainly mainstream radio potential.
‘Sleeping’ switches from light to a more heavier dark riff laden feel, similarly with ‘Sorcery’ following on. ’Be There In The Morning’ drops back to their lighter Petty infused Country Rock mode, although ’I Do Anything’ is a steady groover, sounding like an AOR player, especially if it makes it over the Atlantic. Previous single ’Mint Jelly’ is out and out Southern Rock with its ZZ Top guitar style driving it along the freeway to ‘Rebel’, which has elements of Americana that a certain Mr. Springsteen has executed so well over the years.
’Steel Horse’ goes full on Country Rock with plenty of “Yee Haws” for good measure, while, in contrast, ’Keep Calm & Carry On’ fulfils the AOR playlists. This leads us, into the almost Metal sounding Rocker of ‘Razor’s Edge’, duly keeping our devil’s horn hands still raised for ’Break It Down Slowly’, another of the heavier riff laden tracks living in Zeppelin territory, which is the penultimate number to the top tune of this fifteen song collective.
’Solder’ is a seven minute plus epic track, with subtle acoustic picking, building to a mega riff, complemented by some classy vocal lines and guitar soloing to end. Quite simply their ‘Freebird’. Thirteen Stars have produced an album of finest variety across their chosen genre, but wonder if promoting the album with their funky current single ‘Give It Good’, they should they have cut a couple more numbers in that vein. Maybe next time?