Six Shot Revival is like a crash course in southern rock. Hailing out of Atlanta-and not just the part the world hears about, but also the Southside, coveted home of Highway 41 of Ramblin’ Man fame and the filming of Smokey and the Bandit, the gents of Six Shot Revival have a lot to prove, given their roots. Add to that the band’s logo, emblazoned with guitars and pistols, and the question is asked with a threat: are they man enough to take on the bruiser that’s the southern rock community?
Six Shot Revival picks up an empty Jack bottle, breaks it on the bar and wails “Hell, yeah!”
And when the band takes the stage, the bar brawl begins.
Each and every song is like a familiar classic rock song whose name eludes the listener. But that has been done before. What makes this something different, and what attracts such a broad range of fans to the shows, is the underlying modern rhythm in every song. Jonathan Purinton (drums) and Steve Morrison (bass) help keep the music tight and fresh, something that is more characteristic of modern rock than classic, which can have a sloppy feel to it at times. But not to worry, this is not Nickelback, or Kid Rock. This is honest to goodness real southern rock, and lest the listener forget it, Joe Brown (guitars) is there to pull them in with hypnotic, sometimes intricate riffs, or classic twang that can only come from his secret weapon- a steel guitar. At other times, Brown’s chords and riffs are reminiscent of 90s alternative pieces that are recreated in an almost nostalgic air- one assumes Brown misses the 90s as much as the 70s and 80s.
Watching Brown play steel guitar is fascinating, as many people will never get to see it up close- the listener is recommended to head over and watch for at least a few minutes. It adds a nice authenticity to the band and is the only way to achieve that perfect twang without the cop-out of a synth.
And then there’s the vocals. Marc Phillips, a blonde gent who looks somewhat like something out of Norse mythology, all hair, height and beard, positively wails and screeches though every high-velocity song- and, as the band says on their website, there are no ballads here, no slow cheek to cheek numbers, just hellraising and danceable rhythms, and Phillips’ voice is perfect for this kind of full-force rock. However, do not let his banshee moments deceive you. There is also a real fine-tuned voice in there, and if one listens very closely, a clear, crooning song will come forth on occasion. Perhaps, if only to gild the lily (or in their case, polish the shotgun) Phillips could find a way to bring this out in surprising little places, it could take his obvious talent to the next level.
Phillips gyrates around the stage like the graphic equalizer on a media player- bumping and swaying, bouncing and shaking to the beat with such energy and intensity that without sound the songs could be interpreted solely from his dance moves. Many chuckled, but it was not in jest- Phillips just looks like he is having a blast, and he won’t hesitate to tell everyone he is. That fun is infectious, and even the die-hard classic fans in the audience, some old enough to remember the masters the first time around, were dancing along.
The band plays all original songs, with one exception: Mississippi Kid, an old Lynyrd Skynyrd track that comes as no surprise, as the band has played and recorded some with Bob Burns, the original drummer for Skynyrd. The cover was well received, and paid homage while keeping the music hard, fast, and loud, the three main criteria for a Six Shot Revival show. One would like to think that if Ronnie Van Zant were around today, he would be standing at the back of the Star Bar, preparing for a throw down with one of the only worthy opponents in town.
Catch Six Shot Revival at these great spring music festivals:
April 22nd Do Da Jam Dahlonega GA
April 24th Allegreen Music Festival Union Pointe GA
Written by Nicole Banister