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Texas Hippie Coalition – High in the Saddle

Texas Hippie Coalition
High in the Saddle
by Jack Lynch at 17 July 2019, 2:17 AM

Now, when I say the word “hippie”, I’m sure the last thing anyone thinks is “Texas”. And why should it? A place that is famous for its barbeque, oil industry, and leather boots doesn’t exactly sound like it embraces a subcultural that rejects conventional values and takes hallucinogenic drugs. However, Groove Metal band TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION, known for their brand of “red dirt” Metal is here to change that initial thought, and they’re going to do it by replacing “flower power” with beer, guns, and middle fingers. With their sixth studio album, “High in the Saddle”, the band continues with a Southern Metal blend that’s as large their front man Big Dad Ritch.

Immediately from the start of the first track “Moonshine” its apparent the production is top notch. Not surprising since the band has once again teamed with producer Bob Marlette, who previously worked on their fourth album “Ride On”. Marlette is no stranger to the business as he has moonlighted with such acts as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rob Zombie, and Ozzy Osbourne. The sound is crisp, resonating, and thick with bass which compliments Big Dad Ritch’s vocals, and really create a stomp the saloon floor feel. The chorus’ are catchy and the guitars spit one hook after another.  “Blue Lights On” is a badass little number you can dance to. “Moonshine” itself is one of the better songs and much like the rest of the album is meant to be played in large open arenas as well as rural dive bars.

It’s important to know that walking into this album I knew next to nothing about TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION, let alone any real love of “red dirt” Metal. There aren’t a lot of surprises when it comes to content or context. This is metal with an alt-country flair. “Dirty Finger”, “Ride or Die”, and “Bullseye” have their nuances, but overall the drinking is heavy, the guns are loaded, and the women are all heartbreakers. That’s the message as you ride your chopper off into the sunset. It’s meant to be fun and for those who are looking for nothing more than that I’d say you’re going to fully embrace it. I unfortunately felt this wearing on me about halfway through “Tongue Like a Devil”.

Still, I’m happy I was able to appreciate the production on this album and there were at least a few songs that got my head bobbing. I try to look at any album for what it is, not what I want it to be.  Just because a genre of music isn’t my cup of tea doesn’t mean it’s a bad album, it just makes it harder connect on some level.  The TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION have put together what sounds like a solid sounding album that I’m sure is going to be a hit among fans. For newcomers to the genre however I don’t think there is going to be anything that sparks further intrigue.  You either like this style of music or don’t, and what is here sounds pretty good. There really isn’t much more intellectualize.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 9

3 Star Rating

1. Moonshine
2. Dirty Finger
3. Bring It Baby
4. Ride Or Die
5. Tongue Like a Devil
6. Why Aren’t You listening
7. Stevie Nicks
8. Bullseye
9. Tell It from The ground
10. Blue Lights On
Big Dad Ritch – Lead Vocals
Cord Pool – Guitar
Nevada Romo – Guitar
Larado Romo – Bass
Devon Carothers – Drums
Record Label: Entertainment One


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Edited 04 October 2022

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