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The Georgia Thunderbolts - Can We Get a Witness


by Kevin Wierzbicki

The opening cut of this debut full-length from the Georgia Thunderbolts is called "Take it Slow" but the five-piece southern rock outfit does anything but, choogling hard on the blues harp and slide guitar driven cut, sounding like they're racing out of the Appalachian foothills of their native Rome, Georgia, not quite out of control but sending the clear message that you better not get in their way. "Lend a Hand" plays out over roaring guitar from Riley Couzzourt and a marching beat as singer TJ Lyle issues heartfelt good advice about helping each other in hard times. One of the album's songs that really fits perfectly into the southern rock category is the Marshall Tucker Band-recalling "So You Wanna Change the World;" another is the Lynyrd Skynyrd-like "Looking for an Old Friend" which doesn't take too much imagination to hear as something that Ronnie Van Zant would have written. Of course a cover of "Midnight Rider" fits the oeuvre too; here the guitar buzzes a little more than on the original. "Half Glass Woman" is a very bluesy rave up, title cut "Can I Get a Witness" is a straight ahead blues rocker and closer "Set Me Free" smolders through its seven-minute groove. This is not a band to sleep on; if you at all like southern rock then the Georgia Thunderbolts have got some news for you.

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