On The Years Go Fast, the Cadillac Three’s signature country rock swagger is as potent as ever, yet the music reveals a newfound willingness to delve into deeper emotional terrain. Guests include Elvie Shane and Old Crow Medicine Show's Ketch Secor.
Few acts capture the essence of genre fusion quite like the Cadillac Three. The trio's history goes back to their high school days in Nashville, and their music is a mesmerizing blend of country storytelling, rock rhythms, and psychedelic journeys. With their latest album, The Years Go Fast, the Nashville trio of Jaren Johnston, Neil Mason, and Kelby Ray takes a bold step forward. It’s a profound exploration of love, friendship, and resilience, an ode to the human spirit that beats relentlessly even in the face of life's most challenging moments.
The journey leading up to The Years Go Fast was far from linear, marked by both gradual transformation and abrupt upheaval. In 2020, they unleashed a barrage of 31 songs across two albums, Country Fuzz and Tabasco & Sweet Tea, propelling their career to new heights. Yet, as the world grappled with the throes of a pandemic, the band was thrust into a season of personal turmoil. The loss of Johnston's father, former Grand Ole Opry drummer Jerry Ray Johnston, cast a long shadow over the group. It was a stark reminder of how life's abrupt changes can reshape one's perspective.
The new album serves as a poignant reflection on the trials and tribulations that have tested the trio's mettle. It's an album born from the crucible of life's challenges, an exploration of the vulnerability that emerges from adversity. It’s an album about the enduring bonds of friendship, love, and family that act as anchors when the world threatens to unravel.
Songs like "This Town Is a Ghost" and "Pistols On The Levee" resonate with profound loss, capturing the visual and emotional echoes of loved ones who are no longer with us. The music becomes a cathartic vessel for healing, particularly as they pay tribute to the memory of Johnston's father and the legacy he left behind. A band known for their brash and bold musical style, this album is no exception, with tracks like "Hillbilly," featuring Elvie Shane and Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show. However, the band has also embraced vulnerability and intimacy in their music. The grungy "Love Like War" takes on the complexities of love and partnership, drawing inspiration from real-life conflicts within Johnston's own marriage.
The Years Go Fast represents more than just personal reflections; it marks a subtle shift in the band's mission. While their roots remain firmly planted in thunderously heavy breakdowns, each album offers a new glimpse into the diverse influences that have driven the trio. From the organic funk of Tabasco & Sweet Tea to the pronounced metal inflections found in The Years Go Fast, the Cadillac Three's evolution is anything but standard.