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items tagged with Ryan Malott

Feel Every Word: 500 Miles to Memphis, October 6 at the Redstone Room
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-10-02 19:43:03

500 Miles to Memphis

The opening track of 500 Miles to Memphis' 2007 album Sunshine in a Shot Glass starts with a fiddle and feet stomping and bottles clinking, and then an arena-sized power chord jumps in. While most folks have heard fusions of country and punk for decades, it's a little startling to have them not blended but standing next to each other, their identities clearly intact.

The Cincinnati-based band, playing at the Redstone Room on Tuesday, is led by singer/guitarist/songwriter Ryan Malott, and all aural evidence to the contrary, he didn't grow up with alt-country acts such as Uncle Tupelo and the Old 97's.

He would hear those comparisons and think, "Who the hell are these guys?" he said in an interview this week. "Had I heard those bands before I started 500 Miles to Memphis, it might sound different. ... I might have been more cautious with what I wrote and how I sounded."

Malott's influences were more direct: outlaw country (Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings, for example) and punk. Those opening 10 seconds of Sunshine in a Shot Glass, then, illustrate from where the band came.


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