I'm tempted to use a too-obvious headline like "Knoxville on Main Street" when I write about the Black Cadillacs, because this scrappy quintet from Tennessee sounds uncannily like classic-era Rolling Stones, albeit with a decidedly American twist. Lead vocalist Will Horton, truth be told, sings more like Black Crowe Chris Robinson than Mick Jagger, and lead guitarist Matthew Hyrka is grittier than Keith Richards.
But Knoxville’s Glimmer Twins, along with John Phillips (rhythm guitar), Adam Bonomo (drums) and Philip Anderson (bass) create blissfully cool blues-based rock ‘n’ roll. And that’s pretty much all I need to say.
The 10-year-old band’s most recent album is 2012’s Run.
You played Bonnaroo for the first time last month. Was that a game-changer for you?
Will Horton: It was definitely a huge, huge thing and huge honor for us to play. Being from Knoxville and seeing our friends get to play it, and a lot of huge bands get to play it, we just wanted to play it for so long. And then finally getting the honor to do it was huge for us.
You came on before Jack White—and right after Lionel Richie. That much have been a tough act to follow!
Will Horton: That guy is a performer. That was ridiculous. Lionel Richie was awesome. He just took you through all the hits that you forgot he had with the Commodores. I jokingly thanked him for opening for us before we started our set.
Very few bands, for me, have captured the swagger and snarl of early '70s Rolling Stones. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers did it, the Black Crowes did it, and your band does it.
Will Horton: Thank you, that's a huge compliment. We all just grew up with that music being played around the house. Matthew and I are cousins; our families are very obsessed with the Rolling Stones. And '70s rock in general. I think all of our households played different variations of the same sort of influence.
We all love old blues, and old soul, and old country. Just good music. Some of those songs on Run we’d had around for a little while, and we wrote when we first started becoming a band. We were going for that live ‘70s feel. The next album will definitely be a progression of that, and more garage-y, more modern-ish. It’s just a natural progression from Run. But there was definitely a lot of Stones influence early on, and still is.
Are you working on the next record?
Will Horton: We have all the material; we're sort of in the demo-ing process. We're doing everything in order. We don't want to have any self-imposed deadlines on when to release it. At the same time we want to get it out as soon as we can. We play all new music in most of our live sets. Only two or three are from Run. So from our perspective, we really want to get it out. We really want to work with a producer on this one. We did work with a producer on this summer single we have out, "Radio Silence," but it's maybe a little too slick. We want to go in more a live direction, a more dirty production.
Have you ever considered doing a live album?
Will Horton: A lot of people have suggested it, because they really like our live show. So yeah, we would not be opposed to that. But I think we really want to do a third studio album first.