“Bootlegged: Live from Midnight Rodeo” from Dan Johnson and the Salt Cedar Rebels is a sweet little EP that released a couple of weeks back. The Salt Cedar Rebels are a cool country and southern rock outfit that I started listening to after hearing them on the Southbound I-35 podcast with David Ryan. They bring a lot of energy, the songwriting is emotional and raw, and I love the guitar tones they seem to consistently put out there. Vocally, Dan Johnson’s voice reminds me of Jason Boland; it’s deep and country but not twangy.

This live EP contains five original songs plus a cover of “Keep Your Hands To Yourself” originally by the Georgia Satellites. In the album notes, Dan Johnson gives us the impetus for the album:

In the “good ol’ days of music,” before recording engineers and producers started manufacturing hits in studios, for the sake of the almighty dollar, some of the greatest songs came to us when a band played their hearts out at a show and some blessed soul fatefully hit “record.”

The mix of this album indeed captures the live show magic; it’s got a full sound with booming lows and the right amount of guitar reverb. You aren’t a fly on the wall at Midnight Rodeo, you are front and center.

Here is the track list:

“Ain’t Coming Back”
“Amanda Blue”
“As It Seems”
“I’d Like to Stay”
“All You’ve Got to Lose”
“Keep You Hands To Yourself”

“Ain’t Coming Back” shoots you out of a cannon at 100 mph. Outside of the love song “As It Seems” the record doesn’t slow down much. “Amanda Blue” is my favorite tune because it sucks you in with a cool guitar line then delivers with strong lyrics and songwriting.

If you are looking for something new, energetic, and bit rowdy to add to your Independence Day or Texas Music playlist, go get “Bootlegged” on Amazon Music¬†or on iTunes here: Bootlegged: Live from Midnight Rodeo – EP – Dan Johnson & The Salt Cedar Rebels. While you’re at it pay a visit to the Salt Cedar Rebels website.