Ripped Together, Torn Apart is Whiskey & Co.'s first record in seven years and their strongest release to date. With the addition of piano and pedal steel, their sound feels like it's finally come home. This band isn't interested in labels and classifications. Are these sounds new? Hell no, and they'll be the first to tell you that. Sure, fans of stuff like John Prine, Lucinda Williams, Gram Parsons, Uncle Tupelo and Lucero will find this record right in their wheelhouse. But this is Saturday night / Sunday morning music. Made by folks informed just as much by the rock and roll and punk they cut their teeth on as the country and bluegrass they've always been surrounded by growing up down here.
The band was born in Gainesville, FL almost 20 years ago. Their songs have always oozed authenticity and honesty. Have always carried the warmth and familiarity one looks for in the good shit. But this time around, the songs sound fully realized and lived in - as if the songs have been dragged around and made to stand up and meet the weird world that birthed them. And running themes are no mistake here. Hearts won. Hearts broken. Babies born. Upheaval. Migration. Growth. Another hangover. Hope. The folks in this band have somehow kept their heads above water all this time. And they want you to keep swimming too.
Ripped Together, Torn Apart is the kind of record that will grow on you like a new friend who's somehow irreverent and genuinely compassionate at the same time. That kind of strange duality is what separates great art from, well, everything else.