I had read the advance publicity before I went to the show – a three-piece from Nashville, signed to Taylor Swift’s Big Machine label, and now making the rounds on the Country Mega-Ticket tour circuit. But still, I was not prepared for the Cadillac Three when the group took the stage at Coca-Cola Field as part of last summer’s Taste of Country. I expected modern country-pop; what I got was closer to ZZ Top covering Molly Hatchet. Blistering, is the word that comes to mind.
Fronted by guitarist/vocalist and general rabble-rouser Jaren Johnston, who was flanked by his childhood friends Kelby Ray on lap steel and Neil Mason on drums, the Cadillac Three stole the show and made a fan out of me in its 45-minute opening set. Super tight, fiery, raunchy and unfailingly groove-centric, the trio married country-folk traditionalism to pure Southern rock fury, all the while cranking out memorable hook-heavy tune after memorable hook-heavy tune.
Still touring in support of last year’s self-titled debut, the Cadillac Three is road-testing material for its sophomore effort on a Northeastern road jaunt that includes a stop at 8 p.m. Friday in Waiting Room (334 Delaware Ave.). The show was previously scheduled for Howdy’s; those tickets will be honored. Tickets are $10 advance, $15 day of show.