Flooded with banjo and violin, Randy Steele’s Moccasin Bender EP is flooded with Chattanooga flavor. However, that doesn’t mean you have to hail from the area to truly appreciate the six-pack collection of tracks.
Like many country tunes, this EP is one forged by memories. The song’s first track, “Mabbitt Springs,” tells a tale about a man making a deal with God to spare his son’s life. Even cooler, “Rummies” is inspired by the work of Ernest Hemingway, while “The Age of Ben” shares the story of a son with a heroin addiction. While all of these stories have depth and polish, it’s the musicianship behind them that makes them truly stand out.
Steele’s voice is warm and honest and combined with the banjo, violin and guitar, it’s multifaceted country/rock that gets better every time you listen. Simply put, it’s like a sandwich with some pop. There are secret ingredients here that by themselves aren’t unique, but when all combined together, they have a unique flavor that it’s hard to replicate somewhere else.
In the end, this collection of tunes is best served after a long day of work, in your car on the highway, heading home. Full of stories, ones you’ll connect to, it’s deep but far from heady and a nice blend of musicianship and charisma.