When thinking of “fusion” genres, we tend to jump to jazz-blended styles of music. Less thought of is the bluegrass, country, and classic rock fusion owned with authority by Sour Bridges.
Harmonies, strings and hard times are the makeup of the band’s EP, Roll Us up Something Good, released last November. Layering styles, blazing instrumentation, and soulful voices, the band takes distinct ownership of its unique sound.
Based in Austin, Texas, the band features brothers Bill and Matt Pucci, with Bill on lead vocals and guitar, and Matt on lead guitar. Filling out the rest of the roles are Garrett Ross (drums), and Will Vaughan (bass).
Hailing from Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Texas respectively, the quartet has taken their different musical backgrounds and blended traditional bluegrass and country styles with elements of classic rock. This blend has been coined “brown-grass” by the band, saying “it’s like bluegrass, but dirtier.” With the gritty electric guitar solos featured in “Roll Us up Something Good,” and “Evelyn’s” the description could not be more sonically accurate.
Over the last decade, the band has seen different members, each bringing a different sound to the foundation of the Pucci brothers. Most recently, the addition of Ross and Vaughan has “created a new vibe,” on the follow-up to their 2019 album, Neon Headed Fool. The songs are quite similar stylistically with a consistent, focused sound making the three-song EP a package deal.
Written from what Pucci calls a “working boy, blue-collar perspective,” the EP tells stories from both Texas and New Orleans. Reminiscing on relationships, work, cities, and the roles they play in growing up, Pucci is triumphant in epitomizing the coming-of-age feeling.
The opening track, “Merita’s Tune (Riverboat Man),” has a fitting title, in the way that the melody and story flow over the rich layers of strings that provide the instrumental. Despite the complexity and variety of sounds, the track is still light, keeping true to bluegrass tradition. “Evelyn’s” is the perfect middle track, with a more melancholy, piano-driven sound, but a chorus that inspires a singalong. Lamenting the aftermath of a breakup, the song tells of an escape to New Orleans.
The EP wraps up with the titular track, “Roll Us up Something Good.” The timeless sound of the song is the perfect close for the trio of songs, especially with the band’s classic rock influences shining through the walking bass line, bluesy piano riffs, and guitar solo. The three songs featured on this EP set themselves apart from any existing genre.
The band’s ambitious fusing of stacked harmonies with multi-layered instrumentals creates a sound that sticks with you. The unique sound Sour Bridges has established over their ten years of activity rings clear in this EP and does not disappoint.