Saints Eleven are a Red Dirt/Texas country group based out of Dallas, Texas. They’re a group who takes influences from Americana, folk, blues, bluegrass, rock and country in their music. An experienced group of the scene, they pride themselves on making authentic music and shun the polished sounds of pop country. Not to mention they tour relentlessly through their home state. The band is up of founding member Jeff Goodman (lead singer and guitarist), co-founder Jeff Mosley (upright and electric bass) and Alex Shepherd (drums and percussion). Recently they’ve released their third studio album Coming Back Around, which they teamed up with veteran producer Walt Wilkins to make. And they certainly stay true to their sound.
Right away you get a taste of this group’s rustic, no-nonsense approach to music on songs like “My Heart” and the album’s title track. The fiddles sound particularly great on the latter song and multiple other tracks on the album. It’s a real strong suit of the group. While I enjoy the instrumentation of “Heartbreak Songs,” it feels ten minutes long when it’s just a tick above four minutes. “Sunday Drive” is about approaching life with a more positive attitude, in spite of the obvious bad in the world. The twangy guitars give the song some real character. Saints Eleven cover the Buck Owens’ classic “Cryin’ Time” really well. It fits this group’s sound like a glove, not to mention it fits with the rest of the album. Who doesn’t enjoy a good old country song like this one?
The group sings of a man finding his way home on “Almost Home.” He promises to his family he’ll be home soon and promises to make this situation worthwhile in the end. This road lifestyle is something many artists have to put their family through, so I imagine this coming from a pretty real place. The best track on the album is definitely “Let Them Go.” It’s a song about a husband and father’s struggle with alcohol addiction, refusing to give up the bottle. Despite trying to go clean, he vows he won’t stop until he’s dead and that’s exactly what happens. The excellent Courtney Patton joins in on this song too and sounds great with Goodman. The album closes with “The Same,” a song about a couple getting away and changing things up. Despite the change in scenery, they vow to stay together and stay the same people. The smooth steel guitar makes this song really infectious and really puts a nice cap on the album.
Overall Coming Back Around is a good album from Saints Eleven. The end of the album closes particularly strong. They’re a group that knows their sound well, which is certainly popular in their neck of the woods. The instrumentation is definitely a strong suit of this group. I would have liked to have heard more variety overall on this album though, as at times some of the songs can kind of blend together. Goodman is certainly a talented vocalist and his voice has distinctive character. Coming Back Around will certainly appeal to those looking for solid Texas country music.
Recommend? – If you enjoy Texas country, yes
Album Highlights: Let Them Go (feat. Courtney Patton), The Same, Almost Home, Cryin’ Time, The Heart
Bad Songs: None
Wallpaper: Heartbreak Songs, For Those That Came