Record Label: CD Baby
This band from northwest Arkansas knows from where they come, as is reflected in their boppin’ new EP, whose name is a take on the quote by Harlan Howard that country music is “three chords and the truth.”
The Handshake Saints meld several styles on the EP, as evidenced by some rather upbeat guitar work from Josh Masten that shows off the band’s rock DNA on “For My Baby.” Singer and keyboardist Aaron Mullins is in fine form on the darkly bluesy “You Just Wanna Be Free,” which somehow manages to be both mournful and self-fulfilling at the same time (it must be heard to be fully appreciated). Mullins is backed up on the track with more fine shredding by Masten. A rather insistent bass line from Phil Cristofaro and Roger Norman on drums on “Running Away” back up some country-inspired rock to close things out—short but sweet.
Each of the three tunes is unique, and none is like the others, showing the many influences that the Handshake Saints pay tribute to when it comes to their own compositions. It’s clear this quartet is out to have a great time—and would very much like to have you along.
Notable Tracks: “For My Baby,” “You Just Wanna Be Free,” “Running Away”