CD Review: Bucky Hayes and the Commonwealth “100 Miles to Macon”

Bucky Hayes is a Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter. However, Hayes was originally from Nashville and then spent time in both Georgia and Florida. Because of that upbringing, you can definitely notice the Southern quality to Hayes’ vocals. That southern childhood also influences the music that Hayes creates with his band called the Commonwealth. Along with Bucky Hayes on vocals and guitar, the rest of the band consists of bassist Bobby McCullough, drummer Sonny Ratcliff, keyboardist Bryan Trenis and guitarist Patrick Hay. Together, the band has recently created the album entitled 100 Miles to Macon.

The 100 Miles to Macon album from Bucky Hayes and the Commonwealth begins with the track “I’ll Leave the Light on”. This particular track sounds like something that would have been on radio in the 80s. In particular, the track reminds the listener of someone like Bruce Springsteen or John Mellencamp would have written. “I’ll Leave the Light On” contains the type of Rock and Roll from back in that period of music. While the band does approach the track with plenty of energy, the track features a straight-out Rock and Roll approach with a certain amount of gentleness to the music. It is the gentleness to the Rock and Roll that places the band into the Americana genre.

100 Miles to Macon continues with the song “Sweet June”. On this track, Bucky Hayes and the Commonwealth slow down the pace of the music. However, they also add a bit of the blues to the music to add some energy to the song. The slower pace helps to create a track that would remind some of songs from the likes of Tom Petty. The majority of the track contains a somewhat laidback quality. However, the electric guitar from Patrick Hay gives plenty to the music of energy near the end of the song.

Bucky Hayes and the Commonwealth continue with a slower pace to their music on the track “Go Brother Go”. The slower pace, the lighter feel of the music and the easy delivery to the lyrics gives the track a musical approach reminiscent of Jack Johnson. The acoustic feel to the music allows for the band to show off their skills as musicians without having to overpower the song itself. The track’s easier pace helps to separate it from many of the other songs on the release.

The track “Loretta Rae” finds the band picking up the energy of the music. The track features a strong guitar part from guitarist Patrick Hay as well as a strong keyboard presence from keyboardist Bryan Trenis. The track begins with a strong guitar solo from Hay. After that initial beginning, the entire band joins in to create a track with a quick pace to the music. The music and the vocals from Bucky Hayes bring to mind John Mellencamp. The track contains a solo break with both Trenis’ keyboards and Hay’s electric guitar creating a strong instrumental break. “Loretta Rae” ends up being one of the strongest tracks with a very catchy musical feel to it. The song ultimately sounds like it could be used as a single for the album.

100 Miles to Macon is not only the album title for Bucky Hayes and the Commonwealth’s new release, but it’s also a very strong track on its own. The track “100 Miles to Macon” begins with a quiet musical quality. That quiet beginning features only the keyboards from Bryan Trenis and a light beat from drummer Sonny Ratcliff. The track quickly evolves into a full-band track that feels like something from a band from the nineties. The track about a rather long road trip has a style that may remind some of something from Counting Crows, like “A Long December” with a bit of twang to both the music and the vocals from Bucky Hayes.

The pace of the music slows way down on the next track. “The Times You Chose to Be in My Arms” finds the band trading a modern-day approach to their music for something from back in the 1960s. With the track, Bucky Hayes and the Commonwealth took the song and also added a lot more Country twang to it. The track feels as if someone like Waylon Jennings would have performed the track. There seems to be a rather timeless quality to the track. That timeless feeling helps to add to the all-around Americana classification of the music from the band.

Bucky Hayes and the Commonwealth bring their new album of 100 Miles to Macon to an end with the track “We Gonna Get Stronger Somehow”. The track contains a strong Rock and Roll beat while containing a slight twang to the music. The Alt-Country track shows off the talents of each and every member of the band. The strength of the music and the upbeat nature of the lyrics contained within the song make the song a great choice to be used as the closing track for the album. And with the loose feel to the playing of the band throughout the track, it also contains a fun nature to it.

The 100 Miles to Macon album from Bucky Hayes and the Commonwealth begins strong and continues to be strong throughout the ten tracks that make up the release. While the band does incorporate some other influences to their music, the strong Rock and Roll sound of the band shines through from the beginning note until the last one. If you like a group that knows how to have fun, Bucky Hayes and the Commonwealth is someone you need to check out.

Bucky Hayes and the Commonwealth will be celebrating the release of 100 Miles to Macon on September 9, 2016. Until then, for music of Bucky Hayes and the Commonwealth, check out the video to “I’ll Leave the Light On“.

For more information, check out the band’s PR firm of RMG Artist Development.

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