June 16, 2021

Sometimes, there is nothing like a bit of southern boogie and/or rock and roll for uplifting the spirit as it is such an elemental music that is simply irresistible to ignore and there is some sort of magic between the listener and the band that hauls you to your feet and gets your body moving! The list of southern rock bands is huge and there are some fabulous ones on there from the might of the one and only Skynyrd, the essential Molly Hatchet, the indispensable Allman’s and The Outlaws; the roll call is endless and the talent pool huge.

To this list we must now add Backwood Spirit, a band with the name that is redolent in southern atmosphere and a sound that is the very epitome of the good old boys from down south. However, there is something a little different about Backwood Spirit as they are, indeed, Swedish. Wow, the world has truly gone mad! Indeed, the band has a truly classy and instantaneous sound that also incorporates a fair amount of the blues as championed by Free and Bad Company so this is a band that has a very broad appeal.

The band was formed in Örebro in 2014 by the songwriter and guitarist Kent Engström with the eponymous debut album being released in 2017 and the recruitment of vocalist Göran Edman (Yngwie Malmsteen, John Norum) has proven to be something of a masterstroke. Edman is a real class act with a powerful voice that covers blues and metal very comfortably and the warmth in his voice and almost laid back delivery has helped to make the records just so authentic and deliciously southern blues rock. However, there is still a real rockiness about the album that will satisfy anything from the casual listener through to the devoted fan. The band has been tweaked a little for album number two with Kent Engström on guitar and bass, Göran Edman on vocals, Peter Emilson on keyboards, Joje Lindskoog on drums and Mats Berglund on bass.

This release could just as easily be filed under classic rock as southern rock and with Göran Edman delivering a performance that even Paul Rodgers would be proud of then it is safe to say that rock genre is rather immaterial as this virtually perfect performance would sit comfortably in everyone’s record collections. If Free and Lynyrd Skynyrd had jammed in 1973 then the outcome would very much have sounded like this and there can be no higher praise than that.

Fresh From The Can track list

  1. Catch Your Fire (6:34)
  2. Rainbow (Full Circle) (4:46)
  3. Celebration (7:14)
  4. Sweet In The Evening (Lullaby) (6:24)
  5. Witchwood (6:34)
  6. Leavin’ (4:16)
  7. On Through The Night (5:57)
  8. Something About You (5:44)
  9. Mayflower (7:33)