The chorus and bridge on “River Road” by the Gary Douglas Band sounds eerily like a lost outtake of “Thunder Road” by Springsteen, replete with themes of hope, cars and factories, exposing Gary Douglas’s rock roots in all their sonic grandeur. Walking the fine line between optimism and despair, “River Road” punches hard from the opening chord making a tale of hopelessness ironically uplifting by the time the listener reaches the howling chorus of “Give me hope, give me strength”. “River Road” is paradoxical in nature, tears with a smile and somber deliberation while dancing. “River Road” is just plain good stuff.
Trial lawyer by day and troubadour by night, Gary Douglas delivers each line of River Road with sincere passion and an unmistakable honesty. Backed by a rhythm section that drives home the impassioned warbling like an exclamation point on an interjection, wow! “River Road” might not fit the format of modern rock or country stations, which is a shame, but that is all the more reason to take this track for a test drive.
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