As frontman for the Demon Funkies, Ryan Chrys has demonstrated that he knows his way around the groove, but on 2011's The Ambivalent Justice Of..., he showed that he's also well versed in a number of other genres. And from the first few cuts of his latest release, A Lick & a Promise, it's clear that Chrys is going the country route this time around. The chord progression of the energetic opener, "This Road Never Ends," sounds a bit like that of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues," while Chrys's deep vocal delivery recalls Shooter Jennings. Local singer-songwriter Angie Stevens steps in for a few verses and adds great harmonies. Taking cues from outlaw-country pioneers like Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard, Chrys and company lay down a collection of fueled-up twangy numbers alongside some heartfelt ballads.
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