Critically-acclaimed Southern Rockers The Steel Woods will perform at The Rustic June 10, in support of their recently released record “All of Your Stones.” The Steel Woods’ third release is their strongest and most substantive work to date, and the group has been proud to put it out into the world.
Their triumph was immediately followed by tragedy when co-founder and leading light Jason “Rowdy” Cope passed away unexpectedly in his sleep on January 16, with cause yet to be determined. The autobiographical title track, written by Cope, lead singer Wes Bayliss and Jamey Johnson, is an inspirational song about harnessing negativity and creating something positive with it.
Cope’s loss has shaken the band’s fan base and the music community at large, as the 42-year-old guitarist/songwriter/producer was loved by many. His superb playing can be heard on albums by such artists as The Secret Sisters, Lindi Ortega, The Oak Ridge Boys and Jamey Johnson, who he played with for nine years.
The surviving members of The Steel Woods – Bayliss, bassist Johnny Stanton and drummer Isaac Senty – and Cope’s family made the difficult decision to move forward and release the album. Everyone who knew Cope knows that it is exactly what he would have wanted. The album’s fiery opening track “Out Of The Blue”, written by Cope and Aaron Raitiere, is about perseverance and not being tethered to the past.
The bluesy “You Never Came Home” features guttural, haunting vocals by Bayliss as the band builds to a mighty crescendo. The Steel Woods paid homage to Black Sabbath with a cover on each of their first two albums. This time they give a nod to their Southern rock forerunners with an intensely soulful rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “I Need You,” featuring Ashley Monroe. Bayliss’ sentimental track “Ole Pal”, about longing for a long-lost dear friend in a small town backdrop, takes on an entirely new feeling in the wake of Cope’s passing.
“All Of Your Stones” is a tribute to the heart, soul, love, and vision Jason “Rowdy” Cope put into The Steel Woods. Cope’s music and spirit will live on. While the band will work hard to move forward, Cope and his bandmates shine bright on this final document of this chapter of The Steel Woods.
The Steel Woods perform live in concert from 8–10 p.m. Thursday, June 10. Tickets are priced from $15-$22, available at therustic.com. The Rustic Dallas is located at 3656 Howell Street in the Uptown area. For additional information, visit therustic.com.