What does Ol’ Yeller frontman Rich Mattson know about hard-hitting country rock? Well, a lot. For over a decade, Mattson fronted the Glenrustles one of the toughest roots-rock bands in the Twin Cities. With Ol’ Yeller, though Mattson tends to keep some of that gritty, classic rock sound, everything feels like a much mellower, more thoughtful endeavor.
The pop sensibility of guitar ace Randy Casey (who has since parted ways with the band) makes for a nice match with Mattson’s piercing guitar and gravely growl. The band has a real knack for pretty harmonies (“Piece Of Work” and “To Thine Own Self”), country-soaked toe tappers (“The Denial Song”) and solid, moving tunes (“Follow The Heart”).
Recording at Mattson’s Flower Pot studio, Ol’ Yeller got a little help from pedal steel ace Eric Heywood and their solid rhythm section of Keely Lane (Trailer Trash) and Dale Kallman. Their self-titled debut is quality Americana for anyone who likes a glass of wine with their meat and potatoes.