The Spikedrivers | The Spikedrivers

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Rock: Americana Country: Outlaw Country Moods: Featuring Guitar
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The Spikedrivers

by The Spikedrivers

The Spikedrivers are rock and roll, bluegrass and weteren swing with the Rust Belt edge. A toe tappin' good time.
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

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  song title
1. The Ballad of John Dillinger
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3:55 $0.99
2. Comproised
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3. Cookoo
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3:10 $0.99
4. Everybody Dun Go'd Away
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5. Please Don't Come Back
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6. Like Water
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3:11 $0.99
7. Good Luvin'
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8. She's My Baby
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9. Let's All Go To Church
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2:17 $0.99
10. Brothers of Bad Luck
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11. Tsunami
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12. Politic Talkin' Blues
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Album Notes
After three years of hard work and anticipation, The Spikedrivers announce the release of their debut studio album. The self-titled CD pays careful attention to detail on the band's most popular original works to date, as well as some lesser performed compositions. The recording showcases the amazing songwriting styles of Jesse Henry and is uniquely performed by an
outstanding group of musicians. While groups from around the country have put their own regional touch on Americana music, The Spikedrivers offer a "Rust Belt" edge, combining industrial town rock 'n' roll with country music.
The Spikedrivers album opens with The Ballad of John Dillinger, a song written about the famous outlaw who until now has gone without an anthem. While this song usually closes the evening at live shows, as the first track, it exposes the listener to The Spikedrivers hard hitting musical side. Compromised, the second selection, displays both the band's as well as Grammy award winning producer/engineer Jeff Ciampa's artistic prowess. From the soft gritty vocals to the ambient bowed bass solo and haunting refrain, Compromised captures the talent and ability necessary for the success of such an intricate piece. "Don't call me honey, I ain't that sweet" is the first line in Cuckoo, and one every lover can relate to at some point. The lyrics are appropriately accompanied by the "wall of strings" to create a beautiful song. Gospel and bluegrass roots resound on the choruses of Like Water and Let's All Go to Church. The rest of the album is a well balanced blend of blues, swing, and thematic songwriting that encourages the listener to play the album again and again.
The Spikedrivers emerged as a group in late 2003 out of a random meeting at a local open mic night. Singer/Guitarist Jesse Henry and double bassist Steven Fox joined together to perform a few songs. Both were recent college graduates with degrees in Jazz and Classical music respectively, and both shared a passion for American roots music. After one year of playing
together, The Spikedrivers expanded the ensemble to include Fiddler/Vocalist Megan Palmer who has worked with artists such as Luther Wright and the Wrongs, Tim Easton, Sara Harmer, and Rick Moranis. Guitar Magazine's Best Unsigned Guitarist Award recipient for 1990 and 1993, Paul Brown, adds his
technical mastery of the guitar and has also expanded the band's harmonic palette playing electric, 12-string, nylon string, and lap steep guitar. The line up also includes Nate Anders, virtuoso jazz vibraphonist turned country drummer and Steve Sweney, Lead Guitarist of Ekoostik Hookah. Within the past two years The Spikedrivers have continuously grown to be known as the cream of the crop in Ohio.
In the coming months The Spikedrivers are planning to tour throughout the country with the hope that their songs will be viewed as putting a meaning and message into music as well as spreading their infectious joy. For more information on The Spikedrivers and their recently released self titled studio album, please visit or


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I heard a couple of the Spikedrivers' songs on NPR and really liked the bluegrass sound. As a whole, I like the album a whole lot, but I prefer the songs that lean more towards bluegrass and further away from country. It's a great ecclectic album, though, and they show that they have incredible range of musical ability.

Deadeye Dick

The Spikedrivers
Jesse Henry and the Spikedrivers bring the heart and relevance of the dust-bowl era to modern America. There's heart and hope and a simple stand-up "pride" in this music. I love to put this album on and just drive; it's like a visit with an honest friend that you haven't seen in a while.

John Petric The Other Paper

Local misfits could rescue Americana
The same weekend The New Yourk Times said the sun was setting on Americana music, our dear Spikedrivers were releasing their self-titled debut disc of reincarnated bluegrass barroom grit and country guts. As if making an accomplished affair isn't enough the Spikedrivers are saddled with underdog status right out of the gate.
What's not to like about this band?
"I've always known that we come from yesterday" sings Jesse Henry in "Like Water," a fiddle-powered hoedown about the cycle of life and the cosmic flow of nature. While that may sound hippie-esque, Henry's fine way with words unabashedly expresses an uncynically spiritual sincerity. Religion, pro and con, pops up more than once on the disc, as do war and poltics, and unflinchingly so.
The recorded album (nicely produced by Jeff Ciampa and amazingly well-done artwork) pretty much rests on Henry's square, Midwestern shoulders. His singing and songwriting ability lead the spirited Spikedrivers in what they do so damn well: put the topical on top of the timeless in an irreverently traditional way. In short this often rowdy band isn't designed to contribute to sobriety.
Which brings us to the somewhat hidden strengths of the Spikedrivers, namely the instrumental virtuosity of fiddle-lady Megan Palmer, guitarists Steve Sweney and Paul Brown, and the hard-plowing rhythm section of bassist Steven Fox and drummer Nate Anders.
Live, they're at times a veritable tsunami of string power and down-from-the-holler energies. but on disc they're definitely more well-behaved. When they do hit breakdown speed, as on "The Ballad of John Dillinger" or the unlisted, raucous 13th track, you realize this sextet of brilliant misfits is one very American band, more than capable of rescuing their chosen genre.


Great Stuff
This CD is very impressive. I'm not as review worthy as the last guy, but I do like what SD is doing to keep folk music alive and well in the midwest. Political. Insightful. No apologies. The Cookoo song is my favorite, the Church song is a toe tapper, and the walkin' blues is remnicent of Woody. Good job guys, hope you become as successful as you can without losing any of your bite.


This is a must have CD...Excellent songmanship

Bo McMillion

My spikes have been driven!
I first heard of the Spikedrivers through eh. However, I have yet to see them. I will this weekend at Hookahween! I have some stuff I downloaded from the Archive, but the album is a concrete statement/testament to a band with an original sound and direction that simultaneously reaches into the dark depths of our history and honors it through kick ass tunes!


great album. i was eagerly anticipating their show at Dick's Den in November and was totally blown away. the place was packed and the vibe awesome.
their cd did not disappoint-but you gotta see these kids live!

Dan Cancila

Steve Sweeney is the shit
I have been to many Hookah shows and when i heard Steve sweeney had a new band i had to check them i went and saw them play at little brothers. i thought the band was awesome. a nice country twangy sound with the genius capabilitys of steve sweeney. the soumd is tight and insinc and i havent taken it out of my cd changer yet. two thumbs up all around.

John Rudiak

Heard at the Purple Fiddle
I heard this group play for the first time on Saturday, April 12, 2008 at the Purple Fiddle in Thomas, WVA. From the first song to the last the place was jumping and the music just got better as the night went on. I immediately bought this CD and played it all the way home to Pittsburgh, PA. Each member is an expert in the five star class.