One of the musical highlights of 2020, the SteelDrivers‘ Bad For You is the debut for the group’s newest member, singer and guitarist Kelvin Damrell. A tremendous talent in his own right, Damrell certainly had some big shoes to fill, stepping into the role inhabited first by Chris Stapleton and then Gary Nichols. Fortunately, Damrell’s fresh take on bluegrass — and his background as a rocker — dovetailed perfectly with the hard-edged, “uneasy listening” brand of bluegrass for which the band is known.
The SteelDrivers’ music video for “Innocent Man” follows the tune’s dark subject matter, coming right out of the band’s wheelhouse. It kicks off with Tammy Rogers’ evocative fiddling over a dark drone; Damrell’s smoky voice rises over Rogers’ melody and tells a story of a man who knows, more than any other, the depth of his own sin. Black-and-white images run through an old film projector, their graininess and imperfection distorting the picture and mirroring the on-brand unrest and turmoil in the story. If you haven’t yet heard the SteelDrivers’ amazing follow-up to their Grammy Award-winning 2015 album, The Muscle Shoals Recordings, check out “Innocent Man” and Bad For You to get a taste of what this hard-hitting band sounds like in 2020 — and don’t miss our interview with the band from earlier this year.
Photo credit: Anthony Scarlatti