Whiskey Myers @ O2 Institute, 22 May 2019

Refreshing Southern blue-collar rhythms took over the O2 Institute on Wednesday when Whiskey Myers brought their hard rock music, with lashings of country, blues and Americana. The band is composed of Cody Cannon (lead vocals and acoustic guitar), John Jeffers (lead guitar, slide guitar, lap steel guitar, vocals), Cody Tate (lead and rhythm guitar), Jeff Hogg (drums), Tony Kent (percussion/drums), and Jamey Gleaves (bass). Over a decade since the group of friends and kin from Texas decided to be a more serious band, they are now selling out venues all over the world, unleashing a boot-tapping beat that urges you to dance and sing along. “We’re just a bunch of good ol’ boys who like playing music, so we just go out there and do it,” Cannon says.Whiskey Myers built an indirect rapport with the audience through their charismatic and mesmerising performance, from the first chord until the last hit of drums, creating an entertaining and lively night for everyone present. Each member had their own unique style of look and performance which creates a sense of mass individuality within a band setting – coherent with today’s standards, people coming together despite their differences of appearance or outlook on lifeThey started the set with an electrifying first song, “Frogman,” which seems to be about war, running away, and the possibility of never going back home again. It set the foundation for the rest of the night while they continued with “On The River.”  Having some Mazzy Star influence, the song literally flows like a river bends and turns, slow and rapid turns departing from the flow. 

Cody Cannon adds even more dimension of “southern comfort” to the mix playing the harmonica in “Broken Window Serenade,” a song about the death of a loved one battling depression. ”I saw you laughin through the tears/ As you slowly slipped away/ I watched you go.” While attending the funeral he says ”I can barely recognize you/ In your fragile state.” He threw a rose in the grave, accentuating the beauty even after death despite having a troublesome life (”No more signs of depression/ From a long time ago”). The singer opens up about being hurt (”I hurts me so”) as he really loved that girl.  The night gets heavier and grittier with “Mud.” The song title describes the hardwork his family has put into the land they have worked on for generations. He makes a threat saying that if anyone will try to take their land they will “die in the mud.” He makes a representation of suit and tie businessmen coming over and trying to force generational families out of their homes to build modern buildings. 

Virginia starts with a “Hawaiian/oceanic” riff and it describes her as his love in life (”Lie in all my broken dreams/ You pick me up/ And you sure make me smile”). She used to give him hope and make him happy, but it gets sad in the end when she left him with a ‘broken heart and a sad soul,’ without even saying goodbye.They also played one of their most known hits, “Ballad Of A Southern Man,” the song that made them famous a decade ago. It is about childhood and growing up in a place people are not familiar with, having some traditionalist and religious views on family roles. 

Taking a slightly darker note, the loved band starts “Headstone,” which creates a lot of visual imagery and has a really good build up with drums. The singer says how every day he is closer to death because he is a sinner (”I’m a bad man/ Yes, I am”) and he builds the story within the song, going from having one foot in the grave to two feet, until finally he will be 6 feet in the grave. He acknowledges that there is “no one left to blame” for his behaviour and actions and expresses his wish to “chisel on [his] headstone” the type of person he is, that being the base of the song. Towards the end the band played “How Far,” which describes the willingness of going above and beyond for the loved one. At the beginning he mentioned “Birmingham” and, even though it is about the city in Alabama, the crowd cheered and it brought a smile to people’s faces. 

The whole performance had a hint of country music mixed with a taste of hard rock, combining to create an atmosphere unrivalled amongst set lists seen by Birmingham’s enthusiastic gig goers.


Set list 


On The River 

Deep Down In The South 

Bar, Guitar And A Honky Tonk Crowd 

Broken Window Serenade 


Early Morning Shakes 





Acoustic break 

Ballad Of A Southern Man 



How Far 


Rockin’ In The Free 



Review and Photos: Andra Tudoran 

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