Part of the burgeoning, modern, underground, outlaw, country music field, Craig Gerdes is makin’ tracks and on the move. His last release, Smokin’, Drinkin’ & Gamblin’, has quickly gathered attention for a real honky-tonk, old-school, classic-country sound that embraces the heart and soul of contemporary outlaw country. Gerdes hails from rural central Illinois, and is now on the journey of constant touring through a club circuit that’s growing from this populist form of rebellion against the current crop of pop country music, while searching for real ties to real things through heartfelt songs. He got his start playing and singing in his dad’s band, wrote his first song at age 11, and hasn’t looked back since.
Craig Gerdes’ shows are a high energy performance. Never do his and his band’s energies wain, nor do the crowd’s enthusiasm for the outlaw country outfit. The performance is filled with some great instrumentation and fantastic vocals, and the band has an infectious energy that, at times, whips the crowd into a frenzy.
Seemingly a blast from the past, Gerdes and his band sound more like the outlaw country acts of the ’70s than any of the pop-oriented country currently dominating the country charts.
Despite being a country act, they’ve got a rock feel to them, and their love of the blues is evident through their music. Beyond Gerdes’ own discography, they play many classic country songs and take them in their own unique direction; this includes some Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Billie Joe Shaver.