New Artist Spotlight:  Cole Deggs & The Lonesome
By Bob Doerschuk

© 2007 CMA Close Up News Service / Country Music Association, Inc.

There's a special kind of energy that comes from band projects, and Cole Deggs & The Lonesome have it.

The key seems to be in the way every part of their music fits together, as if hammered into place by the ambition that drove them to showcase successfully for Sony BMG less than two days after their first rehearsal.

That seamlessness flows through their self-titled debut on Columbia Nashville, but pay special attention to the first single, "I Got More," which begins with acoustic guitar cooling the groove, like a breeze at sundown after a steamy day. A quavering electric piano adds muscle to the mix, and then a wall of strong voices rises on the soulful chorus.

This is modern Country, done to perfection by five guys who play like brothers. It's no surprise, then, that the group includes two pairs of siblings, with singer Cole and bassist Shade Deggs, born and raised in Lake Jackson, Texas, sharing the front line with lead guitarist David and keyboardist Jimmy Wallace, from Shreveport, La. Brian Hayes, the official "honorary brother" and a native of Clearwater, Fla., rounds it out on drums.

All five members brought ample experience to the band: Shade co-founded and performed with Honeybrowne, Jimmy toured and tracked with blues/rock guitar whiz Kenny Wayne Shepherd, David worked on the competitive club scene along Bourbon Street in New Orleans and Cole, who shares credit on four of the songs on the new CD, got his break as a writer by penning Kenny Chesney's "Live Those Songs Again." Brian hit the road just out of high school and was an in-demand drummer.

The single "I Got More," is the handiwork of Jim Collins and Rivers Rutherford, with Rutherford also signing on to co-produce Cole Deggs & The Lonesome with Mark Wright. Not surprisingly, the sound matches the spirit of the song, with an often rugged and raw quality that seems tailored to the stage but slams on disc as well.

Who is your musical hero?
COLE: "Merle Haggard."
DAVID: "John Mellencamp."
JIMMY: "Billy Preston."
SHADE: "Kris Kristofferson."

What book is on your nightstand?
BRIAN: "Dirt Rider magazine."
COLE: "A dictionary."
JIMMY: "London Bridges, by James Patterson."
SHADE: "Ghostwritten, by David Mitchell."

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September 4, 2007
© Eric Beggs