Righteous Hillbillies
Gig Seeker Pro

Righteous Hillbillies

Joliet, IL | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Joliet, IL | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Rock Americana




"Righteous Hillbillies"

Every time I listen to these guys I hear, just enough of the Drive by Truckers in what they do, and could I pay a band a higher compliment than that? I can't, actually! - Richard Milne WXRT, Chicago, IL

"Righteous Hillbillies Shake it up!"

Whoa! I thought these guys were from Joliet Illinois. At first listen you would swear they came outta the swamps of the American south-land. The more you listen the more you hear. If you took The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty and…oh let’s say Guns ‘N’ Roses …put them all in a paper sack, threw in some chicken, shook it up and fried it in a cast iron skillet it would give you an idea of what The Righteous Hillbillies sound like. - Billy Rose DJ Clinton Iowa since Producer and Host of the Midwest Revue and The Big Blues Broadcast. ​

"Righteous Hillbillies Up & Coming"

Their first album was a collection of great original rock and roll songs, bathed in the blood of ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the Black Crowes, and dried off with a country twang straight from the delta. But, if these two songs—“Not Alone” and “She’s Righteous”—are any indication of what is to come from the Righteous Hillbillies, we can excitedly attempt to rest without a moment’s peace, while anticipating the rock and roll storm forming on the horizon. The debut, self-titled album was simply a preview of what is to come—foreplay for the ultimate aphrodisiac the boys have been cooking up. - Dave Masciotra Rock n' Roll Journalist and Author of: Metallica 33 1/3 Working on a Dream: The Progressive Political Vision of Bruce Springsteen Mellencamp: American Troubadour​

"Raw Power of the Righteous Hillbillies"

After listening to a few of the new cuts from the Righteous Hillbillies, I was shocked by the raw power they captured with their tracks. These boys really knocked it out of the park with this one. I personally cannot wait to hear the rest of the new album, “Trece Diablos” - Dave Skala Producer/owner of McWoahs Productions

"The Righteous Hillbillies have delivered one of the best albums of 2012"

The Righteous Hillbillies have delivered what could easily be considered one of the best albums of 2012 with the musically-perfect Trece Diablos. From the jangly and Mashall Tucker-like opening track Beautifully Broken, to the Steve Earlesque, dark and haunting closer Before the Devil Knows, this amazing collection of masterfully-performed songs exemplifies all that is glorious and grand in American music. - Pete Berwick "Legendary Cow-Punk Pioneer"

"A Roadmap for Rock 'n' Roll Paradise: The New Record from The Righteous Hillbillies"

The cover photo of the new Righteous Hillbillies record, taken by Kevin Selph, is a beautiful shot of a long, desolate road leading into a tree lined tunnel. More than a perfect complement to the record title, Two Wheels Down a Lost Highway, it is actually an invitation. Pack your bags, leave your inhibitions in the dust, and ride into the rock ‘n’ roll emporium of pleasure, aggression, and avid enlargement of each moment. Rock ‘n’ roll has always pulled off the parlor trick of offering listeners an escape, but not an escape from reality – an escape into a reality larger than the one of the everyday. Rock ‘n’ roll, in its best moments, communicates the intensity of life that is available to those ready for the ride. - No Depression, David Masciotra

"Righteous Hillbillies - Two Wheels Down a Lost Highway"

It doesn't have to be so complex, I´m talking about rock and roll, you know when it´s down to basics with 5 guys doing what they do best like the Illinois based Righteous Hillbillies.
They are having lots of fun and have written some good music along the way, so what kind of rock and roll are we talking about here? Well, these guys play a lovely blend of southern rock, boogie and blues. Timeless rock that could hail from 1974, 1990 or in present time.
This kind of music will never sound dated and their frontman Brent James sings with so much feeling that I totally surrender to the songs on their 4th album "Two Wheels Down a Lost Highway".
They invited guest musicians from Gov´t Mule and Steppenwolf on their previous record "The Muscle Shoals Sessions" (2015) but this band doesn't need any outside help, they show us that they can do it just as good on their own.
Just listen to groovy songs like "Shackles and chains" or "Rollin´" and you´ll be a fan too, the song "Call me a doctor" bring thoughts to Joe Cocker while the rest of the album will appeal to fans of Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Ile Kallio Big Rock Band.
It´s only rock and roll but I like it. - Palace of Rock, Kaj Roth

"Two Wheels Down a Lost Highway"

These guys are really a great band. How you feel about this album will be based to a large degree on how you like groups like Marshall Tucker Band, The Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd. For the most part, this occupies much the same musical texture. Within that heading, there is a good amount of range here. This never feels redundant or monolithic. I have to say that I really love the name of the band, too. - Music Street Journal, G.W. Hill

"Righteous Hillbillies "Two Wheels Down a Lost Highway" review"

​3.8 out of 5

By Jamie Funk

Brent James (vocals/guitar), Barret Harvey (drums), Jeff Bella (bass), Nick Normando (guitar/vocals) and Chris Bartley (keys/vocals) are the Righteous Hillbillies. They recently released Two Wheels Down A Lost Highway and if you take a look at the band they look like a bunch of badasses. They might all be sweethearts but they don’t look like a bunch of guys you would mess with.

Their music is a mix of southern charm, rock and a good amount of attitude. It’s nothing I haven't heard before but the band has some serious chops in a number of musical areas. The songs are well written and delivered and above all else feel quite memorable. - NoMoreDivision, Jamie Funk

"Righteous Hillbillies – Two Wheels Down a Lost Highway"

The fourth album from Midwestern based blues rockers the Righteous Hillbillies, Two Wheels Down a Lost a Highway, is another entry in a growing discography that has earned this five piece a reputation as one of the nation’s best purveyors of traditional music.

The ten song collection highlights the considerable talents of vocalist Brent James, but that’s not the sole reason to draw people in and The Righteous Hillbillies are a cut above thanks to across the board instrumental excellence and impressively solid songwriting. It’s impressive, at this late date in popular music history, to still encounter musicians and songwriters working within the relatively limited blues rock tradition and able to wring fresh variations from its long standing formulas.

This is accomplished, in part, thanks to James’ vocals, but the other half of the equation is the commitment the players manifest and, to a lesser extent, the superb production job from Brent James that makes this music seem monumentally immediate. - Indie Music Review , Lance Wright

"CD REVIEW: Two Wheels Down a Lost Highway by Righteous Hillbillies"

The fourth album from Illinois based blues and Southern rock disciples Righteous Hillbillies marks a reinforcement of their traditional approach to songwriting and music making while still offering many examples of their talent for making something personal out of the genre’s tropes. Brent James produced this outing and has done a stellar job of putting the band’s strengths in the best possible light – the weaving of instruments on this crackle with the kind of life listeners might expect more from a live album than a studio concoction. The ten song collection is steeped in traditional invocations of blues and rock traditions, but the songwriting is often startling personal, or at least suggestive, and makes excellent use of the genre as a vehicle for self-expression. This is an album that, instead of just milking blues rock clichés, bleeds sincerity. - Vent Magazine, Lydia Hillenburg

"The Righteous Hillbillies – Two Wheels Down a Lost Highway"

There’s nothing new under the sun, but old Ecclesiastes never heard the Righteous Hillbillies. Somehow, someway, these Illinois based blues rockers manage to pick up an increasingly moribund music genre and revitalize its aging bones with vim and vigor quite unlike anyone else working in that area today. Two Wheels Down a Lost Highway, the fourth album from the five piece, explores the band’s strengths without ever sounding repetitive and manages to expand on their formula without ever venturing too far afield of their core sound. This delicate balancing act is the sort of thing only a top notch outfit can pull off and Two Wheels Down a Lost Highway finds this act at, or near, the peak of their powers. Rather than falling into the trap of covering blues standards, the Righteous Hillbillies serve up ten original tracks certainly intent on capturing a genuine bluesy spirit, but their personal signature is equally unmistakable. - Gashouse Radio

"Righteous Hillbillies tap the Muscle Shoals sound on their third release"

The humidity the emits from Righteous Hillbillies’ Two Wheels Down A Lost Highway is an illusion. Their latest album is what Southern rock dreams are made of. And if you feel the same, you are not too far off the mark.

However, this band hails from Joliet, Illinois. It is the last place I would have guessed. More known for their twang and blues boogie than Chicago expressionism, the group takes to the countryside for their inspiration. Since the late 2000s, this band has been climbing up the rock and roll ladder with vibrant performances and released two albums: a self-titled debut and the illuminated Trece Diablos. - Andrew Duncan, Selective Memory

"Righteous Hillbillies - Two Wheels Down a Lost Highway"

These sorts of albums used to be commonplace. Our popular music world once rang out with much more than just an assortment of pop releases all revolving around the same narrowly defined melodic conceits, the same regurgitation of pop’s long standing subjects, and pandering to the lowest common denominator. Once upon a time the popular music world hosted both the empty pop idols and a substantive variety of musical genres that remained faithful to their respective forms while still affording the recording artists with an opportunity to find exciting and highly personalized variations of the formula within which they work. The fourth album from The Righteous Hillbillies, Two Wheels Down a Lost Highway, hearkens back to a time when bands sported their familiarity with the past as a badge of honor instead of a source of shame. Most importantly, however, that badge of honor has its own distinctive color here; it’s blues, but it’s blues as understood by the five members of The Righteous Hillbillies. - Carlito's Music Blog


2008 Righteous Hillbillies (Debut album)
2012 Trece Diablo's
2015 The Muscle Shoals Sessions
2016 Two Wheels Down a Lost Highway



Righteous Hillbillies are a rock ‘n’ roll band launching a revival of the Southern spirit of blues boogie, soul groove, along with the primal and visceral energy of rock ‘n’ roll power. Their hometown of Joliet, Illinois is not the likeliest headquarters for one of America’s best Southern Rock bands, but Righteous Hillbillies put the map of convention in the shredder a long time ago. With every Allman Brothers or Stax-Volt style lick, and impassioned and intense shout in a mode and method similar to Chris Robinson, Righteous Hillbillies are an axe shredding, ace dealing demonstration of Southern Rock vitality and the value of authenticity. After a recent live performance at a music festival, music critic David Masciotra, author of Mellencamp: American Troubadour, said, “Righteous Hillbillies stole the show. Their high level of skill, energy, and intensity will make anyone dance in one moment, and then knock the wind out of them the next.” The lineup of Righteous Hillbillies consists of Brent James, a singer and songwriter bringing together such seemingly disparate elements as hard rock, country, with rhythm and blues to form an unforgettable style. Also keeping the rhythm on guitar, James is a charismatic but commanding front man, steering the Southern Rock ship to conquer new territory at every concert. By his side is Nick Normando, a prodigy and gifted lead guitarist who received his baptism in blood while growing up playing the blues. Righteous Hillbillies have now cut the leash, and Normando is free to run with the pack, bringing all his ferocious power and unpredictable virtuosity to the stage and studio. Jeff Bella pours the foundation on the bass, knowing when to inject color and character into the music, behind Bella is Barret Harvey – a thunderous powerhouse whose drumming ability is steady as a pulse, but equally dynamic. Trained in rock ‘n’ roll and jazz, Harvey adds a unique ingredient to the Hillbillies tonic. Elevating the rhythm of Righteous Hillbillies with a tone of gospel is Chris Bartley, whose keyboards and organ give every song a soulful texture on top the jagged edge of rock ‘n’ roll. Righteous Hillbillies released their first record of original, instant classics in 2008. They followed up their self-titled debut with a stunning sophomore effort, Trece Diablos, in 2012. Like a brilliant poker player, they upped the ante in 2015. Righteous Hillbillies who threw all their talent in a bag and took it to Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, showing that they can stand in the same studio as the legends who made Muscle Shoals famous: Aretha Franklin, Little Richard, Wilson Pickett, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Bob Seger. Citing all of those icons as influence, Righteous Hillbillies’ new record, The Muscle Shoals Sessions, gives listeners the thrill of hearing a band on top of their game, and exploring all the high points of American music, from rock to rhythm and blues. The songwriting shines like a new diamond, and the performances are flawless.The Muscle Shoals Sessions was written and performed by the members of Righteous Hillbillies including former guitarist, singer/songwriter Kev Wright with accompanying keyboards on the album provided by Danny Louis from Gov’t Mule and Larry Byrom from Steppenwolf. It was produced by Craig Bishop of New York Noize, who has worked with David Byrne, BB King, Rosanne Cash, Joan Osborne, and Shawn Colvin. It was engineered by John Gifford III (Fame Studios) and mastered by Fred Kevorkian of Kevorkian Mastering, who has worked with Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams, The White Stripes, Dave Matthews Band, Phish,Trey Anastasio, and more. Righteous Hillbillies are currently supporting the record throughout the Midwest, and throughout their career, have shared the stage with Bad Company, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Charlie Daniels Band, David Allen Coe, Bret Michaels, Phil Vassar, Jackyl, Gin Blossoms, Days of the New, Sonny Landreth, Vince Neil (Motley Crue), Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Buckwheat Zydeco, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Black Oak Arkansas, Jimmie Van Zandt, Doyle Dykes, Stoney LaRue and others.

Band Members