The Black Cadillacs
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The Black Cadillacs

Knoxville, Tennessee, United States | SELF

Knoxville, Tennessee, United States | SELF
Band Rock Blues




"Back of the Rack June 2012"

The Black Cadillacs, fresh off the June 5th release of their album “Run,” aren’t looking to slow down now. This summer is packed with tour dates across the country, as the group looks to spread the word on their brand of gritty guitar rock, which features six members – two guitars and organ included – and is heavily influenced by the likes of the Rolling Stones, the Who, and Jack White. Three years in the making, The Black Cadillacs seem primed to burst on the scene very soon. -

"New Southern Rock Music"

The Black Cadillacs are the perfect mixture of new southern rock and folk music. Simple, yet bluesy and passionate, The Black Cadillacs will take you to new places and open spaces. You hear their music and just feel like running through a field, collapsing in a heap to watch as the clouds pass by.
Coming out of Knoxville, Tennessee, these country boys don’t believe in fancy gimmicks or fads to make their music popular. They rely on raw talent and tenacity, and it comes through loud and clear. The sweet and versatile voice of front-man Will Horton will cut to the core of you while the band engulfs you with their southern cooked song.
The Black Cadillacs released their debut album “All Them Witches” in 2010 and just released latest album “Run” on June 5 of this year. Pick them up, drive to a wide open field, and blast it from your car as you lay in the grass. Here’s a taste from “Run” called “Classic Fool”, check it out because it’s great. - Hypetree

"Album Review: The Black Cadillacs' "Run""

Just under a year ago, I was reviewing the Black Cadillacs’ last record All Them Witches, a far bluesy cry from what I am about to describe.

Then, the band had finished what seemed to be their tribute to Memphis; an album that showed not just where they were from, but how far they had come. “Witches” was riddled with simple blues and country staples that relied on authenticity more so than showmanship. Now a Knoxville mainstay, their latest album, Run, seems to be their salute to Knoxville. With rock riffs that will have you slapping your Levi’s and country ballads aged like fine wine, this is a more mature masterpiece. With everything from piano, to crunching guitar riffs to brass sections, it’s a Southern beer can with a Knoxville inspected sticker.

The album opens with the beautifully constructed “Classic Fool,” in which vocalist Will Horton lays some memorable lines over a riff that could be taken right off an early White Stripes record. The band doesn’t overwork here; the melody is preserved simply, which you will come to thank them for. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one wind up on the closing credits of a television program one day, assuming the guys are the licensing type.

“Run, Run” takes us back to the classic Cadillacs sound; garage-distorted guitars, booming drums and bass guitar layered as thickly as peanut butter. The chorus is once again, very strong…“And I guess/You knew best/I never proved you wrong.” Not at all surprised that 90.3 The Rock picked this up on high rotation; this is signature Knoxville at work.

Guitarists John Phillips and Matthew Hyrka provide excellent vocal support, without which, I’m not sure even Horton could carry the weight alone. But make no mistake, Horton is showing his ringleader spirit here, channeling those salty Dan Auerbach hums.

“Would You Be So Kind” steps us out of the bar room and into the rain. A dance hall piano is accompanied with some guitar slides that will leave you reflecting. It’s not until the light brass section kicks in that you realize this song was indeed made for slow dancing. The band keeps the lights down low with “I Know It’s Hard.” Horton moans over the difficulties of change and distance. Right when I was ready to write this one off, a hazy guitar solo breaks through, circa Roger Waters’ The Wall, that really pulled it all together. While this isn’t their strongest on the record, it’s a true testament to how far these boys have come.

“Choke” turns the blues back up again and if anything, verifies how closely cataloged this band is to the Black Keys in today’s soundscape. I don’t mean to be cute; this could easily be mistaken for a Magic Potion B-Side in a post-nuclear world. The next track, “How You’re Feelin,’” bleeds seamlessly in next. Horton’s vocals echo from the background, as the instruments take center stage in this interlude. Nice brief interludes (this one stretching 2.5 minutes) are too rare these days; bands should take note. The interlude blends awkwardly into “100 Guns,” in which the melody hardly notifies you. I was kind of hoping the band would crank it back into high gear right after the break; it brings listeners to the edge of the cliff, make no mistake about it.

“Find My Own Way” opens with a killer electric piano; reminiscent of Raconteurs meets early Steve Winwood. I’m submitting my nomination for the keys as the least respected element of this album. On “Goodbye Fate,” Horton utilizes some nice lyrical work, in what sounds like a lost poem saluting our forfeiture of all that is good in this world. Really some excellent writing at work.

The horns return and just like in “Would You Be So Kind,” I’m wondering when they’ll return again. “Shade” has some nice play between the drums and a fabric tearing guitar fuzz. Also, credit to Phillip Anderson; this is his best bass work thus far. His domino riffs are a nice touch. The album concludes with “Go On, Go Off,” which sounds like the accompaniment to lowering of the flag. Lyrically, it’s a good farewell ‘til next time. “So go on, go off/and do what you will do/it’s too late and I can’t find a place for you.”

Knoxville, as we all know, is a growing music scene and it is going to have to save a seat at the bar for this band. I say that, because groups that evolve in the manner that the Black Cadillacs have is as much of a tribute to their spirit as it is the sweet influence of this town. This band is drinking the water here. They aren’t filtering it with that Brita shit. I’m not into giving stars or thumbs to albums; I wouldn’t want to dissuade you from your own journeys, or deliver unfair expectations when an artist is at stake. Therefore, I give this album three pale ales, a ride to the bar and a lucky billiards streak. And if you play this on the ride over with the windows down, you just might pick up some gals. - Blank Newspaper

"Knoxville's Best Shows of 2011"

4. The Black Cadillacs at Rhythm N’ Blooms Festival, Black Market Square, April 1 – This was a small venue show and when the Cadillacs hit their first power chord, I thought the front windows of the storefront were going to blow out. - Knox Music Today

"Album Review: The Black Cadillacs-All Them Witches"

This album was released in April of 2010. You’re thinking, why are you reviewing it now? Well, kind sir/ma’am, this album hasn’t received the attention it deserves. Our goal is to spread the music and I guarantee you haven’t heard this album before. Buckle up.

They call it Americana. I call it rock ‘n roll. Some would call it southern - me, I would call it soulful. The sound The Black Cadillacs have bottled into All Them Witches is reminiscent of a midnight bonfire - beer, fun, and inevitable heartbreak beneath the open stars. Opening with their heels firmly entrenched in country roots, “Desperate” (and the album as a whole) features vocalist Will Horton belting it out like Caleb Followill had a long hard night and listened to a great many Stones records and when the sun came up he decided to record an album (that’s a compliment, by the way). The song ebbs and flows in a predictable fashion but it feels like something a bit more.

The melancholy doesn’t last long. From the opening riff “Squad Car Blues” is pure, unadulterated rock. The chorus is simple and straightforward:

“It’s strange, so strange, I got the squad car blues.”

The thing is, I’m unsure if the song refers to “squad car blues” as good or bad - it is left open ended; maybe they want the excitement - sometimes the most innocuous lines are part of the best stories.

“Something To Shake” is the “single” of this album if there ever was one. It’s presence is gritty from the moment the vocals bust in and ride the wave of immediacy driven by the guitar. The chorus is extremely accessible - a great feather in the cap of a new band trying to gain fans in somewhat hostile (read as: trying to appear bored) environments.

“Falling Down” appears to be nothing more than another soft, subtle ballad until the guitar blasts in through the chorus and reminds you that yes, you are listening to true rock ‘n roll. The solo is as retro as it gets. While it seems a bit over the top it fits the track splendidly.

The rock ‘n roll is fused together with a huge helping of blues sounds, the kind you never hear on the radio nowadays unless you have stumbled into a smoke-filled bar for a night of forgetting your worldly cares. Make no mistake - these are bar friendly songs, but this album is much more than that. There are bumps in the road but I feel that most of the wounds are superficial. Would I prefer more oomph than is presented? Of course, but I have a feeling the band is what it is for better or worse. I’m down with that.

Rarely do I come across an album that has no constantly repeatable single, yet the album itself is infinitely repeatable. All Them Witches is like the girlfriend who plays video games - rare indeed. Driving home in the car late at night? It works. Feeling down? Still works. Just wanna rock out and have a good time? Sure as hell works.

Now you can’t say you didn’t know. You can find out more about The Black Cadillacs here. You can listen to “Something To Shake” and “Falling Down” below, as well as throw some money their way by picking up the album. - Sirens of Decay

"Featured Artist: The Black Cadillacs"

A local group is reclaiming a niche now largely lost in the era of Passion Pit, MGMT, Justice, Pretty Lights, Girl Talk, Phoenix, and Ghostland Observatory. Their music is a blend of garage rock ethos intertwined with traditional rhythm and blues. They call themselves the Black Cadillacs.

Raw, fluid, and structured is how the Black Cadillacs operate. Their music is a breath of fresh unrefined air in a rock and roll era of complacency driven by multi-million dollar record deals and soft pop performers. Today’s popular “Rock n’ Rollers” are uninspiring at best and the Black Cadillacs intend to destroy this trend in music.

“Our music captures a raw aspect that in today’s cookie cutter music is lacking. Popular music is driven by appearances and what record labels want it to be. I think raw rock n’ roll is something that there is a want for,” says the Black Cadillacs drummer, Adam Bonomo.

After forming in High School the Black Cadillacs made the move from Memphis to Knoxville to attend UT, where the current line up of the group would eventually develop. The band consists of Matt Hyrka on lead guitar, John Phillips on rhythm guitar, Phil Anderson on bass, Adam Bonomo on Drums, and front man Will Horton on vocals and Harmonica.

This stable line of strong musicians allowed the group to develop their song writing and to play live shows around Knoxville. With Will and Matt as the songwriting core of the group, they have produced music that has been compared to the Rolling Stones and the Black Keys.

The Black Cadillacs have received a warm response from the local scene and has received positive reviews of their live show from the Knoxville News Sentinel and the Metro Pulse.

“We feed off people’s energy. We are an energy band that is driven by the crowd’s involvement,” Bonomo says.

The group insists however that they are more than just Friday night music and intend to push the band as far as it can go. The group’s progression as musicians is not only apparent in the live show but on the new album as well. By including backing vocals from Ashley Wells, and adding horn, string and keyboard arrangements on the album, the Black Cadillac’s musical prowess has only begun to unfold.

The album itself is a ten-track experience that embodies the sound and spirit of the American South in an entirely new essence. This experience is rejuvenating because the music is based on raw musicianship, instead of relying on technology that has placated the independent music scene for years.

“There are way too many people throwing gigs on lap tops and letting lights and molly run the show,” says Bonomo. - The Volunteer Review

"The Black Cadillacs Turn Stones Obsession into Fun Ride on Debut Album"

The Black Cadillacs make no secret of their debt to the Rolling Stones on their debut album. “Desperate” and “Pale Girl” are twangy ballads modeled after “Wild Horses” and “Angie,” “Squad Car Blues” struts like “Stray Cat Blues,” and “I Know You Want Me” channels the Stones’ early blues covers. Sometimes the influence is secondhand—“Something to Shake” and “Fade to Grey” sound like the Black Crowes at their most Stones-like. As obvious as it all is, though, All Them Witches is a fun ride. The band, especially frontman Will Horton, really does capture some of the energy and menace of the Stones at their early ’70s peak, and they’ve crammed detail and subtlety into the arrangements that are usually lost during their live performances. - Metro Pulse

"The Black Cadillacs Tune Up and Cruise Along"

KNOXVILLE — Those doubting the potential of Knoxville's once overwhelming teen-aged music scene can look to The Black Cadillacs for an example of the promise of such early bloomers.

Now all of legal drinking age, the band's founding members began writing tracks - that are still in use - at the age of 16 in Memphis before assembling in a fuller capacity in Knoxville a few years ago.

While The Cadillacs are admittedly still maturing to meet the high expectations created by their ambitious debut "All Them Witches," the group has a firm grasp on what it takes to achieve greatness. The band has developed managerial support and a feel for professional recordings and the modern avenues to widespread recognition.

The Black Cadillacs revive unapologetic, heyday rock 'n' roll while bringing to the table influences beyond the classic greats. With an appreciation for blues, funk and indie-rock, the group looks to incorporate new inspirations to its next recorded outing while maintaining its focus on aggressive guitar riffs and intense, structured vocal melodies.

While satisfied with the debut, The Cadillacs have had time to extensively scrutinize "All Them Witches" and have a more defined vision for their next studio experience.

"We've pretty much stuck to our guns since we started writing," says vocalist Will Horton. "The sound we want to achieve and our approach to music is not how it's approached much these days, and we stick to that. Not learning from mistakes - that's the theme that will last as long as the five of us are writing songs together.

"What's going to be different is we're going to be much more together as a band, more cohesive. We live together now; we practice together almost every day. I think that will be the big difference. I think it will have more of a soulful rock sound in the classic sense."

"I'm extremely proud of the record," adds guitarist John Phillips. "You just want to go back and make it the best product possible. We know at every single beat what was supposed to happen, whether it did happen or if it should have been different if anyone else notices it or not."

While the band's studio experience has matured its clarity of vision musically, the group has also consolidated its professional strategy. The Cadillacs wisely are not opposed to exposure from commercial and film placement.

Before "All Them Witches" had even been mixed the group availed one of its tracks for use in a documentary and hopes its material will continue to present such opportunities.

"The nature of the business right now is placement," Horton acknowledges. "I think it's more exciting to be a musician now than maybe ever been for accessibility purposes."

Says bass player Philip Anderson, "I think finding the right deal will come along with our touring and developing a loyal fan base and, honestly, hype, but it's a consistent level of hype that we have in Knoxville and everywhere we go."

As with the other aspects of the Cadillacs' work, the live show has mutually come of age. What was once an improvised "drunken party" of a show is now focused, and delivers the same intensity with an eye on the jugular.

"We raised our expectations," admits Horton. "People have invested a lot in us now, so there's more pressure on us. I hate to refer back to the classics, but Rolling Stones are a big influence and I take a lot from The Who as far as how I like shows to go. It's all about feeling the sound and getting the crowd into it. They're showy, but they're not excessive. They play what they think rock 'n' roll is, and the crowd's going to like it because that's what rock 'n' roll is." -


"All Them Witches": 4/6/10
"Run": 6/5/2012



The Black Cadillacs are a 5-piece rock & roll band from Knoxville, TN. Describing their most recent album, "Run", Mike Gibson of Metropulse wrote, "Run is a veritable tapestry of lush blues and Southern soul, with Phillips, Hyfantis, and guitarist Matthew Hyrka weaving varicolored webs of texture and melody over the solid foundation of bassist Philip Anderson and drummer Adam Bonomo."

Of "Classic Fool", the track off of "Run", Jason Harrison of Sirens of Decay said, "This is a band that sometimes delves into the lowest of lows, but they have a good fuckin’ time doing it. 'Classic Fool' begins on that same solitary island, Horton’s vocals carrying wistfully while the melody finds its feet. The guitars find their horses at the midway point with a bit of help from some beautiful organ accompaniment and 'Classic Fool' really hits its stride".

Recently featured as on of Paste Magazine's "12 Tennessee Bands to Listen to Now", The Black Cadillacs are building a reputation as one of the best bands in the region.

The Black Cadillacs are: Will Horton (Lead Vocals), Philip Anderson (Bass, Harmonies), Matthew Hyrka (Lead Guitar), John Phillips (Rhythm Guitar), and Adam Bonomo (Drums). The band is touring in support of their second album, "Run", released on June 5th, 2012.