The core of this Tennessee-based band has been playing together for 15 years, and musically they are very tight. The songwriting, however, is formulaic and deprives the band of a chance to reach their full potential.

“321,” for example, is one of several songs that look to the Def Leppard page in the rock ’n’ roll manual except that the paragraph about crafting the hook is missed or misinterpreted. Similarly, there is nothing unique about “Whatever Reason,” the obligatory sensitive ballad thrown into the middle of the album.

Still there is enough to Southern Hospitality to not write the band off completely; “Lay My Burdens” tunes into a classic southern rock vibe reminiscent of groups like Blackfoot and Molly Hatchet and gives singer Kevin Young a chance to deliver a mournfully soulful vocal that is the album’s best.

Grade: C

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