Release Parties



EP Release Celebration

Thursday June 29, 2023

@ 3rd & Lindsley in Nashville, TN

(Review By: Jeffrey Kurtis)

If you ever see me out at a show, then you’ll find that my fingers are always flying as they strike the keys on my phone while I take in the moment notes to capture everything that I am seeing, not only on stage from the performance itself but across the entire room within the crowd; whether it be them tapping their toes along with the beat or quieting their table conversations to lean in for a closer listen as a song tugs their heartstrings.

When invited to come out and just hang at this particular show as a thank you for all the support that Today’s Country Magazine has shown to our friends in the BoomTown Saints, it was such an incredible honor to be able to just sit back and soak in each moment with no phone in hand, no notes being taken, and no requirement for a review.

However, I couldn’t let such an amazing night go by without at least bringing a transparent perspective as to why they are one of the most deserving acts on the country music circuit today. So, I deliver this piece sans any notes and only coming straight from the heart within the pure glow of the aftermath of watching two of our friends, backed by their incredible band, absolutely tear the roof off legendary Nashville hotspot 3rd & Lindsley.  

“My baby wanna go where the blacktop don’t,” lyrics that radiated the venue as the crowd joined their voices as one with Chris and Ben to exuberantly lift their hot rising single “Blacktop Don’t” near the end of the set, which saw the duo leaving everything they had on stage as they rolled though the song and into its final notes.

But while “Blacktop Don’t” may have been a cornerstone stamp on the here and now that provided a sharp preview of their new EP, which was certainly celebrated as every song on it was played throughout the night, what was quickly understood is that this celebration wasn’t only about the today, but it was actually a celebration of 5 years of their perseverance, hard work, and the twists and turns that got them to this monumental moment.

Driving to 2019, back to when they were then known as Hopscotch Mafia, “Even On Bad Day” resonated with the friends, family, and fans who packed the house, adding an electricity to the snapshot moment as their longest tenured supporters - most of whom were donning their Boomtown Saints t-shirts and ballcaps - screamed back the lyrics to elicit a gratitude filled smile from the band as they basked in the choir of the crowd.

With a comparative live dynamic to the great duos that paved the way for them (Brooks & Dunn, Big & Rich, Etc.) in that one of the members hits the stage with unbridled energy that never lets up as the other picks their spots to add fuel to the flames between holding an enthusiastically subtle role in perfecting crisp, clean vocals, Chris Ramos and Ben Chism leaned into their gifted harmonies to use this night as a pure showcase that spotlighted the entire depth of who the BoomTown Saints are.

Having written and recorded some at FAME studios in Muscle Shoals, AL makes perfect sense as many of their signature feels and strongest attributes pulls together a clear influence of blues embedded soul, rock, and country much like the legendary names who have produced records out of that same studio: Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Shenandoah, Jerry Reed, and more!

There’s no doubt that they are the leaders of the party, and they showed that several times throughout the night by keeping the tempo’s upbeat as they perfectly embraced the vibe of the venue through “Dive Bar Heart,” dug into an edgier rock tilt on “County Line,” gave us a knee-slapping, chicken pickin’ flare on “Tennessee Kinda Tipsy,” and had the whole place dancing as they sang along with Tim McGraw’s “Something Like That” and Big & Rich’s “Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy).”

Keeping the crowd interaction on high through two sing-along moments, they allowed the Nashville audience to spotlight their stellar voices on “Million Miles To Free,” and again on “Cold One,” the latter which closed out the entire night with a thank you toast to the crowd and a supportive tip of the cap to our troops. 

But the BoomTown Saints carry several layers that define who they are, musically and personally, which swirl together to make them so endearing.

Unashamedly wearing his faith on his sleeve, Chris encouraged anyone in the crowd who might be wanting to give up to not only lean into “All Trucks Go To Heaven” as a sign of hope coming to fruition, but to more importantly, know that they are loved by God uniquely as they are and that they are not forgotten and truly do matter.

In similar fashion, “American Dream” not only took the crowd on a journey to the heartland when it spliced in a snippet of Mellencamp’s “Jack and Diane,” but it poised itself as positive encouragement to boldly live in each moment we’re given while savoring each breath we take as the right here and right now proves us to be the living definition of dreaming big, loving bigger, and enjoying the journey of life.

And while they kept most of their set on the purely upbeat side, moments like “Good Woman” and a smoothly done cover of “Tennessee Whiskey,” both softened the edge to set an atmospheric mood that allowed the couples in house to lean closely into one another as they swayed in each other’s arms on the dance floor in front of the stage, allowing themselves to get lost in the moment.

But while this night center pieced on the release of their EP at midnight, this big achievement was clearly only a comma on their path and not an exclamation point as Ramos made mention twice in passing during a song introduction, so quickly that if you weren’t paying enough attention you might have missed it, that each song would be part of their full-length album coming out later this year, providing an incredibly exciting piece of foreshadowing into what the near future holds for this hot rising duo.

And while the memorable songs, their onstage energy, and an absolute know-how for holding a crowd shined brightly, the reason you want to cheer for these guys is how at their core they’re honest humbleness and pure gratefulness shows up every step of the way and showers over everyone who joins up with them on their journey.

So, whether you walked into the venue on this night as part of their extended family or not, by the time that final note was strummed and the house lights came back on, you absolutely knew that you had just been adopted into the BoomTown tribe!



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