RAMBLIN’ PREACHERS – Sins & Virtues (2024)

RAMBLIN' PREACHERS - Sins & Virtues (2024) - full

England based band RAMBLIN’ PREACHERS formed in 2019 by Ross Connor (vocals & guitar) and James Ives (lead guitar) after a mutual appreciation of Hard and Southern Rock of the early years. Along route they have been joined by Craig Howe (bass & backing vocals) and Richard Baker (drums, backing vocals & percussion).
This quartet release their debut album ”Sins & Virtues” today and have been aided by Oli Brown (additional guitar & backing vocals) and Nick Burns (organ & percussion) to bring their vision to life.
If you love Southern influenced hard rock, with riff fuelled guitars and a touch of the blues thrown in for good measure, plus vocals with a lived in whiskey soaked resonance and vintage sound but crisp production, you’ll struggle to find better than Ramblin’ Preachers debut ”Sins & Virtues”.
There’s something here that will touch your soul for sure and have you singing along.

We are introduced to this release with ‘Separate Ways’ a rhythmic foot tapper with a Southern rock touch that relates to biting the bullet and moving on from a relationship where you can’t seem to do anything right. There’s a cracking guitar solo around the two thirds point and some sweet sounding harmonies on route.
A song of perseverance follows in ‘Keep On’ where singer Ross manages to keep his frustrations just about in check. Again we enjoy a brief bit of guitar shredding as the number evolves.

‘Jealousy’ has a delightfully captivating stop start rolling feel to it and the vocal delivery exudes just the right amount of growliness, heartache with the situation the narrator finds themselves enduring in their relationship.
A kind of haunting guitar riff leads us into the ballad like ‘Jester’ which really expresses one’s overwhelming love and affection for that special someone. The desire and longing is almost tangible in the vocal delivery and is mirrored by the accompanying musical backing. I could see this going down a storm at a live gig with lighters and lit phones being held aloft. A song made for an arena.

‘Forbidden’ has a delightful edginess to it and the vocal has a cracking bluesy appeal with some hot and heavy rhythmic guitar, bass and a gentle guiding drum beat setting up an underlying platform to let loose. We have what I’d call that Seventies AC/DC pulse and tempo on `Keep Doing You` which you feel is about to let rip or explode but really holds itself in check which gives it that gorgeous sense of underlying tension throughout.

‘Better Than Me’ is a song that deals with the mistrust, distrust and resentfulness in a relationship that appears to have run it`s course but one partner seems reluctant to accept the situation and move on. A bluesy foot tapper of a number. I found ‘Hard Times’ quite captivating, a kind of old time rhythmic blues tinged number with ‘whoa whoas’ that I started to join in on as the track progressed.
The album closes out with ‘Candles’ which has a darkly moody reflective texture that touches on mortality and the like. A thoughtful and profound musing to lead us out on.

”Sins & Virtues” is really strong, classic rock sounding debut CD by RAMBLIN’ PREACHERS. There are some superb young blues rock streaked bands arising from the UK at present and Ramblin’ Preachers to me are amongst the best along Bad Touch or Doomsday Outlaw.
A really good band waiting to be discovered.
Highly Recommended


01 – Separate Ways
02 – Keep On
03 – Jealousy
04 – Jester
05 – Forbidden
06 – Keep Doing You
07 – Better Than Me
08 – Hard Times
09 – Candles

Ross Connor (vocals & guitar)
James Ives (lead guitar)
Craig Howe (bass, backing vocals)
Richard Baker (drums, backing vocals, percussion).
Oli Brown (additional guitar, backing vocals)
Nick Burns (organ, percussion)



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