The Shootouts debut album “Quick Draw” is an effortless blend of high-energy honky-tonk and traditional country music mixed with touches of Americana and western swing. The band marries a blend of Roy Orbison and Bob Wills with the barn-burning sounds of Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives and Dwight Yoakam. The combination offers a welcome throwback to sounds that flowed out of Nashville, Texas and California in country music’s golden years.
Produced by Luca Benedetti and Jim Campilongo, The Shootouts recorded “Quick Draw” in just six days at The Bunker Studio in Brooklyn, New York. The band comprises Ryan Humbert (lead vocals, acoustic guitar), Brian Poston (electric & acoustic guitar), Ryan McDermott (bass), Dylan Gomez (drums, percussion) and Emily Bates (harmony vocals). Campilongo is a member of The Little Willies– alongside Norah Jones – and he and Benedetti were the production team behind Zephaniah Ohora’s debut album, “This Highway.”
Based out of Akron, Ohio, The Shootouts were formed when founding members Humbert and Poston bonded over a mutual love of heartfelt, authentic country music. While the two were busy performing Humbert’s original pop-rock songs, they often discussed the idea of starting a new band to tap into this passion, and the band played their first show in October of 2016. It was meant to be a side-project for Humbert, but he soon realized there was much more in store.
“I grew up surrounded by country music,” said Humbert. “My mom listened to country radio when I was a kid, and I would play classic country and gospel songs with my grandpa while I was learning to play the guitar. I’ve always had a deep love for this genre, and in starting the Shootouts, I finally feel like I’ve found my way home, as it were.”
“Quick Draw” finds Humbert in fine form, offering up some of his sharpest writing to date. “Lonely Never Lets Me Down” is a slow-burn country weeper that will transport you back to the 1950s or 60s when every bar had a ten-cent jukebox. Inspired by a late-night drive spent flipping around the radio dial, Humbert penned “Radio Jesus” in just ten minutes after returning home that night.
The touching, Glen Campbell-esque “California to Ohio,” co-written with veteran songwriter Kim Richey, tells the true story of Humbert’s late grandfather, Ron Humbert, who hitchhiked cross-country in 1953 from Camp Pendleton, California to Hartville, Ohio to see his young wife and their newborn daughter. For those tired of bro-country, The Shootouts respond with “Who Needs Rock & Roll” (“when you’ve got western swing,” Humbert sings).
The album also showcases the lightning speed, yet tastefully sublime guitar work of Poston, whose instrumental original “Quick Draw” highlights the band’s top-notch musicianship. Outside of the nine original compositions, the band puts its unique stamp on an assortment of deep-cut covers, including Tim Carroll’s two-step “If I Could” and the late Shel Silverstein’s hilarious marriage-gone-wrong lament, “Alimony.”
The heart of the group lies within Humbert and Bates, who have been performing together for more than 15 years. Two numbers that highlight their undeniable chemistry are “Must Be Love,” written by Stacey Earle, and “If We Quit Now,” a stunning country duet written by fellow Northeast Ohio musician Marc Lee Shannon. The lush closing number “Losing Faith in Being Faithful,” co-written by Humbert and longtime Shootouts sideman Al Moss, finds the band backed by veteran pianist Jon Cowherd (Rosanne Cash, Iggy Pop, Joni Mitchell) with classic Nashville-inspired strings performed and arranged by Chris Carmichael.
The Shootouts have shared the stage with a veritable who’s who of artists including Sheryl Crow, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jim Lauderdale, Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives, Lake Street Dive, Kim Richey, Elvis Costello, Robbie Fulks, Radney Foster, Zac Brown Band, Chris Isaak, The Subdude, Trombone Shorty and more.
PRESS & REVIEWS
// lead vocals + guitar
// backing vocals
// lead guitar
The Shootouts approach their music with discipline and playfulness, a winning combination. Though they’ve turned to the past to shape their future, (they) use that lens to perform a true feat of wizardry: dissolving the distance between ourselves and our forebears.
Getting Western swing and Bakersfield twang mixed together properly takes dedication, musicianship, and spark. The Shootouts do it right. Tight harmonies with tight guitar and steel all on the same record? Count me in, folks.
Blending influences from Nashville’s RCA Studio A, through Tulsa and Bakersfield — and all points between — the Shootouts create their own authentic classic country sound. If the good Lord's willin' and the creeks don’t rise, music fans will get to experience these Akron, Ohio natives.
Greg Harris, CEO
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
This album captivated me from start to finish: the musicianship, the songs, the delivery, the sweet harmonies, the production ... If real country music floats your boat then prepare to sail far away with this one; it’s more than good, it’s a delight.
Country Music People UK
This album is a full listening experience. The band gives you pensive ballads, foot stompers, dance tunes, love, and heartache. If you’re a fan of true country music, this is an album you’ll want to add to your collection.
The bottom line is that there’s not a bad song on this album. This is all meat and no filler.
The band’s musicianship is exquisite. Yes, Quick Draw is like nothing else that’s in your music library. And because of that it’s likely to be appreciated and revered for a long time to come.
Cleveland Country Magazine
Are you looking for something less “bro” and more country!?
If so, then The Shootouts are the band for you. Check ‘em out!
We were attracted to the project by the earnest songwriting and strong musicianship. The Shootouts are a hard-working and passionate band, and together we created an album to be proud of.
& Luca Benedetti
The Shootouts cleverly draw bits and pieces from lots of classic genres to make what becomes their very own swaggering style ... this album is totally refreshing.
The Rocking Magpie
There are some bona fide standout songs on (Quick Draw). Fine original tunes flesh out this nice mix of both twang and teardrops.
A treat for those who love the traditional sounds of country music.
The Shootouts are a highly-entertaining live band who move comfortably between traditional country sounds.
A Shot of Honky Tonk
The Shootouts’ debut album Quick Draw is the ultimate throwback to the age of honky-tonk in America. Every detail -- from the lyrics to the vocals to the instruments to the album cover art -- hearkens back to the good old days of classic country music.
Exhilarating energy and spot-on harmonies from the truest incarnation of honky-tonk and authentic country and western we have in Ohio today. The Shootouts are a group of musicians who play very well to the traditions of roots music while having a ton of fun in the process, not to mention a live act that is not to be missed.
Chad A. Miller;
WAPS The Summit