Shot in the Dark

Wes Nance / Watts Left

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Shot in the Dark Review

by Michael B. Smith

Just when it looked like the best of the southern rock bands had come and gone, and that we would forever be stuck with regrouped bands dishing up revamped versions of the classics, along comes North Carolina's superb singer/guitarist/song writer Wes Nance and his equally impressive band, Watts Left. Watts Left consists of Chad Buie on drums, Harold Pridgen on bass, Mark Cannell on guitar, and Tom Tucker on vocals and harmonica. Wes Nance sings lead vocals and plays acoustic, electric, and slide guitars. The disc, which is the debut release for the new Subtle Chaos Records, opens with the ballsy "Come and See Me," followed by "Backstreets." Both possess the Lynyrd Skynyrd/Molly Hatchet vibe, with energy to spare and some good, gritty southern vocals. That same energy weaves it's way through all of the 11 songs on the album. It peaks, however, in the set closer "Rebel Yell," which opens with the sound of Confederate drums marching into battle. Also outstanding is the title track "Shot in the Dark," "Can't Stop Searching," and the ballads "Hear the Gypsy Cry" and "Guess I Was Wrong." "Shot in the Dark" is a refreshing breath of southern air, featuring talented musicians, well-constructed southern rock songs, and a plethora of hot licks. When you take away all of the one-hit wonders that dominate the charts these days, and strip away all of the nonsense out there, this is Watts Left.

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