SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN – Third Time Is The Charm

SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN - Third Time Is The Charm


Release date: April 4, 2006

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What is the most dangerous animal on Earth? If one were to believe the lyrical content of Third Time Is The Charm, the (surprise!) third offering from Southern Gentlemen, it wouldn’t be the lion or the tiger or the bear, but rather the human female. More on this later.

Southern Gentlemen is a four-piece outfit that plays Heavy Blues Rock. The lead Gentleman is guitarist David Chastain, a player whose name should be familiar to many Heavy Rock music fans. For Third Time Is The Charm, two new members take their places alongside Chastain and drummer Mike Haid: singer Eric Johns and bassist Dave Swart. Chastain also produced the album and takes writing credit for the dozen songs on it.

The Blues (and Blues Rock) revolve around heartbreak and heartache in equal measure. Southern Gentlemen know this, as lyrically, nearly all of Third Time Is The Charm‘s songs fit into one of the following categories:

A) man is heartbroken because his woman left him
B) man discovers his woman is cheating on him
C) man suspects his woman is cheating on him, but can’t prove it

A song or two like this (or even a few) is a perquisite on any Bluesy-styled album, but nearly every song on Third Time Is The Charm is about one of these three things. This sort of repetition makes the album kind of predictable, as nearly every song is about the same thing: women (and best friends in some cases) can’t be trusted.

What about the ones that can be trusted? They die tragically (“Heaven Help Me Now”). To hear Southern Gentlemen tell it, a guy just can’t get a break no matter how hard he tries.

Then again, some people can’t get enough songs about heartbreak, betrayal, and love gone wrong. If this sounds like you, then buy Third Time Is the Charm post-haste. Beer (to cry into), not included.

There are a couple of thematic exceptions though: a song about how great women from Texas are (“Going Down To Texas”), and how prostitutes should be left alone because they perform a valuable public service (“Ladies Of The Night”). Other than that, it’s mostly “she done me wrong/she’s gonna do me wrong as soon as she gets the chance” kind of subject matter.

That being said, Southern Gentlemen are rather good at this sort of music, which despite the descriptions above, still manages to be energetic, up-tempo, groovy, and moderately heavy on this album. Eric Johns has a soulful voice, which adds a lot of ragged charm and feeling to the songs. He might remind some people of a younger Paul Rodgers in places. His singing is one of the highlights of Third Time Is The Charm.

The other highlight of the album is David Chastain and his guitar: he never shows off, but at the same time shows why he’s so revered, laying down lots of Bluesy guitar lines, nice riffs, and melodic solos that don’t go on too long.

Is this Third Time really The Charm for Southern Gentlemen, or will it end in tears? If you’re a Blues Rock fan who’s hurtin’ inside, this album will speak to you.


  • Gary McLean

    Gary was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of the small Ontario, Canada town of Sault Ste. Marie, right on the border of Michigan, USA. When it comes to Metal and Hard Rock, Gary likes quite a few different bands, from stalwarts like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, to newer, hard-hitting groups such as Primal Fear, Hammerfall, and Paragon. Other favorites include the likes of Nightwish, Running Wild, Therion, Accept, Stratovarius, Dream Evil, Helloween, Rammstein, Dirty Looks, Crimson Glory, Tristania, and Gamma Ray. He thinks AC/DC deserves a paragraph all their own though.

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