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  • Bryon Harris

Queen County Roots - 'Romantic'


Queen County Roots is Jesse Maxwell, lead vocals; Marlon Hurt, guitar and vocals; Hope Johnson, keyboards and vocals; Alex Fedorow, bass; and Chris Glover is on drums. Marlon grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, playing the blues, while Alex was immersed in the dance music scene in his hometown of Queens, NY. Queens County Roots combines Marlon and Alex’s early influences to create a modern day, radio-ready sound that is highly memorable. Their new single “Romantic” is sure to win you over.

“Romantic” starts with light percussion along with single line guitar playing and melodic keys above a 4-bar chord change. The sound is mysterious, and it draws you in. Within moments, the tune bursts wide open with an alternative jazz-blues-rock flavor reminiscent of Maroon-5’s earlier years when Maroon 5 was everyone’s favorite, rock band. From the beginning, you can hear that you are in for some seriously refreshing substance. In fact, after the first verse I was convinced that Queen County Roots is one of the best emerging bands of 2019.

Lead singer, Jesse Maxwell has the voice indie rock bands desire; his tenor vocals are clear and confident, sexy and edgy. He sings the first phrase, “Black shirt and a red dress pressed together chest to chest Firelight under moonlight, a sight that sets the mood right and as the violins began to pluck I said, this is romantic as fuck.” The lyrics are bold and fun - bravo. This is a song about feeling jaded then having a moment when you believe in the magic again.

As far as the band’s musicianship is concerned, it will be hard to find a band who is as artistic, original and talented as Queen County Roots. They take risks creating music that has a lot of flavor and soul. In “Romantic”, leads guitarist Marlon Hurt ventures into some Spanish guitar sounds and later offers up smooth and tasteful solos. Each time the chorus comes around, the band gives it a different musical landscape to keep the song ever-engaging and fresh. Drummer Chris Glover has his moment when, in the chorus, the rest of the music is stripped away and a strong groove is felt; Alex Federow and Chris are very tight and in-the-pocket. Hope Johnson does a great job as well, capturing the old-school romance vibe of the song with a contemporary rock feel on gliding keys.

Usually I write a review and when I am done, I put down my pen. This time was different. I knew I was hearing something extraordinary– I listened to song after song of Queen County Roots and you will too. I got the sense that this band is going places. They have captured something from the past, combined it with a sophisticated contemporary rock sound, while keeping everything easy to relate to. Record labels should take note of Queen Country Roots.

"Romantic", as well as all other songs by Queen County Roots, was written by Marlon Hurt. For more informatin on Queen County Roots, please visit their website.

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