Fans of the Cadillac Three will have to wait a few more months for the long-awaited follow-up to 2013’s Tennessee Mojo, but that hasn’t stopped Jaren Johnston and company from trotting out some new songs in concert.
During a live taping of CMT’s Listen Up series on January 20th, the trio bounced between fan favorites and a pair of unreleased tunes. The newer songs — “Leave It at the Bar” and “Thank God for the Radio” — were performed as stripped-down numbers, with the Cadillac Three bypassing their usual twang-tallica stomp in favor of cajon percussion, dobro solos and acoustic guitars. (Watch the band perform the unplugged version of “Thank God for the Radio” above.)
Driven forward by four-on-the-floor drums and a lighter-hoisting chorus, “Thank God for the Radio” pays tribute to the music that soundtracked Johnston’s teenage years, particularly the long hours spent in a Chevy Camaro with a broken tape deck. “Thank God for the radio/I’m talking FM static, that dashboard glow,” he sings in the chorus, making it clear that busted cassette decks don’t really matter in a vehicle with a still functioning antenna.
The Cadillac Three’s five-song Listen Up performance also included their newest single, “White Lightning,” which became a concert staple during the band’s past year on the road. Starting next Monday, CMT will send the live performance of that song into heavy rotation, creating more buzz for one of the year’s most anticipated releases. Meanwhile, the guys will spend their winter and spring months on tour, wrapping up their own Aviators and Radiators tour dates before joining Eric Church’s Outsiders World Tour.