“Guess I know I’m right….”
With those five words, Sooner or Later (The V-Roys ‘Best Of’ album), kicks into gear. The same can be said for their debut album, Just Add Ice, fifteen years prior. In their brief tenure, The V-Roys left an indelible mark not only on many a Knoxvillian, but also masses of musically inclined folks across the country.
After the breakup in 1999, Scott Miller, Jeff Bills, Paxton Sellers and Mic Harrison continued on in various forms and fashions. Scott went solo, playing all around, even performing as the house band for the Blue Collar TV series. Mic became a journeyman of sorts. He released a couple of solo albums, and more recently fronted a collaboration with The High Score. But back in 2001 Mic teamed up with Paxton and Jeff, alongside Robbie Trosper of The High Score, as the woefully underrated The Faults. Then came a stint with fellow Knoxvillians Superdrag. Through it all, the guys produced a stream of consistently killer work.
Sooner or Later acts as a primer for the young ‘uns and uneducated, while also unearthing five unreleased, studio-recorded gems. Kicking off the album is eight tracks from Just Add Ice. The first four, of which, actually run in the same order as the beginning of Just Add Ice. Next up are a sparse four from All About Town. Which leads into the run of five unearthed tracks: Neil Young’s “Burned”; The V-Roys originals “Someone To Push Around” and “Hotel Room”; Tom T. Hall’s “That’s How I Got To Memphis”; Leiber and Stoller’s “Smokey Joe’s Café.” Sooner or Later ends with the perennial fan favorite, and beckoning sing-a-long, “Cold Beer Hello.”
The only critique I have of the collection is the absence of “What She’s Found” from Just Add Ice. That song has a perfect interplay between Mic and Scott, as they trade off lead vocal duties. But that’s a selfish critique on a missing track, which I’m sure is true of most folk’s opinions upon viewing the song list. Which is a truly wonderful thing. To feel that amount of passion about music that was created over a decade ago is great, and probably a waning want. I can’t foresee any Katy Perry fans o’pining for AWOL songs from a hits collection from Perry. Hell, most folks won’t even remember who she is or ever was. At least, one can hope.
Which leads us to the contest. We have been graciously donated a copy of Sooner or Later signed by all four members of the band. We plan to (as painful as it is to me) give this to one of you, our faithful readers. The contest is as follows: tell the story of either your favorite The V-Roys experience, or how you came to find the band. We’ll comb through the entires, and pick our favorite one. If they’ll all good, we’ll pick a name out of a hat. That’s how we roll. We will accept submissions through October 11th at 11:59 P.M., and announce the winner on October 13th.
Even though I’m ineligible, it may be worth mentioning my love of the band (even more so by the fact that the naming convention for my music articles are a lyric from the aforementioned “What She’s Found”). It was around May of 1997, and after reading many a Metro Pulse and News Sentinel article about the band, I decided to pick up the album. Upon first listen of Just Add Ice, I was hooked. Can honestly say that it is the record I’ve listened to the most out of all the albums I own (which includes over 3,500 CDs, 1,000 records, only-the-lord-knows-how-many tapes, and the entirety of my almost-42,000 tracks on iTunes). There’s just something about that album, and all the member’s subsequent work, that’s special. Just Add Ice tackles heartache and heartbreak like no other. For that, and the tough times it has gotten me through, I’d like to thank the guys.
Here’s the eponymous track from the collection:
Thanks to Leah Bullard for the wonderful Featured Image on the front page.