These days when someone references “classic country” they usually mean the days of Nudie suits and telecasters (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). Sam Doores & Riley Downing go back farther than that, to the country of the 20s and 30s, when times were hard and the songs reflected that.
There’s a dust bowl sensibility to the 12 tracks on “Holy Cross Blues”, with themes of rambling, loss, and a quest for redemption and happiness. They bring back the old blues influences that you’ve heard in Jimmie Rodgers and his contemporaries.
The production is simple, giving a warm analogue sound to the recording. The guitars tend to edge into the fuzzy tones of amps being pushed a bit too hard. The vocals are straightforward, and given plenty of room.
RIYL: Son Volt, Townes Van Zandt, Tom Waits