Meet the Band Taking Southern Rock To Another Level

If you’ve ever wondered what happened to the good old days when rock and roll ruled the South, you haven’t heard the Heathen Sons—a group of guys doing their part to keep that rebel sound alive, and doing a damn good job.

The band recently played Whiskey Jam in Nashville and the crowd fell in love. Longtime owner Ward said: “I’ve been running Whiskey Jam since 2011 and have developed a pretty quick ear when it comes to demos. Our mutual friend Stephen Liles of Love & Theft sent me a link to Heathen Sons’ song “Georgia” and it took 23 seconds to realize they would kill it at Whiskey Jam. They came in a few weeks ago and knocked it out of the park. We’re lucky to be surrounded by country music in Nashville, but sometimes you need a little break, and their brand of rock & roll was a welcome departure. It was loud & it was good. They were very passionate & authentic, lots of action onstage but not hokey at all. The thing that struck me the most, however, was how dry Josh was at the end of the [4]-song set. It’s hot up there, and with the amount of energy they put into their songs, he should’ve been dripping sweat. So he’s either a seasoned professional or some kind of sorcerer. Whichever it is, it deserves noting.”

A kitchen with a sink and a toaster oven

Joshua Huggins is the front man, with slide player Dayton Swords, drummer Landon Ullrich, and John Watson on bass. The band has a strong Southern rock sound with the attitude to match, citing musical influences that would tickle the years of any classic country and Southern rock die-hard such as Tom Petty, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ryan Bingham, Black Crowes, and the Drive By Truckers. And it doesn’t hurt that—while they may play the nastiest rock ‘n’ roll you’ve heard in awhile—the boys of the Heathen Sons are real easy on the eyes.

They’ve opened for Nikki Lane, Turnpike Troubadours, Will Hoge, and others—and Margo Price used to be their drummer. Despite building roots and respect in the Nashville scene, Huggins says it’s his childhood in Georgia that inspires his music the most.

“Georgia was written about making music on your own without listening to everyone else’s opinions, also keeping true to yourself,” he said of the band’s single. “Music changes and people try and get a jump on the next trend. This song is about keeping true to the music you were raised on and loved as a kid, mine being Southern Rock n’ roll.”

The Heathen Sons are back in the studio right now working on their next album, which Huggins says they are taking in an outlaw country direction. Their music video for Georgia is below—check it out and see what you think.

A beer bottle on a dock


A beer bottle on a dock