James Robert Webb’s New Single “Gentlemen Start Your Weekends”

James Robert Webb’s new single “Gentlemen Start Your Weekends” from his new album Weekend Outlaw is an out-and-out country rocker that owes just as much to Southern rock as it does anything from Nashville. Webb does a first-class job of straddling his ribald honkytonk and thoroughly Music City U.S.A. influences while still exploding with his own identity every second of the way. The Tulsa, Oklahoma-based singer/musician/songwriter has built a reputation over the last ten years as one of the best under-the-radar artists in this world, and “Gentlemen Start Your Weekends” shows no signs of Webb slowing down. It’s full of fire and kick from beginning to end.

Much of the musical firepower comes from the song’s guitar and drums. The former makes its presence felt from the get-go and leads the way based on a rugged melodic riff that Webb relies on for the song’s entirety. It’s a good choice for basing this song around. He breaks from it at several points for some heated lead playing and fills, but focusing on that main riff gives the song a center that listeners can latch onto. It’s a catchy riff that you won’t soon forget.

The drumming isn’t fancy and doesn’t need to be. It does a superb job keeping time and giving “Gentlemen Start Your Weekends” the propulsive firepower it deserves. This is a track with a high-octane rhythm section attack, and it’ll definitely translate well to the stage. It isn’t difficult imagining the song flying even higher in a concert setting. The crowning touch, however, may be the rollicking piano that he throws in for good measure. It gives the single that added layer of rhythmic punch every song of this ilk needs to go over the top.

His vocals have artistry and soul alike going for it. The latter quality isn’t one that you’d readily expect from a song with this subject matter, but Webb has a warm inviting voice full of experience lived and its reassuring timbre gets under the listener’s skin with minimal effort. Tackling this style of music is a natural fit for him. His phrasing has a musician’s instincts – he knows where to place his vocal in relation to the song’s development and never missteps.

He writes the lyrics with the express intention of connecting with his target audience. It doesn’t mean, however, that “Gentlemen Start Your Weekends” feels too plotted out or otherwise cookie-cutter. Building the song around the popular phrase “gentlemen start your engines” makes a definite play for a subset of country music fans, but you can tell while listening to this song that Webb has experienced the emotions he’s portraying. It isn’t a suburban cowboy pretending to be someone he isn’t.

Tulsa, Oklahoma’s James Robert Webb couldn’t be someone else for us if he tried. Every word and second of “Gentlemen Start Your Weekends” practically explodes with his personality and his musical and songwriting skills shine. It’s another impressive peak in a career full of them and should kickstart Weekend Outlaw for many listeners in the best possible way.

Nicole Killian

Avatar photo

About Author /

Nicole loves to go cross country skiing, swimming, reading and critiquing books, listening and critiquing music, some culinary arts, pottery, spending time with my daughter, cheesy horror films.

Start typing and press Enter to search