After being mistaken for a Mumford & Sons cover band, the guys in Hilton Head-based Americana act — and frequent Holy City players — Cranford and Sons knew that it was time for a change. And so singer-songwriter John Cranford and crew ditched the old name, picked up a new one (Cranford Hollow), and tweaked their sound for the their new self-titled disc, the follow-up to their 2012 LP.
"The first record was very 'we don't know what the hell we're doing. We didn't have the chops, and we only had nine days to record," Cranford says. "We had nine months with our new record. It's more in-depth, a lot more going on, and the musicianship has improved — maybe."
The gritty sound of the band's first album has been polished thanks to the extra studio time — and the 700 shows the group has played over the last three years — but Cranford's rocky voice still resonates in every song.
"Drop of Whiskey" is a ol' fashioned 1970s country drinking song, and "Martha" is a tale about a ball-busting woman that kills for fun. "Je Suis un Refugee" brings the Celtic stomp of the first album back with Dropkick Murphy-like fiddles.
"Some people are confused with the new album because it sounds different than out first, that it's good but not 'us,'" Cranford says. "But fans still come to us to say they put it in their stereo and never take it out. We've just amplified some aspects from the first album for this one."