“The winner ain’t the one with the fastest car, it’s the one who refuses to lose” (Dale Earnhardt)
Friday has finally arrived, and here in south central PA at Team GDW, our local meteorologists have been throwing out words such as ‘heatwave’ and ‘unseasonably high temps’ for this entire weekend. And while this is, for many, the perfect excuse to relax outdoors, crank up the grille, and enjoy some freshly cooked steaks or corn from your own patio or deck, as always, we’ve got something MUCH HOTTER than plain ole 90 degree weather to share with you today.
After weeks of dropping online teasers, emerging Hamilton, ON alt-country band, The Redhill Valleys, officially release their latest single, “Finish Line,” today, offering a high-octane, stock car inspired number guaranteed to get your pulse racing. Whether you are looking for high-speed racing, or here to find something a little racy, you have tuned in to the right channel, as The Redhill Valleys provide this highly explosive single that cannot fail to get your blood pumping with their tire-squealing, gas-pedal-to-the-boards, need-for-speed.
“If you ain’t first, you’re last” (Ricky Bobby, “Talladega Nights”)
Comprised of Tim Allard (lead guitar/vocals), Danielle Beaudin (guitar/vocals), Chelsea McWilliams (bass/vocals) and Matt Soliveri (drums), The Redhill Valleys emerged from between the rugged northern landscapes and the resilient blue-collar roots of Ontario’s Steel City, finding an undeniable chemistry and shared passion for timeless rock and roll music. Citing popular artists such as Neil Young, Lucinda Williams, The Band, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers as their musical influences, this Hamilton band also contributed their own unique interpretation of “Love Is A Long Road” for the “Canada Covers Tom Petty compilation album in 2018. With their “not quite rock, not quite country” persona, this is a band who offer a truly unique sound as they combine both genres into their own brand of raw, bluesy, sassy, alt-country. In short, this is a band we’ve been itching to cover for a while now.
Co-written by the band, “Finish Line” was recorded and produced by Tim Allard and Carl Jennings at both Westmoreland Recording and Boxcar Sound Recording in Hamilton, and boasts an incredibly catchy chorus that you’ll be singing along to in no time: “Cuz you’ve got my attention / So move in my direction / Show me what you’ve got in mind / You know you’ve got permission / The key to my ignition / So baby take it for a ride / You make your move / Get me to the finish line.” Tim also fulfills mixing duties, while the final mastering falls to industry stalwart, Joao Carvalho Mastering, in Toronto (The Sheepdogs, Donovan Woods). “The lyric ‘get me to the finish line’ inspired an amusing and cheeky narrative. It felt very rock and roll in the sense that the female perspective, when it comes to desire and sexuality, is oftentimes a very taboo topic to write about,” the band offer. “This song is our own anthem that uplifts female sexuality in a powerful and confident way. It’s really about a woman taking charge of her own desire and attraction, and isn’t afraid to call the shots and demand satisfaction.”
“If the lion didn’t bite the tamer every once in a while, it wouldn’t be exciting” (Darrell Waltrip)
To accompany the single, The Redhill Valleys have created a simply outstanding music video that not only ties in perfectly with this motor racing theme, but allows lead vocalist Chelsea McWilliams the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a high-performance stock car and confidently strut her stuff all over the race track. Telling a story through a humorous and campy 70s race car narrative (itself prompting memories of “Six Pack,” the stock car racing movie featuring Kenny Rogers from back in the early 80s), both Chelsea and Danielle counterpunch the chauvinistic traits of their 70s themed rivals (including Matt as a pretty convincing obnoxious crew chief) with their own brand of modern-day female empowerment.
Directed by Paul Maxwell, with footage recorded on location last August at Flamboro Speedway in Millgrove, ON, the video features not only actual racing action from the oval track, but also transports the viewer back several decades to the cool and cheesy charm of the 70s era. With their bad mullets, uncomfortable gazes, and seedy personalities, the rival #13 race team are an unlovable, sorry bunch of excuses for men, who try, but ultimately fail, to win the day over our pair of heroines. Their narrow minds and limited intelligence are no match for these two sassy and sexy race-car girls. Indeed, you cannot fail to appreciate both Chelsea and Danielle rocking their 70s hot-pants, figure-hugging pvc, and thigh-high platform boots, giving this video some extra hot sauce. It will do more than sizzle your steaks, it will positively stir your sirloins too.
“I want you to, go back out and hit the pace car … because you’ve hit every other goddamn thing out there, I want you to be perfect” (Harry Hogue, “Days of Thunder”)
The video offers a wild ride of epic race car movie proportions for the casual observer, but pay extra attention and you’ll be rewarded by two competing visual narratives. The obvious first choice is the race day plot itself, where our modern-day girls outperform those 70s guys in each and every encounter. In a male dominated industry, this role reversal is a refreshing change, and keen-eyed viewers will see that while the guys run the #13 car, Chelsea outdoes them in the #31 car – even those numbers are transposed. But at the heart of this rivalry is the sexual energy from Chelsea and Danielle as they titillate and out-swagger their goofy counterparts. Using automotive and race-day cues as metaphors for their sexuality is pure genius: an overheating engine when Chelsea approaches, champagne exploding when a cork is unleashed, the jacking up of the car when Danielle evocatively spreads mustard on her hotdog, before slowly and mesmerizingly lifting to her mouth. These girls are smokin’, and for some conservative viewers, this probably ain’t no PG-rated movie.
The equally compelling narrative is that of the true race action, with footage provided by multiple angles and additional drone coverage, interspersed with shots of the band performing the song at the race-track when all is quiet. Tim’s guitar shredding, captured as he stands alone up in the bleachers is a great touch for really selling that first solo, as are Chelsea’s simulated stunt driving scenes, where she ultimately wins the coveted checkered flag after sending her rival into a losing tailspin. And lest we forget the music itself from all four band members, which is perfect, from top to bottom. Great vocals up front, and with powerful guitar riffs bursting from the left speaker, drums and some much-needed cowbell pouring from the right, this is an upbeat, toe-tapping, just-what-is-needed-for-the-weekend kind of number. “So come a little closer / Stop and pull me over / Wanna get to know ya / oh, oh, oh, ohhhhh.”
“Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games” Ernest Hemingway
Photo Credit: Andrea Hunter