This weekend on Music City Roots, it’s more rockin’ Americana for you as Amanda Shires, Leftover Salmon, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, Sturgill Simpson, and Daniel Romano take the stage. Jim Lauderdale hosts.

About the artists:

Just in case the title alone wasn’t a dead give away, Amanda ShiresDown Fell the Doves is not a record for the faint of heart, faith or spirit. Not that anyone who heard her last album would have expected such. Carrying Lighting, the critically acclaimed 2011 breakthrough that put Shires on the map as one of Americana music’s most arresting new voices (and Texas Music magazine’s 2011 Artist of the Year), was a kudzu-tangled web of frayed heartstrings and combustible desire that revealed the one-time “little fiddle player from Lubbock” to be a grown woman unafraid to “get wrecked in love” and dish out the same with keen poetic insight and unnervingly mature, femme-fatale conviction. But as striking as Lightning was, Down Fell the Doves (Shires’ debut for Lightning Rod Records) is where the gloves really come off.

“There’s a lot of destruction on this record,” says Shires, the observation coming a thoughtful pause after her somewhat casual dismissal of the album’s “Box Cutters” — a disturbingly beautiful suicidal daydream — as just being “a little bit of dark humor.”

“I wrote that one in a haze of delirious exhaustion,” she says of the song that imagines, amongst other possible exit strategies, the sweet surrender of “a rose-petaled, eyes-closed collapse” in a warm blood bath.

Maybe you just had to be there.

“I don’t know,” Shires concedes with a disarming, self-effacing chuckle, her lilting West Texas drawl as yet unbowed by years of living in Nashville and nonstop touring. “I always hate giving things away, because I like it when people can hear a song and make their own stories. But I believe in that old saying, ‘What happens in the dark comes to light.’ In order to create something, you’ve got to destroy something: You can’t have good without bad, you can’t have life without death or growth without decay. And with everything that happens, you’re learning something; I think that in this record I realized how much of learning and life experience is relearning. And there’s beauty in that. So although there’s a lot of destruction and things falling apart on the album, there’s also rebuilding going on. I think even in the darkest material there’s an inkling of hope.”

She addresses that theme directly in arguably the album’s most gorgeously bittersweet track, “The Drop and Lift.” Elsewhere, it’s left to the listener to gleam whatever hope one can from the likes of “Box Cutters” and “Deep Dark Below” — a somber meditation on the nature of evil (“Monsters are men that the devil gets in … it’s usually the weak ones he finds”). Ditto the equally unsettling, relationship-haunting demons stirred in “Devastate” and “If I” (the latter of which asks, with chilling frankness, “If I were to break a promise that I made … would you really want me to come clean?”). In the album-closing “The Garden (What A Mess),” a striking still life of an ill-fated love gone to seed, the titular doves drop “gray-eyed and flightless” like a hard rain of fallen angels, littering the ground like spoiled fruit and jagged shards of broken heart and innocence.

Juxtaposing that at times overwhelmingly grim emotional terrain, though, are songs that deliver just enough light to keep the shadows themselves on edge. Noting that “all of the songs are reflective of what I’ve been doing the last two years,” Shires — who was married in early 2013 to fellow singer-songwriter Jason Isbell (with none other than Todd Snider conducting the nuptials) — coos unashamedly when asked about the tender-hearted “Stay.” “Oh, that’s a cute one,” she gushes playfully. “Pretty sappy, huh?” And then there’s the flirty but reverent “A Song for Leonard Cohen,” in which she fantasizes about “comparing mythologies” with her favorite songwriter over a drink or 12.

“I wrote it as an exercise on his birthday,” says Shires, who has a verse from Cohen’s “Hallelujah” tattooed on her forearm. “But I did not write it in hopes that he would hear it, In fact, if I had thought there’d ever be a chance in hell of him actually hearing it, I never would have written it, because that would be mortifying. But I admire and respect him so much, and that would be my dream encounter with him. Dreaming is a safe way to have fun.”

Elsewhere on Down Fell the Doves, Shires dreams of being not only “careless, weightless and free,” but blessed/cursed with the ability to “see through everything” (“Look Like a Bird”) and, just for kicks, impervious to bullets, hatchets, hand grenades and “all the ways that words cut through/against promises breaking into open wounds” (“Bulletproof.”)

“Wouldn’t that be cool?” she asks. “I was playing a show in Tampa, Fla., and this guy named Tiger Bill showed up to the merch table with this bag with tufts of hair and claws and stuff in it — including this Siberian tiger claw. And I was like, ‘Well thank you for this bag of crazy parts,’ because I don’t know — with gifts, it’s rude not to be gracious, right? But he said that he took care of animals and no tigers were hurt — they shed their claws. And then he went, ‘Seriously, you have to hang onto the tiger claw. They say in China that they make you invincible.’”

She wrote the song the following day — and still keeps said tiger claw handy … just in case. “But I don’t need anybody testing it out or anything,” she says.

When it came time to capture magic in the studio, though, the only good luck totems Shires relied upon were her trusty fiddle (and ukulele) and well over half a lifetime’s worth of firsthand playing and recording experience — augmented by the decades more brought by guitarist Isbell, bassist Jimbo Hart, drummer Chad Gamble and producer Andy LeMaster (Bright Eyes, R.E.M.). The album was recorded at LeMaster’s Chase Park Transduction studio in Athens, Ga.

“I like a lot of the records Andy’s worked on, which is how we met,” Shires says. “And Chad and Jimbo are both from Jason’s band, so it was mostly a group of people that I had already developed a rapport with. But this was the first record I’ve made where I really let the producer ultimately make the call of how things were going to go. I brought demos in — which was another first for me — but I just left a lot of stuff up to Andy, which worked well because we had a lot of the same ideas.”

Though not without its share of mood-enhancing embellishments, like the horns on “Stay” arranged by Shires and trombonist Chad Fisher, the sonic landscape of Down Fell the Doves is as haunted and provocative as Shires’ lyrics and melodies. Not to mention as rich with compelling contrasts, with the scrape and howl of Isbell’s guitars offsetting and perfectly complementing the delicate “drop and lift” of Shires’ quavering vibrato and almost supernaturally expressive violin — an instrument that, just like the devil’s in “Deep Dark Below,” “sounds like your deepest desire, lonely and bruised getting over being used.”

“It’s a lonesome instrument,” marvels Shires, who picked up her first violin at age 10, played Western swing music all through her teens (with the legendary Texas Playboys, no less) and continues to find new and interesting sounds on the versatile instrument that surprise even her. “I like the ways you can make it sound like wind, or fire, or … like wild. And I like that it can also be pretty.

“But that’s not me,” she hastens to add with characteristic humility. “That’s the fiddle, because they’ve got their own minds. I just follow mine around and make sure it stays in one piece.”

************

Looking back over the past 25 years of rootsy, string-based music, the impact of Leftover Salmon is impossible to deny. Formed in Boulder at the end of 1989, the Colorado slamgrass pioneers were one of the first bluegrass bands to add drums and tour rock & roll bars, helping Salmon become a pillar of the jam band scene and unwitting architects of the jam grass genre.

Though the lineup would change through the years, the foundation of Leftover Salmon was built on the relationship between co-founders Drew Emmitt (vocals, guitar, fiddle, mandolin), Vince Herman (vocals, guitar,washboard) and Mark Vann (electric banjo). Following a decade of constant growth and constant touring, on March 4, 2002, Mark Vann lost his battle with cancer. Vann insisted that the band carry on and Salmon did so for several years leading up to an indefinite hiatus in 2005.

If Leftover Salmon had never played another note after leaving the stage in 2005, the legacy would have been secure; the members’ names etched in the books of history. But today, more than two decades after Salmon first took shape, the band has a new album, Aquatic Hitchhiker, due May 22 on LoS Records, a new banjo phenom named Andy Thorn, and a new lease on an old agreement. Leftover Salmon is officially back.

The 29-year-old Thorn grew up a Salmon fan in North Carolina and says the band helped him realize “this is what I want to do with my life.” Ironically, it’s his presence in the group that has given Leftover Salmon new life. “Andy’s a real young guy with a lot of great energy who plays in a way that definitely relates to Mark’s [Vann] playing and he’s a lot of fun to be around, it’s led to a real revival that just clicks on some hard to describe level” says Herman. “We’ve played with some great banjo players over the past few years, and not to say anything about them being less than great musicians, but there’s just something intangible about playing with Andy that kind of makes Drew and I look at each other and grin. This is what we’ve been missing as far as that feeling between Drew, Mark and I that used to be there.”

Produced by Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin, Aquatic Hitchhiker is Leftover Salmon’s first record in eight years and first ever of all original material. “Steve [Berlin] understood where this album needed to go and how we all needed to work together as a band to make it happen” explains Emmitt. Set for release on May 22, the recording process solidified the new Salmon, cauterizing old wounds and allowing fresh ideas to grow over past scars.

************

The steel pan, an amazing musical discovery born in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad & Tobago, is often times associated with sandy beaches, tropical climates, and cruise ships: that’s not exactly what you get at a show by the jazz/rock outfit, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra. Driftwood Magazine says “Scales is to steel pans ….what Bela Fleck is to the banjo—an über innovator.” The group is said to have “a Thelonius Monk-like attitude with a Mozart creativity that works.” (Pan on the Net)

Here you have Jonathan Scales: a classically trained composer turned steel pan maestro who takes in influences from Igor Stravinsky to Kanye West and uses every element in between as a basis for his mind-bending compositions.  Cody Wright’s technical yet melodic style on the bass pulls from masters Bobby Vega & Jaco Pastorius. His pick-style provides the harmonic foundation for Scales’ sound, while his solos leave audiences awestruck. Drummer Phill Bronson drives the Fourchestra’s time-shifting, modern grooves with a style stemming from his extensive background as a percussionist. He fuses his upbringing with his training, gracefully maneuvering through Jonathan’s complex rhythmic structures. The Fourchestra is a true mix of jazz edge and classical sensibility.

Steel pannist and virtuoso composer Jonathan Scales formed his ‘Fourchestra’ in 2007 as a means to deliver his musically complex, but somehow accessible ideas to anyone willing to listen. The latest installment in his musical saga, Character Farm & Other Short Stories, is a 45-minute dive deeper into the compositionally-twisted work of steel pannist . The nine original instrumental “stories” on the album take listeners from the primal Jam We Did to the lush Hallucinations of the Dream Chasers. The title track Character Farm takes the audience into an instrumental-fairy-tale of sorts, after the frantically emotional The Longest December. Guest appearances on the record include Jeff Coffin (of Dave Matthews Band), Yonrico Scott and Kofi Burbridge (of Derek Trucks Band fame) and the dazzling work of fiddle virtuoso Casey Driessen.

************

High Top Mountain serves as a one-stop guide to everything that made real country music such a force to be reckoned with. Pure and uncompromising, devoid of gloss and fakery, High Top Mountain’s dozen instant classics evoke the sound of timeless country in its many guises and brings back the lyrical forthrightness and depth that permeated the music Sturgill Simpson absorbed during his Kentucky childhood.

************

Mosey music is a study in contrasts. There’s glitz and grit, reveling and wallowing, wretchedness and showmanship. Mosey music’s pioneers wore their battered hearts on sequined sleeves. From Bakersfield to Galveston, the legends traded their tragicomic highs and lows for gold records and white Cadillacs. But that was then; the days of Buckaroos, Nudie Suits and various Hanks are over, save for the museum displays. To quote a George Jones title track, “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes?”

Enter Daniel Romano, a songwriter who delivers mosey croonin’ and hard luck storytelling. While references to marquee names like Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard are apparent in Romano’s music, the obvious influences certainly don’t demystify his talent. Romano works with equal parts authenticity and creativity, and his musical world is rich with archetypes and archrivals, wry observations and earnest confessions.

Romano’s solo debut, Workin’ For The Music Man (2010), announced a new artistic bearing. The follow-up, Sleep Beneath The Willow, was pure honky tonk poetry, and again received impressive response from all corners. The “dreamy homage to a bygone country-music era” (Globe & Mail) made the Polaris Long List, and solidified Romano’s reputation as a solo artist.

Come Cry With Me furthers his Mosey aesthetic, musical and visual. Again self-produced and played, for the most part, by himself, Romano’s new album continues with themes of bad choices, hard times, boozing and losing. Amidst the tales of woebegone orphans, family knots and broken hearts, there are spoken word yarns that recall Hank Williams-as-Luke The Drifter. Romano’s deep rumbling baritone vocal dips serve, conversely, to lighten the mood, leaving no doubt that this artist knows how to deliver a punch line.

Come Cry With Me was released on Normaltown Records on January 22, 2013.

ON Music City Roots – Live From the Loveless Cafe | November 23, 2013 | 7:00 am

Amanda Shires, Leftover Salmon, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra and more!

http://www.kkfi.org/wp-content/uploads/shires1-wpcf_250x100.jpg

This weekend on Music City Roots, it’s more rockin’ Americana for you as Amanda Shires, Leftover Salmon, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, Sturgill Simpson, and Daniel Romano take the stage. Jim Lauderdale hosts.

About the artists:

Just in case the title alone wasn’t a dead give away, Amanda ShiresDown Fell the Doves is not a record for the faint of heart, faith or spirit. Not that anyone who heard her last album would have expected such. Carrying Lighting, the critically acclaimed 2011 breakthrough that put Shires on the map as one of Americana music’s most arresting new voices (and Texas Music magazine’s 2011 Artist of the Year), was a kudzu-tangled web of frayed heartstrings and combustible desire that revealed the one-time “little fiddle player from Lubbock” to be a grown woman unafraid to “get wrecked in love” and dish out the same with keen poetic insight and unnervingly mature, femme-fatale conviction. But as striking as Lightning was, Down Fell the Doves (Shires’ debut for Lightning Rod Records) is where the gloves really come off.

“There’s a lot of destruction on this record,” says Shires, the observation coming a thoughtful pause after her somewhat casual dismissal of the album’s “Box Cutters” — a disturbingly beautiful suicidal daydream — as just being “a little bit of dark humor.”

“I wrote that one in a haze of delirious exhaustion,” she says of the song that imagines, amongst other possible exit strategies, the sweet surrender of “a rose-petaled, eyes-closed collapse” in a warm blood bath.

Maybe you just had to be there.

“I don’t know,” Shires concedes with a disarming, self-effacing chuckle, her lilting West Texas drawl as yet unbowed by years of living in Nashville and nonstop touring. “I always hate giving things away, because I like it when people can hear a song and make their own stories. But I believe in that old saying, ‘What happens in the dark comes to light.’ In order to create something, you’ve got to destroy something: You can’t have good without bad, you can’t have life without death or growth without decay. And with everything that happens, you’re learning something; I think that in this record I realized how much of learning and life experience is relearning. And there’s beauty in that. So although there’s a lot of destruction and things falling apart on the album, there’s also rebuilding going on. I think even in the darkest material there’s an inkling of hope.”

She addresses that theme directly in arguably the album’s most gorgeously bittersweet track, “The Drop and Lift.” Elsewhere, it’s left to the listener to gleam whatever hope one can from the likes of “Box Cutters” and “Deep Dark Below” — a somber meditation on the nature of evil (“Monsters are men that the devil gets in … it’s usually the weak ones he finds”). Ditto the equally unsettling, relationship-haunting demons stirred in “Devastate” and “If I” (the latter of which asks, with chilling frankness, “If I were to break a promise that I made … would you really want me to come clean?”). In the album-closing “The Garden (What A Mess),” a striking still life of an ill-fated love gone to seed, the titular doves drop “gray-eyed and flightless” like a hard rain of fallen angels, littering the ground like spoiled fruit and jagged shards of broken heart and innocence.

Juxtaposing that at times overwhelmingly grim emotional terrain, though, are songs that deliver just enough light to keep the shadows themselves on edge. Noting that “all of the songs are reflective of what I’ve been doing the last two years,” Shires — who was married in early 2013 to fellow singer-songwriter Jason Isbell (with none other than Todd Snider conducting the nuptials) — coos unashamedly when asked about the tender-hearted “Stay.” “Oh, that’s a cute one,” she gushes playfully. “Pretty sappy, huh?” And then there’s the flirty but reverent “A Song for Leonard Cohen,” in which she fantasizes about “comparing mythologies” with her favorite songwriter over a drink or 12.

“I wrote it as an exercise on his birthday,” says Shires, who has a verse from Cohen’s “Hallelujah” tattooed on her forearm. “But I did not write it in hopes that he would hear it, In fact, if I had thought there’d ever be a chance in hell of him actually hearing it, I never would have written it, because that would be mortifying. But I admire and respect him so much, and that would be my dream encounter with him. Dreaming is a safe way to have fun.”

Elsewhere on Down Fell the Doves, Shires dreams of being not only “careless, weightless and free,” but blessed/cursed with the ability to “see through everything” (“Look Like a Bird”) and, just for kicks, impervious to bullets, hatchets, hand grenades and “all the ways that words cut through/against promises breaking into open wounds” (“Bulletproof.”)

“Wouldn’t that be cool?” she asks. “I was playing a show in Tampa, Fla., and this guy named Tiger Bill showed up to the merch table with this bag with tufts of hair and claws and stuff in it — including this Siberian tiger claw. And I was like, ‘Well thank you for this bag of crazy parts,’ because I don’t know — with gifts, it’s rude not to be gracious, right? But he said that he took care of animals and no tigers were hurt — they shed their claws. And then he went, ‘Seriously, you have to hang onto the tiger claw. They say in China that they make you invincible.’”

She wrote the song the following day — and still keeps said tiger claw handy … just in case. “But I don’t need anybody testing it out or anything,” she says.

When it came time to capture magic in the studio, though, the only good luck totems Shires relied upon were her trusty fiddle (and ukulele) and well over half a lifetime’s worth of firsthand playing and recording experience — augmented by the decades more brought by guitarist Isbell, bassist Jimbo Hart, drummer Chad Gamble and producer Andy LeMaster (Bright Eyes, R.E.M.). The album was recorded at LeMaster’s Chase Park Transduction studio in Athens, Ga.

“I like a lot of the records Andy’s worked on, which is how we met,” Shires says. “And Chad and Jimbo are both from Jason’s band, so it was mostly a group of people that I had already developed a rapport with. But this was the first record I’ve made where I really let the producer ultimately make the call of how things were going to go. I brought demos in — which was another first for me — but I just left a lot of stuff up to Andy, which worked well because we had a lot of the same ideas.”

Though not without its share of mood-enhancing embellishments, like the horns on “Stay” arranged by Shires and trombonist Chad Fisher, the sonic landscape of Down Fell the Doves is as haunted and provocative as Shires’ lyrics and melodies. Not to mention as rich with compelling contrasts, with the scrape and howl of Isbell’s guitars offsetting and perfectly complementing the delicate “drop and lift” of Shires’ quavering vibrato and almost supernaturally expressive violin — an instrument that, just like the devil’s in “Deep Dark Below,” “sounds like your deepest desire, lonely and bruised getting over being used.”

“It’s a lonesome instrument,” marvels Shires, who picked up her first violin at age 10, played Western swing music all through her teens (with the legendary Texas Playboys, no less) and continues to find new and interesting sounds on the versatile instrument that surprise even her. “I like the ways you can make it sound like wind, or fire, or … like wild. And I like that it can also be pretty.

“But that’s not me,” she hastens to add with characteristic humility. “That’s the fiddle, because they’ve got their own minds. I just follow mine around and make sure it stays in one piece.”

************

Looking back over the past 25 years of rootsy, string-based music, the impact of Leftover Salmon is impossible to deny. Formed in Boulder at the end of 1989, the Colorado slamgrass pioneers were one of the first bluegrass bands to add drums and tour rock & roll bars, helping Salmon become a pillar of the jam band scene and unwitting architects of the jam grass genre.

Though the lineup would change through the years, the foundation of Leftover Salmon was built on the relationship between co-founders Drew Emmitt (vocals, guitar, fiddle, mandolin), Vince Herman (vocals, guitar,washboard) and Mark Vann (electric banjo). Following a decade of constant growth and constant touring, on March 4, 2002, Mark Vann lost his battle with cancer. Vann insisted that the band carry on and Salmon did so for several years leading up to an indefinite hiatus in 2005.

If Leftover Salmon had never played another note after leaving the stage in 2005, the legacy would have been secure; the members’ names etched in the books of history. But today, more than two decades after Salmon first took shape, the band has a new album, Aquatic Hitchhiker, due May 22 on LoS Records, a new banjo phenom named Andy Thorn, and a new lease on an old agreement. Leftover Salmon is officially back.

The 29-year-old Thorn grew up a Salmon fan in North Carolina and says the band helped him realize “this is what I want to do with my life.” Ironically, it’s his presence in the group that has given Leftover Salmon new life. “Andy’s a real young guy with a lot of great energy who plays in a way that definitely relates to Mark’s [Vann] playing and he’s a lot of fun to be around, it’s led to a real revival that just clicks on some hard to describe level” says Herman. “We’ve played with some great banjo players over the past few years, and not to say anything about them being less than great musicians, but there’s just something intangible about playing with Andy that kind of makes Drew and I look at each other and grin. This is what we’ve been missing as far as that feeling between Drew, Mark and I that used to be there.”

Produced by Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin, Aquatic Hitchhiker is Leftover Salmon’s first record in eight years and first ever of all original material. “Steve [Berlin] understood where this album needed to go and how we all needed to work together as a band to make it happen” explains Emmitt. Set for release on May 22, the recording process solidified the new Salmon, cauterizing old wounds and allowing fresh ideas to grow over past scars.

************

The steel pan, an amazing musical discovery born in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad & Tobago, is often times associated with sandy beaches, tropical climates, and cruise ships: that’s not exactly what you get at a show by the jazz/rock outfit, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra. Driftwood Magazine says “Scales is to steel pans ….what Bela Fleck is to the banjo—an über innovator.” The group is said to have “a Thelonius Monk-like attitude with a Mozart creativity that works.” (Pan on the Net)

Here you have Jonathan Scales: a classically trained composer turned steel pan maestro who takes in influences from Igor Stravinsky to Kanye West and uses every element in between as a basis for his mind-bending compositions.  Cody Wright’s technical yet melodic style on the bass pulls from masters Bobby Vega & Jaco Pastorius. His pick-style provides the harmonic foundation for Scales’ sound, while his solos leave audiences awestruck. Drummer Phill Bronson drives the Fourchestra’s time-shifting, modern grooves with a style stemming from his extensive background as a percussionist. He fuses his upbringing with his training, gracefully maneuvering through Jonathan’s complex rhythmic structures. The Fourchestra is a true mix of jazz edge and classical sensibility.

Steel pannist and virtuoso composer Jonathan Scales formed his ‘Fourchestra’ in 2007 as a means to deliver his musically complex, but somehow accessible ideas to anyone willing to listen. The latest installment in his musical saga, Character Farm & Other Short Stories, is a 45-minute dive deeper into the compositionally-twisted work of steel pannist . The nine original instrumental “stories” on the album take listeners from the primal Jam We Did to the lush Hallucinations of the Dream Chasers. The title track Character Farm takes the audience into an instrumental-fairy-tale of sorts, after the frantically emotional The Longest December. Guest appearances on the record include Jeff Coffin (of Dave Matthews Band), Yonrico Scott and Kofi Burbridge (of Derek Trucks Band fame) and the dazzling work of fiddle virtuoso Casey Driessen.

************

High Top Mountain serves as a one-stop guide to everything that made real country music such a force to be reckoned with. Pure and uncompromising, devoid of gloss and fakery, High Top Mountain’s dozen instant classics evoke the sound of timeless country in its many guises and brings back the lyrical forthrightness and depth that permeated the music Sturgill Simpson absorbed during his Kentucky childhood.

************

Mosey music is a study in contrasts. There’s glitz and grit, reveling and wallowing, wretchedness and showmanship. Mosey music’s pioneers wore their battered hearts on sequined sleeves. From Bakersfield to Galveston, the legends traded their tragicomic highs and lows for gold records and white Cadillacs. But that was then; the days of Buckaroos, Nudie Suits and various Hanks are over, save for the museum displays. To quote a George Jones title track, “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes?”

Enter Daniel Romano, a songwriter who delivers mosey croonin’ and hard luck storytelling. While references to marquee names like Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard are apparent in Romano’s music, the obvious influences certainly don’t demystify his talent. Romano works with equal parts authenticity and creativity, and his musical world is rich with archetypes and archrivals, wry observations and earnest confessions.

Romano’s solo debut, Workin’ For The Music Man (2010), announced a new artistic bearing. The follow-up, Sleep Beneath The Willow, was pure honky tonk poetry, and again received impressive response from all corners. The “dreamy homage to a bygone country-music era” (Globe & Mail) made the Polaris Long List, and solidified Romano’s reputation as a solo artist.

Come Cry With Me furthers his Mosey aesthetic, musical and visual. Again self-produced and played, for the most part, by himself, Romano’s new album continues with themes of bad choices, hard times, boozing and losing. Amidst the tales of woebegone orphans, family knots and broken hearts, there are spoken word yarns that recall Hank Williams-as-Luke The Drifter. Romano’s deep rumbling baritone vocal dips serve, conversely, to lighten the mood, leaving no doubt that this artist knows how to deliver a punch line.

Come Cry With Me was released on Normaltown Records on January 22, 2013.

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