SONG PREMIERE: Quaildogs – “Dance Like JFK” (Debut LP ‘The Getting Old Factory’ Due 9/18)

Quaildogs breathe life into a distinctive brand of alt-country that recalls the genre’s heyday as a potent ’90s niche, while at the same time reveling in classic, freewheeling rock & roll. Having managed to keep together a steady and unfaltering six-piece lineup since their 2011 inception, the band has developed a unique camaraderie and sound that has earned them opening slots for a diverse set of acts including The Handsome Family, Futurebirds, The Wood Brothers, Moon Taxi, Roadkill Ghost Choir and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band—and all this before having released a proper full-length debut.

The band is gearing up to release their first LP The Getting Old Factory on September 18th.  The intermittent, drawn-out recording sessions for the Atlanta band’s first LP—which took place during the summer of 2014—mirror one of the album’s primary narratives: “The idea that if you’re a well-intentioned, hard-working person, you can make good in this world doesn’t necessarily exist anymore,” says multi-instrumentalist Michael Barnhart. On the title track, singer/guitarist Rob Josephs juxtaposes the readily available blue-collar work of his father’s generation with the bleak employment situation of recent years, which he and Barnhart experienced firsthand as they both lost their day jobs and struggled to find work. “I didn’t take it well,” Josephs says. “It was hard times.”

But The Getting Old Factory (out Sept. 15) is an encouraging, uplifting record that transcends these grim realities. The group cut the album at Atlanta’s famed Glow in the Dark Studios, and the final mixes were mastered by Alex Lowe (Aretha Franklin, Cee-Lo, R.E.M.) at Red Tuxedo Studios. The sound exemplifies a work ethic hellbent on overcoming hurdles rather than succumbing to them. Its bedrock of battling hardships gives significance and purpose to Quaildogs’ lively tunes.

Glide Magazine is premiering “Dance Like JFK,” a thumping composition showing Quaildogs’ prowess for country/folk with a rock and ramble attitude reminiscent of Delta Spirit and Fruit Bats. 

 

“A few years ago, I decided that I just had to buy this guitar I could not afford,” says Barnhart about the track. “It cost more than my car at the time, and I immediately ran into financial issues because of it. I couldn’t pick it up and play a note without thinking about all the incredibly important things I could have spent the money on instead, like rent or health insurance. ”

“Either way, I drove to Alabama with Rob to pick it up, and right when I got home, the main riff was the very first thing I played on it,” continues Barnhart. “It was old and dusty and bluesy and felt so big that it made me forget how financially irresponsible I had been. When it came time to tell that story lyrically, I had all of these classist ideas running through my head simply because I couldn’t play the instrument without feeling poor. We thought it’d be fun to set up the song’s main character as someone middle class who uses his music to sort of infiltrate that more rarified world.”

“My brother, Bobby, brought the whole JFK thing into the picture. The Kennedys represent so much to this country as they’re the closest thing to royalty or a ruling class that we’ve had in the United States. They’re Catholics like myself, but they don’t carry a lot of the guilt and hangups regarding sex and money that a lot of Catholics do. Probably because they’re used to having a lot of both. Basically, we thought it’d be fun to use this blues context to tell the story of outsiders like us pretending to be insiders like them.”

Band photo by Jamie Platus 

Pre-order The Getting Old Factory 

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