When artists have a certain degree of laudable talent in their arsenal, expectations can be quite high whenever they endeavor to branch out on their own. Good thing Tim Jones and Leroy Powell, the dynamic songwriting and performing tandem known collectively as Whiskey Wolves of the West, knew just how to harness the chops they honed as prime progenitors of the new Nashville sound. Helping forge the creative lane now occupied by the likes of Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson also opened up a seam for the pair to charge through themselves to put forth a concisely focused, seven-track melting pot of an album aptly named Country Roots, which is set for release on March 2, 2018 from Rock Ridge Music.
To modify a well-known country crossover lyric, Country Roots takes us home to the place where our ears truly belong. And that home happens to be right square in the heart of the gut-honest, genre-defying music now being made by Whiskey Wolves of the West. Their sound is one that can only be earned by a thousand nights in smoky bars and a million miles on bald bus tires, which means the Whiskey Wolves are disciples at what could be the last supper of country music. The tunes on Country Roots are high and lonesome, yearning and dark, twangy and gritty and oh-so-satisfying. It features the dynamic songwriting and performing tandem of Tim Jones (vocals, guitar) and Leroy Powell (vocals, guitar, bass, pedal steel, clavinet, keys, harmonica), two prime progenitors of the new Nashville sound.
Today Glide is excited to premiere the song “Rainy Day Lovers”, a clear standout on Country Roots. The song brings to mind the Allman Brothers and the Black Crowes with its soul-inflected country rambling sound. Kicking off with a drum solo and rousing bass line, Jones and Powell harmonize together as if they are both channeling their inner Waylon Jennings. The chorus is catchy as all hell with plenty of pedal steel guitar, making for a loose and soulful outlaw sound.
Listen to the tune and read our chat with the Whiskey Wolves below…
What is the story behind this song? What inspired it?
Dave Cobb (Grammy-winning Producer of the Year/Godfather of the New Nashville Sound) called Leroy and said he was helming the production for the remake of the remake of the remake of “A Star is Born” (featuring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga this time as the on their way up/on their way down superstars) and he wanted some songs. Leroy brought over a rough sketch (it was pretty much done), and I tried to shine it up with a couple extra fancy lines about a guy disillusioned with his regular life and dreaming of the wild freedom and instant comfort that a night with a sociable “Broadway girl” with no strings attached could offer to ease his unsatisfied mind.
How was the recording session for this song? Did the finished track come out just as you imagined it would, or did it morph into something else entirely in the creative process?
We showed the arrangement to Chase McGillis (Bass) and Chris Powell (drums), and Eddie Spear (engineer), hit “record”, and that’s what you hear. First take. My harmony was just too damn high of a part and I didn’t have the air so it’s half way up there at the end, but we kept it cause it was too exciting of a take, and Leroy’s vocal was perfect as usual. We were singing in the same booth at the same time and mine was bleeding all over his. It came out way better than I imagined. I keep my expectations low for life in general so I am always pleasantly surprised. It’s why I’m so damn happy all the time. Chris Powell and Chase McGillis and Leroy in the studio are just too darn good.
If you could have any artist cover this song, who would you pick and why?
Ummmmm, Bradley Cooper and Lady GaGa, obviously. I’d love to hear LP or Shelly Fairchild or Emily West or Miley Cyrus or a girl with a huge powerful voice do it.
What’s next for the Whiskey Wolves?
We were just on the country music cruise with Emily West and a host of others (Alabama, Gatlin Brothers, Mickey Gilley, Grand Ole Opry). Next, we’re doing some shows later in February around our region in Knoxville, Asheville, Nashville – all the Villes. Record is out March 2nd!
For more music and info visit whiskeywolvesofthewest.com.