Somewhere on a dusty road or a well-traveled interstate, right at this very moment, a rock n’ roll band is pounding the rock. They’re probably wearing the same clothes they had on yesterday, and reminiscing about last night’s gig. Inspired by a guitar lick that cuts to the bone or a melody that lingers on refrain, this band is following a path forged by countless other musicians who’ve lived and died in dive bars or ‘made it’ with their posters taped to bedroom walls. What makes this band of brothers any different? This band is The Artisanals.
Johnny Delaware grew up in a small South Dakota town surrounded by cornfields and dirt roads. For 19 years, he lived in a wide-eyed perspective baptized in the setting of a John Mellencamp song. In order to personally evolve and carry out his musical destiny, Delaware knew that the heartland wind would have to blow him around the country. Eventually, Delaware would move to Charleston, SC and team up with guitarist Clay Houle, drummer Josh Hoover, and bassist Eric Mixon to form The Artisanals in late 2016. Within a year of forming, The Artisanals dropped their four-track debut EP, Literally, Anywhere.
Now, The Artisanals are set to drop their debut self-titled full-length album. Produced by Wolfgang Zimmerman and set to release on AWAL on September 21, 2018, The Artisanals, is the first ever record to come out of the Magic Barn (see below for more info) – an Iowa studio-converted-barn that features the Neve console and gear from NYC’s now-defunct Magic Shop Studio which recorded David Bowie’s last two albums, Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs, and can be seen on Dave Grohl’s Sonic Highways.
With sonic influences ranging from the heartland rock of Bruce Springsteen (“Angel 42”), and neo-psychedelia anthems of My Morning Jacket (“Pound The Rock”), to the dream-pop work of The Cars and The War On Drugs (“Drag”), The Artisanals 10-track LP showcases Delaware and Houle’s knack for writing hooks as well as their ear for quality production. The album utilizes everything from a gong, organ, piano, sitar, french horn, trombone, and koto, to a string section sourced from the nearby University of Iowa. Mastered by Howie Weinberg, (Spoon, Ryan Adams, Nirvana), there’s no filler on The Artisanals. From start to finish, this record is a straight banger.
Glide is thrilled to premiere the full length in its entirety (below). The band has created a kaleidoscope of singer-songwriter edgy rock that recalls the best of Jackson Browne, Dawes and Delta Spirit. The production tinkers with rock hits from the 70’s and 80’s, immediately reflecting a nostalgic vibe but remaining equally vibrant and relevant. The Artisanals broad sound would make as equally at home on the modern stages of Outside Lands and Coachella as it would the cross music pollination of LOCK’N.
“I flew into Chicago and was driven out there by a friend of mine in November, 2016. I didn’t know anything about the barn at the time, but I trusted the general excitement in my friend’s voice,” says Delaware about The Magic Barn in Iowa. “He said no one had recorded there yet, and that the board was famous from a New York City studio where Bowie recorded his last records. I met the owner of The Magic Barn, Steve McCintosh, and I knew after hanging with him for a hot minute that the entire situation was pure kismet. I felt like I was watching myself in a movie. It was as if something were telling me to understand that this may be a lot bigger than what I actually am. Seeing the board and studio in person was hard to take in. The feeling was a lot like examining dinosaur bones in a museum or something. It’s a piece of history in our era of music and it was hard to understand why I was the one there looking at it; knowing how special it was to be given the chance to record an album there, let alone the first since it’s NYC departure.
“Sonically it made our songs sound huge,” adds Delaware about the barn. “We always knew we wanted our production for this album to have an arena feel to it, so the equipment at The Magic Barn transcended our expectations for that. The Neve board heavily influenced the mix of the album.