VIDEO PREMIERE: Whiskey In The Pines Delivers Contemplative Bar Napkin Folk Via “Hotel Bar”

With a band name like Whiskey in the Pines, one might think of a rowdy honky-tonk sound mixed with bluegrass. Yet don’t this boozy name deceive you, as there is an insightful and introspective songwriting flair that permeates the Tallahassee band’s music.

Armed with the prowess of longtime alt-country storytellers and a heartland rock style built over years on the road,  Whiskey in the Pines is entering into the latest chapter of their careers with their new track, “Hotel Bar.” To inaugurate their latest work, the band returned to a longtime fan favorite, newly pulled from the archive and reworked into a moving paean to hotel bars across the country.

The track came about as a combination of, “Mexican food, copious amounts of alcohol and perhaps a little magic,” as frontman and songwriter David Lareau describes with his characteristic self-effacing humor. Born out of reflections on life on the road, the song came to Lareau in a strike of inspiration while on vacation. Sitting at an Orlando hotel bar, fragments of lyrics came together in his head and were quickly transferred onto a nearby bar napkin. There they sat until Lareau, fresh off the night shift, stumbled into the song’s Rolling Stones tuning at his home studio. With the assistance of a little whiskey and a spliff, he began piecing the track together.

Glide is premiering the video for “Hotel Bar,” which serves as a travelogue and meditative companion for the traveling musician. With nods to both Bill Callahan and Nick Drake, Whiskey in the Pines creates reflective singer-songwriter Americana that never lulls.

Lareau describes the making of the video below…

It was hot, it was humid, and I insisted on wearing a jacket. You could smell the leftover stench of miller high life and bad ideas from the night before. What was supposed to be a simple photoshoot turned into an impromptu live video shoot. The sun was setting, making anyone sitting behind it look like a golden god. Time passed and I never thought much more of the video until my videographer (Mr. Pat McDonnell from Medicine Bleu Films whom I have been working with him for over 15 years now) called with a tone in his voice which can only be described as a war eagle swooping down to catch its prey “you won’t believe this, but you played it exactly in time with the recording on the record.” Now this wouldn’t seem like that big of a deal except for the fact that we had no backing track playing at the time the video was shot. So with that said I will give myself a solid pat on the back. The power of the lucid hangover prevails again. With the ability to now sync the video to the music the rest of the shots were all added after we realized we had a workable video in our grasp. Through a little wizard work and magic the video came to life and here we are.

There’s no doubt the influences behind the song are from some of the older Wilco records, at that time I believe I was listening to a lot of Beck’s Sea Change, and then of course we can’t leave out the ever mighty Nick Drake’s “Pink Moon.” I suppose there’s a little Neil Young in there as well, as there should be with any tune.

The video, to me, is my favorite I’ve ever done simply because of the spontaneity of it. “Hotel Bar” will always be a song I play live and will always be a part of who I am as a songwriter because it captures a very special and important time in my life.  I feel I connected the lyrics to the melody to really represent the emotions I was feeling. The excitement of travel and being away mixed with the torn feeling of leaving loved ones at home, and then realizing the solace one finds behind the glass, the empty conversations, and the subtle buzz at the hotel bar.

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