With the release of his debut LP titled Solo Album‽, out on May 20th, Bryon White is poised to set out on his own after making a name for himself as co-founder of the acclaimed Oklahoma outfit The Damn Quails. Often touted as leaders of the modern Red Dirt movement alongside the likes of Turnpike Troubadours and William Clark Green, White’s self-titled debut is anything but a rookie output; rather, it’s the work of a seasoned veteran, the culmination of over a decade of honing his songwriting chops and storytelling skills. While the Quails may still be active, White is more than capable of standing on his own here.
Produced by fellow Okie John Calvin Abney, known for his own solo output as well as his time as a member of John Moreland’s band (and multiple appearances as a Quail himself), the album features simple yet rich production with a warm glow throughout. It’s the sort of warmth that you’ll only find on a record-tracked live-in-a-room. From the slamming grooves and raucous debauchery of “Clouding Up Your City” and “The Punxsutawney Rambler” to the threadbare piano and vocal harmonies of “Good Times?” and “Peace in the Valley (King of the Hill)”, the album seamlessly blends highway-or-honky-tonk-ready numbers with achingly beautiful ballads to create a cohesive work befitting of the region’s celebrated musical canon.
“Working with John Calvin Abney on this record was an incredibly enriching musical experience,” White notes. “I have known John for many years and the Damn Quails were fortunate to count him among our band members for several tours and random shows. I’ve always had a lot of respect for his songwriting and his guitar playing, but he shined the brightest on his keyboard and piano tracks on this record. The process for recording a song was pretty simple, but extremely effective: Gather the band around the piano in the tracking room, spend five or ten minutes running through the basics and working out any kinks, and then [engineer Michael] Trepagnier would hit record and we’d start playing.”
Glide is premiering the decorated and hoppin’ “The Punxsutawney Rambler” which gallops with a Waylon Jennings twangy bounce. White sings with a chugging folk-tinged soul, that is rhythmically tact and harnesses in the pocket-grooves rarely achieved in Red Dirt.