45 tracks over three discs, all recorded – sporadically - in the space of six months. A massive undertaking and even listening to the whole thing feels exhausting. But it is also enormously rewarding.
The whole album has a raw and lean, pure Americana, feel to it. Very much a rough cut, and it is clear that they have not taken the approach of producing the cleanest & most perfect version of themselves. Errors are left in place, but they only add to the authenticity of the project.
As Jeb Barry explains, “Some days we’d spend a couple hours…other times only an hour…sometimes we went a few days without any studio work… No autotune (obviously) and any mistakes were usually left in place. So you get to see the scars and all. And yes, if it sounds distorted or rough that was intentionally done…hey, with 45 songs, who wants them to all sound sonically similar. The songs…well, some are a couple of decades old, while many were written in the past two years or during recording. Most deal with the hard side of life, but we did throw in a couple of brighter relationship songs...but just a couple. Again, we went for an early Stones crossed with David Cobb type of production…sometimes rough, sometimes lo-fi, sometimes drenched in reverb. Yeah, we know, we don’t have the musical prestige to expect anyone to listen to all of these songs…so pick a couple and see what you get. We hope you enjoy at least one of the songs.”
To be fair, I enjoyed most of the songs (and yes, I listened to every track). There is a sense of the edge, of living outside the glitz and glamour, and a feel of desperation that pervades many of the songs, but still tales worth telling.
It was all recorded in Attic Studios, Adams, Massachusetts and the sound is definitely of that State with all songs written by Jeb Barry, the album produced by Jeb Barry who also played guitar, resonator guitar, Nashville guitar, bass, keys, mandolin, banjo and took lead vocals. The rest of the band consist of: Josh Pisano: Drums, vocals, Tony Pisano: accordion, mandolin (Josh’s dad), Alan Taylor: piano, organ, Dan Tremblay: acoustic guitar, vocals, Tom McNulty: mandolin, banjo, vocals