Yeah yeah, I know .. it’s Wednesday – not Monday. Monday was the day the new charts got published… today’s the day to share some new music … and in particular the new release from my friends, Halden Wofford & the Hi-Beams. Enjoy.
Genre/Style: Americana, country, honky tonk
- Tear It Down
- Sinners & Saints
- Mission Avenue
- Pill Poppin’ Country Weirdo
Notes: It seems like artists (songwriters and singers especially) always seem under pressure to produce something better than what they’ve done before … or maybe not … or maybe we all just feel that way. I’ve had the new Halden Wofford & the Hi-Beams record Sinners & Saints now for a couple of weeks. I’ve listened to it in the car, and at home while working at my desk. I’ve waited patiently while bassist and de factor band business manager Ben O’Connor asked me to wait to play it on my show and/or blog about it here. Halden himself came and said to go ahead and do it.
First things first though and that is the cover itself… so many faces … so many famous names .. band guitarist/mandolinist Greg Schochet, according to Halden, likes to make people guess. I’m bad at guessing, so Halden told me who they are. BTW, Halden painted all of them himself, crafty artist that he is. He also says, “The idea being that these are people I hold very dear as influences/inspiration. And they are Sinners & Saints, both. They are all artists of one kind or another, and, as a traditionalist, I feel like they all have something to say to us. Many of them are mentioned in lyrics of the songs, or are referenced in the notes, or are, in fact on the album.” Pretty cool, huh?
Now for the music part. I’ve known Halden and the fellas far too long now to be 100% objective in my observations. I’ve done sound for them many times and I’ve booked them for shows I’ve been in charge of promoting. And I consider them all good friends. With that disclaimer in mind, I love this record. It’s their best yet. (hear that Halden?) It represents the sound of a band that is well worn and comfortable together from more than just a handful of shows … they’ve played hundreds over the past decade. And yes, Halden is a traditionalist — lyrically and vocally, sounding as if he crawled straight out of the country music scene in Texas in the mid to late fifties, especially on such ballads as Whipporwill (is that an ode to Hank Sr?) and Mission Avenue. Halden even reprises his drug-culture-hippie-in-my-house-country with Pill Poppin’ Country Weirdo. Tear It Down and Sinners & Saints shows the deeper and far more introspective and reflective side of Halden’s songwriting (catch those clips and think about where he’s coming from).
Once this record gets out to the network, it’s going to hit big … they almost charted nationally with their last record … and I’ve got no doubts they’ll try again and succeed with this one.