This self-titled album is the beginning of this band, Snow says, adding that in the band’s short time, it has “had plenty of members, fans, and even a few enemies.”
Snow wrote this collection of songs during a time that was “really challenging emotionally, physically, and spiritually,” which includes “a separation from my wife, an unexpected son, divorce, financial ruin, grad school, and the struggle of learning how to find a path and what I wanted to be.” Add in some pedal steel guitar and that’s a recipe for some potent country songs. And Snow knows how to pen something that is both engaging and visceral.
“These songs are autobiographical, but not always in a literal sense. We are mirrors, so as I write about you, I write about myself, and vice versa,” he says.
The CD release show will be Friday, May 11 at The Garage (1199 N. Beck St.); tickets are $5, and the show starts at 9 p.m.
There are a lot of four-letter words that convey a lot of different emotions, such as love, hate, fuck, shit and damn, to name just a few. People with Tourette's Syndrome tend to relate to this one for some reason. I was at a point in my life when I was starting to recognize how often we just go around looking for our own reality, how definitions to help formulate meaning in our lives and how our perceptions of the world can change as we look for ways to define it with words. Some people just say, and believe, whatever they need to get through the day, some say, and do, nothing at all, but few really listen to themselves or others before really figuring out what their stance is on something. This song is as honky-tonk as we could get, thanks to the three-part harmonies and guitar licks by John Davis, as well as the piano tracks by Greg Midgley. We start a lot of shows with this song, and figured it was a great way to start the EP.
“Life’s about choices, it does no good not to feel, and if I only lived in heaven, I’d never know what’s real.” Let me sprinkle some deep truth on to you: Life's a bitch sometimes -- no offense, bitches -- and accepting this helps me get through the day. I have always had friends from different groups, and walks of life, and it is interesting how time makes new friends into old friends. I had lost a really close friend of mine in the Iraq War shortly before I started on this song. I have been blessed with some amazing friends, and, I know a lot of people say that, but, sorry, your friends aren’t as amazing as mine. With that being said, I think this song helped me connect to the part of myself that accepts how all the good and all the bad can become a blessing, and friends help us connect those dots into new chapters and experiences. “Old Friends” isn’t my song, it belongs to my friends, and your friends, and I hope that when I die, I still have friends around that will send me off by singing it back to me. It was tough to capture this song in a recording, and I actually recorded a slow solo acoustic version of this song that will be released as a free download on our website, because I felt like it needed to be heard both as an upbeat song that feels like a celebration, and also one that helps someone look inward for some introspection and reflection of our lives and the people in them.
Like I said previously, life can be a royal bitch -- no offense, bitches. You fall in love with sunshine, and then the grey clouds move in to take it away. In case you can’t tell, I have had my heart broken -- big surprise I know, seeing how I tend to write country songs, and all -- but believe me, even I get knocked down often. This song refers to contemplation of a Plan B all of us think about from time to time as a way to escape what we are living with -- be it a lover, a bullet or death. This song helped me get through a tough point in life, and I don’t know if I can say it is about anyone or anything but me. All of us have an off switch that we turn to in the dark times, but the reality is that I think by choosing to turn off that switch when we are already in a dark place is a big mistake. Warm sunshine will come back into your life again; it always does. This is probably my favorite song that we recorded. Warning though: I have witnessed it make a grown man cry, granted he wears a wide range of color-coordinated knitted hats, but he is a man nonetheless. We took a very simple approach to this song, and wanted everything to be quiet and lush. Nylon guitar, lap steel, brushes, and simple harmonies created a really mellow feel.
Sometimes people act in ways that cause me to assume, through their behaviors, they think their shit won’t come back to them. I take comfort knowing it will, and maybe, I will be lucky enough to see just one moment when it does. Can you say “self righteous?” God damn right! This song is not about just one person, but everyone, including myself. Sometimes when bad shit happens to me this song will pop into my mind, and I think to myself, “You had to get all whiskey drunk and turn into your funny, and witty, alter-ego, Joseph Christian, and pee in someone’s indoor flower pot, didn’t you?” But mostly it is about you -- yes, you -- and you know who you are. This song wasn’t finished until I actually had to come up with a consistent way to phrase the chorus, so that John and Zach could sing it with me, and the third verse didn’t come to me until I walked into the sound booth to record the vocals. I used to just make the last verse up every time we would play it live. You can hear Wil, stomping and snapping in the a cappella breakdown. “Come Down” is three parts honky-tonk, one part revenge.
I wrote this song with Jason Brown, and it is the only one we still do that we wrote together. My son helped write one of the lines of this song without even knowing. I have lived in the avenues for the past five years, and as we were walking around, in this amazing early fall weather enjoying the sun and changing leaves, suddenly a giant wind storm blew in this cold, wet, and windy weather. He said to me in his 4-year-old voice as I picked him up to shield him from the wind, “Dad, the wind blew away the pretty day.” I wrote the rest of the song based off of that comment. It was a really fun song to record; we wanted to make this song trippy, and so you feel like you are hearing it in the desert night after a natural disaster has left you as the lone survivor. We added a lot of layers and spent more time on this song than all the others combined. We had several happy accidents and luck with a lot of first takes. We play it a little different live, but the concept is always the same. We recommend you take this song on a space walk with you sometime. Our bass player, Zach, added some trippy bass parts that create the foundation for the middle of the song, as well as a few guitar layers by John, percussion by Wil, and distorting the harmonica with delay effects, and a lot of reverb.
Brad McCarley co-produced this album with Triggers & Slips. Morgan Snow played acoustic guitar, harmonica and lead vocals. John Davis played lap steel, electric guitar and sang backup vocals. Zach Griffen played bass and sang backup vocals. Wil Grimshaw played drums and percussion. Greg Midgley played piano.