The latest album from John Moreland titled In The Throes is a perfect example of alt country music. Moreland produced an album that makes perfect use of the instrumentation typical to the genre but did it all on his own, with the exception of contributions made by Jerry Redd playing keys on the song “Oh Julia”, Steve Walden and Mike Williams on the track “Gospel” playing drums and bass respectively, and finally contributions from Johnny Up playing pedal steel on “Nobody Gives A Damn About Songs Anymore” and “Gospel”.
The album starts off with the song “I Need You to Tell Me Who I Am”, a slower, but not too dramatic song. The lead-off song does a great job of setting the tone for the rest of the album and gives us a taste of what Moreland’s vocals are like, the perfect amount of raspy-ness without too much country twang. The album is compiled of songs that make use of easy rhythms and mellow melodies that when listened to in its entirety you might find yourself easily blowing through half a bottle of Jack (or whatever your drink of choice might be) and a pack of cigarettes.
The recording quality is also a refreshing change of pace from the over compressed robotic recordings we are bombarded with day in and day out. The honesty of the recording really allows the emotion in Moreland’s voice to stand out in front of the recordings where it rightfully belongs.
All in all, it is safe to say that In The Throes is an album that is more than worthy of purchasing and will reach fans not just of the alt country genre, but has potential of spanning all genres and garnering support from fans of music in general.
I’m oh so very excited to be a part of such a wonderful event. I’ll be selling my art Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the White Water Tavern in Little Rock, Arkansas for Last Chance Records/Tree of Knowledge/White Water Tavern’s Holiday Hangout. And you can bet your bottom dollar I’m going to eat at the Whole Hog every day I am in Little Rock.
Raleigh, NC – In the business of music, many are called and many may try, but few cross the…
Dear FYACB Followers,
American Aquarium has a mission for you, should you choose to accept it. Read on…
Hey friends/fans/family etc…..
People always ask us what they can do to help us out as a band. Other than coming out to shows, we usually can’t ask too much more from you. So here goes, we need all of our friends/fans/family to tell your friends/fans/family about the band. That simple. If all 13,000 of our fans told 1 person about the band, thats 25,000+ people. So here we go. We are asking that all our fans share/like our statuses and invite people to like our facebook page for the next month. Luckily we can track the people that share and like us, so as a token of our appreciation, we will be giving out a free, full band show, in your living room to one lucky fan at the end of January and you get to pick the setlist. Pretty neat, right? So lets get to it folks.Get creative. Start sharing, liking and inviting for your chance to win a free show in your living room. Happy Holidays indeed.
This message from Austin Lucas comes with his free download on Last Chance Records (click photo):
This song was written as a sort of love song to my fans. I know how silly it might seem to some folks but, after the experience that I had this summer. When everyone pitched in to help get my van fixed. It really put my whole world into perspective and, helped me come to a realization about how beautiful my life is. Truly, my life is amazing and it’s you, the people who listen to my music, give me places to sleep, cook me surprise meals, book shows and just plain give me your world. Who make it this way. Honestly, you don’t have to give of yourselves so freely and yet, you do. It’s this giving that make my life and especially my working life, incredible.
This song is for you, thank you all and happy holidays….
This seriously made me tear up. There are reasons I tell errybody about him.
John Moreland is a captivating multi-talented singer/songwriter from Oklahoma. In The Throes proves it. I love albums that have great tracks through it’s entirety. As a music lover, I know how difficult it can be to find that kind of consistency. Not the case here.
I had the extreme pleasure to catch John Moreland in Lubbock, Texas at The Blue Light Live, October 16th. John is doing a run of shows with Jason Isbell. They are playing tonight in Austin, Texas at The Belmont. Y'all should get tickets if you still can.
John Moreland’s 2013 album “In The Throes” is one of the best albums this year has seen. I took a friend to the show and he was left in awe. From the looks of the crowd and musicians from the area in attendance, they were too. I’m glad he got to come out to the area and share his craft with us. John Moreland’s lyrics are raw, well written & very honest. This is a man who knows how to make you feel his words in your guts. He is a man who just wants true music & the lyrics to be focused upon. He doesn’t mince his words and that is one of the things I admire about him.
I got to speak with John and ask some questions that went just like this:
FYACB: You’ve had a run of really great shows alongside some top names in this genre. You’ve opened for Lucero at the Family Picnic this year. You’ve done a run of shows with Austin Lucas. Now Jason Isbell. You still have shows with American Aquarium & Caleb Caudle left too. All acts that get really great draws. Have you noticed more people getting into you?
JM: Yeah. Before this run with Jason Isbell, I played some shows in Ohio, Kentucky & Illinois. I was kind of blown away that there were people at all of them. I still assume that no one knows who the fuck I am. I think I really lucked out that my record came out on the same day as “Southeastern”. It just became kind of like part of the big deal that his album is. I was kind of able to hitch my name inadvertently to that. (laughs)
FYACB: You are a great songwriter and people who hear the album are able to recognise that. You can tell by the lyrics that you have what it takes to last doing this.
JM: Thanks man.
FYACB: The songwriting. Is it a pretty easy process for you? Is it something you struggle with?
JM: No, it’s rarely easy. It’s usually like banging my head against the wall. Like an example, last week I was working on something. I write just a little bit at a time. What usually ends up happening a lot of the times is I wind up with a shitload of verses. Because I usually write four lines at a time. Then two weeks later some more lines. So I end up with all these verses and no chorus. It drives me crazy. I get in this kind of, I fucking hate myself type of mindset. Everytime I finish one, I have this irrational fear that I lost it or I can’t do it again. I don’t enjoy writing, I enjoy when I’m finished writing. While it hasn’t gotten easier, it has gotten more satisfying.
FYACB: So are you a live show fan then? (Laughing)
JM: I’m a fan of recording actually more than anything else. I really enjoy the process.
FYACB: The way the album has been so well received, do you feel more pressure for writing new material?
JM: I won’t lie, it makes me feel weird. When I’m trying to write new stuff. Like I think it’s my problem, inside. I just need to get in a different headspace or something. I haven’t really had a long enough break to do it.
FYACB: “In The Throes” is you almost exclusively for instruments, right?
JM: Yeah, I play drums on all but one track. I played everything except for pedal steel and piano.
FYACB: So is guitar your first instrument?
JM: Yes, I started on guitar when I was 10. My first band I was in though, I played bass. My friend that was in the band with me played guitar too. I said I would do it so we wouldn’t have to find another person. So I started playing bass when I was 13 or so. I started playing drums about a year after that. I was in some other bands and drummers are hard to find. Especially, when like, you’re in 8th grade.(laughs) We would lose a drummer and I was like, well fuck, if I just played drums I wouldn’t have to worry about this shit. I’m not a very good drummer, but I can get by.
FYACB: You tour solo, so do you tend to write on the road much?
JM: No. I need a couple of days to slow down. I can’t write with people around or with stuff going on. When I’m on tour and travelling I’m not really alone enough. When I am, I’m driving. Not to say that lines don’t come to me while I’m driving.
FYACB: Who are some of your influences musically?
JM: Well growing up I was really into Hardcore. A guy that made me shift back to melody and closer to what I’m doing now is Jason Molina. When I started doing that, Hardcore and heavy stuff wasn’t doing it for me anymore. I just ended up going back to a lot of stuff my dad listened to when I was growing up, Neil Young, CCR. Steve Earle and Bruce Springsteen. When I started being more serious about songwriting was about the time that “Devils and Dust” had just come out. I remember seeing the video late at night on tv. It was that song that made an impression on me. Steve Earle’s “Rich Man’s War” was another song that just blew me away.
FYACB: You’ve done full band shows. Do you prefer solo or full band?
JM: Right now, I would say I enjoy solo more. Like last night, I played with myself and another guitar player, and it was cool. I get real stressed out playing with a whole band. There’s just so much shit going on and stuff to coordinate. Also, when I play with a band I feel like we are kind of ruining it. Like doing it by myself is easier, like logistically. I don’t just do it because of necessity, most of my songs, that’s the way I want them to be presented. I really want the lyrics to be the focus. I noticed when I used to play with bands, people would come up and be like, you guys have good guitar tone or drums or whatever. Then when I started playing solo, the compliments were more geared towards like, I really like that one line. I realized that I really like this better, that’s the part I care about. I want that stuff to come through.
FYACB: What have been some of your favorite shows or places to play so far?
JM: The Lucero Family Picnic was a really great night for all the wrong reasons. I felt bad. The weather was nice while I was playing. Then like five minutes later it started pouring and was lightning. Wanda Jackson didn’t get to play. Lucero played like three hours later than they were supposed to. It was a really memorable show. They are a great group of guys. I played a coffee shop show in Dayton, Ohio. It was cool because they set it up like a show, with cover charge, and people sat there. It was like playing to a tiny theatre.
FYACB: Do you have plans for a new album? I know “In The Throes” is still new.
JM: I have seven or eight new songs written. One of the things I noticed with “In The Throes” is it was two years in between it & the one before it. I know it benefited from having that time to write. Not that I have a deadline. With “In The Throes” I did all the recording myself. I was like, I have ten songs I’ll make an album. The whole recording process was new to me. So while I was learning the in’s and out’s, I just kept writing. When I felt that I was good enough to engineer the album I had way more songs to choose from. So I know that helped to make it a better record too.
FYACB: I’m looking forward to The Holiday Hangoutthis year. You are one of the acts amongst a pretty great lineup.
JM: Yeah that’s going to be a great show. Glossary is playing. Lee Bains is playing, he’s awesome. The Whitewater is probably one of my favorite places to play too. That place rules!
FYACB: John, thanks for sitting down with me. I dig “In The Throes” and hope it becomes huge. I can’t wait to see your show tonight.
JM: Thanks man. It means a lot. I hope you enjoy the show.
People, I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Please go catch him out on the road! If you have been under a rock, or live where you may not have heard it, buy a copy of “In The Throes”. Music like John Moreland’s needs to be par for a course that has lacked some substance.
Checkout John Moreland’s website for upcoming shows, music and merchandise here. Follow him on Facebook & Twitter too.