T. Hardy Morris, Jonathan Stone Phillips (of Faux Ferocious)
1 Cannery Row
Nashville, TN, 37203
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 8:30 PM
This event is 18 and over
"Finally Free" marks Daniel Romano's eighth long playing album in the last eight years. He has had what understatedly would be considered a prolific output of incredibly entrancing, poignant and creative records in this span of time. Recording, producing, designing and landing his records into the minds and hearts of scores of fans the world over. He has been called a shapeshifter, contrived, a chameleon, a Charlatan, the best living songwriter, an asshole and a genius. His last record, "Modern Pressure" received outstandingly high acclaim and praise from every notable publication out there and was acknowledged by most reputable "for-profit-prize-corporations" as well as a plethora of voguish "music-as-competitive-sport" year end lists. Despite being the bronze placeholder in most of these dogfights, he is most often noted as a person of astounding influence on all of his musically economic successors.
"No matter what he does, everything he puts out is better than anything else being put out by anyone else." - Unnamed Subjugate.
Romano's new effort "Finally Free" could stand alone as being pivotal if it were only its profound and breathtaking prose on paper. Writing now like an agnostic Whitman in his prime, Romano explores and uncovers new language and meaning for old sentiments grown tired, stating, "these poems are most certainly my finest and most principled efforts to date." Finally Free sings like a radical revelation, exploring the concepts of music as a celestial being, flora as a consequential ancestor and singing, no matter its quality or sound, as the endmost important output of our species. This record contains a vivid religious articulation despite its clear condemnation of a god as a singular ruling white male. New words have replaced old words for new meaning and the definitions have been left up to interpretation. It seems safe to say that Romano has broken the literary soil hard and ferociously to find the remaining repose in our current "danse macabre."
This masterful record could easily transfix listeners if it were merely a collection of beautifully arranged and recorded instrumentals. Romano told me this record was recorded with one single microphone in "sitting vocal position". He went on to say "I wrote the songs as I recorded them and I had a guitar amplifier to my right and a bass amplifier to my left. The drums were behind me and my chair in the middle. The microphone never moved no matter what instrument I was recording and the preamp settings never changed. I basically mixed the room instead of the individual tracks." Finally Free was recorded on a 4 track Tascam cassette recorder. This means Romano was making constant stream of consciousness commitments to everything that was being recorded in order to bounce them down to stereo and free up tracks for additional elements. A method virtually unused by his peers. "On every record I make strict limitations for myself. This was by far the most extreme, but I also believe it has rendered the most honest and liberating results." Romano, no matter how many times I asked, wouldnât disclose what microphone was used.
Overall, this record harks back to Romano's early studies and obsessions in traditional folk music while simultaneously conveying a surprisingly modern and engaging aesthetic. Dense with new wisdom and blissfully encouraging in these end times.
"FINALLY FREE" is available everywhere worth going NOV, 30th, 2018 on You've Changed Records in Canada and New West Records everywhere else.
T. Hardy Morris
"Love is a language with no subtitles"
Like ideas, the best songs are the simple ones. And like most simple ideas, they're usually far more complex upon further examination than they seem at first.
So many young songwriters start off looking for the most complex way possible to examine a simple truth. Perhaps to seem smarter, or more "mature". The better songwriters learn - hopefully before too much embarrassment - that the complex thought simply put is the key to a great song. Distilling that subtle truth down to its very essence and expressing it in a way that cuts through the bullshit and takes the listener by the heart into the depths of the intended emotion.
"I ain't never giving back the things I took"
I caught the line on about my third listen, busy as I was doing things around the house while the new album played loud in the next room. I've known Hardy a while. His long running band Dead Confederate played some of their earliest shows opening for Drive-By Truckers several years ago. I always liked them but probably didn't delve deep enough into what they were doing to listen closely to the songs. That all changed when Hardy was about to release his debut solo album (2013's fantastic Audition Tapes) and I saw him play a couple of times around Athens. I was immediately blown away. Every time I'd see or hear him, I'd hear something new. Great songs keep getting better the more you listen to them.
"I ain't never taking back the things I said"
Which leads us to the new one, Hardy & The Hardknocks: Drownin On A Mountaintop. If Hardy's solo debut was a high and lonesome mellow-roast with musical touchstones like Harvest-era Neil Young and driving down a windy back road alone, the new one blasts out of the garage like some high-octane muscle car full of friends, blasting Mott The Hoople on the way to the last-call dive bar. It has it's very own sound, but hits me in the same places as my favorite Replacements albums - stripped down and raw, yet sonically thrilling.
"Tell me how you like it, I'll fix you up
Don't you know home has cleaner cups"
The music is propelled by The Hardknocks. Vaughan Lamb and Nick Sterchi are a rock solid rhythm section, pushing it forward while never over-playing or detracting. That rare thing known as A songwriter's rhythm section. Serious praise has to go to Hardy's long time pedal steel player. Matt "Pistol" Stoessel, a veteran of Athens GA's incredible music scene for many years. Pistol really shines in this band, providing both a melodic counter-point to Hardy's formidable melodies and serving as the glue that holds all the elements together. The album all manages to be stripped down and raw yet sonically thrilling.
"Cuz I'm leaving now and coming back never
You can't kill time without hurting forever
Cuz no one knows when I'm around
but it gets quieter when I leave town"
All of which leads me back to where I started, the wonderful last song on the album where the beat drops down to a slow waltz and the pedal steel swirls and the leading man sings…
"Just like the movies our eyes met
and just like the movies by the end they were wet
Just like in the movies I can't catch each word
but love is a language with no subtitles"
$15.00 - $17.00
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