Saturday, February 12, 2011

Favorite Track - Whiskey Daydream

Whiskey Daydream is very special to me, not just because it represented a genre shift or because it was the first time that I formed a band with friends or the immediate success we had...Whiskey Daydream was deliberate. Previously I would find people willing to play with me, and whatever happened happened, but not Whiskey Daydream.

Throughout EKe I was drawing my influence largely from Edwin McCain, Duncan Sheik, and people I knew, like Rob Woerther. However, towards the end of EKe my influence had shifted to Ryan Adams, Son Volt, and Drive by Truckers. You could hear it in songs like "Monday Morning" and "Restless Sheets," so when Scott left the band in 2005, and it slowly morphed into something that was no longer EKe, I called it quits. A couple months later, when I was ready to start a new project, I went into it knowing I wanted to create an Alt-Country band, and I did.

Whiskey Daydream was formed in November of 2005 and ended in June of 2007. It was short lived but powerful. We were nominated for the Best Americana Band in St. Louis by KDHK and Playback:STL. We got second place in the Battle for the Ark which helped us fund this CD, and played a LOT of shows, going as far north as Michigan, holding residency at Ten Mile House and made a second home at Off Broadway. It featured Corey "Woody" Woodruff on drums, Brian Ruby on leads, and Benjamin Ash on anything we asked him to play (primarily bass).

I knew going into this week that I could not pick one song. I just love this CD too much, so what I have selected are the 2 songs that were really the catalyst for the creation of Whiskey Daydream. The songs that once written made me realize I was operating from a different place, and I needed to embrace it.

"Whiskey Days" Is pretty straight forward Country Rock. We brought in the amazing Scott Schwartz to lay some Pedal Steel, featured my acoustic, and a tasty country-clean lead by Ruby. Brian's fingers spoke country and blues, and his voice is very distinct on this track. The laid-back brushed beat of Woody's drums still makes me smile. I had spent years with super busy drummers, so to work with someone that allowed the song to breathe and grow was so refreshing. And you can never say enough about a solid bass player. Although Benjamin could literally play anything, he was a terrific bass player, just super solid.

Whiskey Days by Whiskey Daydream by SoMuchCloser


Dirt road, Grandma’s house
Gravel drive and the tall cattails
That’s me on the motorbike
Grandpa waving me home
Those are days when lightning warned of thunder
And rain clouds meant it was time to play
Before these whiskey days
Left my summers in the Hot Springs
Flew north to the dirty city
Skateboard wheels carving fresh asphalt
Remember how the girls were so innocent and pretty
Those are days when lightning warned of thunder
And rain clouds meant it was time to play
Before these whiskey days

Trapped inside 4 walls
And the window is crying
The bottles empty turned over
And I know you’re not coming back this time
All I have left is your picture,
And the edges have faded
Take a step outside
Let the rain kiss my forehead
Turn your picture over
Gonna rely on memory instead
My last offering to you is the other song that made me realize I had moved beyond EKe. While "Whiskey Days" was more Country-Rock, I think "Layover in Louisville" lands in the Alt-Country category. What I love about this song is not the song itself, but the recording. The dynamic shifts are powerful, Brian's lead is probably the most aggressive and eager lead that has ever been on one of my CDs, we worked the feedback like a ghost violin, Benjamin and I using a cheap keyboard and two Pods where able to create one of the best B3 sounds I have heard recorded, and while all this cacophony was developing, Woody was content to lay back and let it flourish rather than over power it. For those of you that know Woody from his time with Alvin Jett and Phat Noiz or The Lucky Old Sons or All Roostered Up, know what an incredibly sick drummer he is, part of that is his ability to hold back and then explode when the moment calls for it. He is kind of like a suicide bomber; he is the quiet neighbor that you would never expect to display that kind of behavior, and then one day...BOOM!

Layover In Louisville by Whiskey Daydream by SoMuchCloser

Layover in Louisville

The dance halls are empty tonight
Like my glass of whiskey
Lay my head on the dusty counter
‘Cause the bartender’s nowhere to be found
On a Layover in Louisville
And I’m 300 miles from somewhere
On a Layover in Louisville
Feels like I’m headed nowhere
The sound of Whiskey River;
Its urgency lifts my traveled head
The Mark burns just a little
And my glass is half empty again
On a Layover in Louisville
And I’m 300 miles from somewhere
On a Layover in Louisville
Feels like I’m headed nowhere
I take my last swallow
Let the Whiskey go down slow
I pour myself into 15D,
And I wake-up home

Under Tray, Whiskey Daydream Logo:

Back of CD:

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