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Country Westerns Share Richard & Linda Thompson Cover, Announce Tour Dates

Country Westerns have also announced a run of U.S. tour dates for later this year, many of them with notable singer-songwriter Bobby Bare, Jr.

Country Westerns Share Richard & Linda Thompson Cover, Announce Tour Dates

Nashville rockers Country Westerns have shared a cover of Richard & Linda Thompson's "Wall Of Death" from their upcoming self-titled covers EP, out this Friday via Fat Possum Records. The EP also features covers of Jad Fair and Norman Blake and Dead Moon, as well as new original song. Hear "Wall Of Death" and pre-order the EP HERE. These songs find the band expanding their sonic palette and even features vocals from bassist Sabrina Rush on the Dead Moon cover (a first for the band, and to great success).

Country Westerns have also announced a run of U.S. tour dates for later this year, many of them with notable singer-songwriter Bobby Bare, Jr. The dates take the band through much of the Southeast during July and August -- find the full list of shows below.

The EP arrives after a banner year for the band, whose self-titled debut album (Fat Possum) drew praise from all corners of the media world. Pitchfork called the album "ragged in all the right places" and named it one of the 35 Best Rock Albums of 2020. American Songwriter called "Gentle Soul," its first single, "the band's not-so-subtle entrance to the Nashville rock scene" and praising its "poetic punk rock sneer." Nashville Scene also weighed in, lauding the band's "rocking post-Neil Young sound" and "casually literate songs." Shortly thereafter, BrooklynVegan noted that "Country Westerns make twangy rock n' roll with a punk energy that is in the same tradition as The Replacements or Old '97s or Bottle Rockets." Glide Magazine shared their enthusiasm, noting that the band are "quintessential barroom rockers." Consequence of Sound had similar sentiments for album highlight "I'm Not Ready," calling it "a ripper of the classic kind." No Depression also praised the album, calling it "a striking addition to 2020's rock landscape."

The songs for the Country Westerns EP were recorded in the garage practice-space at drummer Brian Kotzur's house, a place that has served as home for Country Westerns since their beginnings. The band's self-titled debut record was released three months into the pandemic, and without a release show, tour, or any of the usual fanfare that come with new tunes, the band set out to stay active by getting together a couple times a week to work on new songs and learn covers for fun. Kotzur began working on building a recording setup in the practice space, and over the course of several months of playing and experimenting, a handful of favorites and a new original emerged. "Come Down" (Country Westerns), "A Miss of You" (Dead Moon), and "Wall of Death" (Richard and Linda Thompson) were all recorded mostly live, in keeping with the spirit of the band, while "Undeleteable" (Jad Fair and Norman Blake) was recorded later and over the course of several small sessions to allow extra space. The collection of songs brings more of the raw energy, melodic rhythms, and vocal harmonies that people connected with on their debut record, while simultaneously expanding the band's palette by introducing a home studio, marimbas, piano, and different sides of their sound.

"Come Down", a new original and the first song in the collection, was penned by singer and guitarist Joseph Plunket. It was one of the first originals that the band worked on after releasing their previous record, and one that came together naturally and quickly as a classic Country Westerns tune. The remaining songs were chosen by Plunket from the many covers the band had played over time. All big Dead Moon fans, "A Miss of You" was a song the band played during a live stream around the time they released their first record in June 2020. Early on in the project, "Wall of Death" was mentioned by bassist Sabrina Rush as being fun to play on bass, one of a large group of songs that she liked trying to play on different instruments as a form of practice. Kotzur and Plunket both seemed enthusiastic to try it out as a band, so they added it to the songs they were playing. "Undeleteable'', by Jad Fair (Half Japanese) and Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), is largely the result of Kotzur and Plunket's collaboration, with Kotzur bringing his multi-instrumentalist skills on marimbas, electric and acoustic guitars, drums, shakers, and backing vocals, while Plunket sets the song's eccentric tone and pace with his fun vocal narrative and searing guitar solos; Rush later added bass. Kotzur fine-tuned all of the tracks and passed them along to friends and collaborators, engineer Daniel Schlett and producer Matt Sweeney. They mixed and added the finishing touches to the recordings at Schlett's Strange Weather Recording in Brooklyn, the same place where the band recorded and worked with Schlett and Sweeney on their debut record. The songs were mastered by John Baldwin in Nashville, continuing the tradition of collaborating between New York and Nashville.

While they initially did not have plans to release the songs as more than a digital EP, upon hearing the songs, the band's label Fat Possum asked if they could release the tunes as a small run of 7"s as well. The songs were just long enough that they would not work out on a 7", so the format was changed to a 10". While they kicked around ideas for a title, including "One Minute Too Long", the band ultimately saw the songs as a collaboration on their way to making their next set of originals and simply called it EP. Friend and photographer Tim Song, who worked with the band on the cover photographs, took the image of the phone booth one day when he stumbled across it while at a gas station in East Nashville. It stands across the street from the site where neighborhood record store and local favorite Fond Object once stood, which has since been demolished by developers.The band played and watched friends and favorites play in the intimate backyard setting at the store over the years, from Hans Condor to Burton Greene. The phone booth is a reminder from another time, fitting for a collection of songs that spans the decades and offers a look into the band's inspirations.

Listen to the new cover below.


LIVE 2021

July 10 - Nashville, TN - Brooklyn Bowl

July 11 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl

Aug 12 - Oxford, MS - Proud Larry's

Aug 14 - Dallas, TX - Main at South Side

Aug 16 - Austin, TX - Continental Club *

Aug 17 - San Antonio, TX - Lonesome Rose *

Aug 19 - New Orleans, LA - Gasa Gasa *

Aug 20 - Jackson, MS - Martin's *

Aug 21 - Memphis, TN - Hernando's Hide-A-Way *

* w/ Bobby Bare Jr

Regional Awards

From This Author - Sarah Jae Leiber

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