John Baumann Releases New Album COUNTRY SHADE
"I need to see that silver lining in those dark and stormy skies, and pray I catch that feeling that I used to know back when, back when I never knew I'd ever need a second wind," John Baumann sings on "Second Wind." The Bluegrass Situation premiered the track earlier this week, an excerpt from his new album, Country Shade, out today. The track is about digging deep and finding the next gear, a familiar idea for someone who's spent the last few years establishing himself as a promising songwriter within his home state and beyond its borders. No Depression calls the album "one of the Texas songwriter's finest accomplishments...considering this marks his third full-length, there's no question that his honest, revelatory voice is just beginning to command an ever-growing audience."
Recorded at Modern Electric in Dallas, Texas, the 12 songs on Country Shade follow two primary narratives: the changing state of rural America, and changes in relationships. A steady-picked acoustic guitar accompanies the introduction to the album: "The Country Doesn't Sound the Same," which American Songwriter noted as "contemplative and forlorn," is a true-to-life account of changing scenery and soundtrack.
"Next Ride Around the Sun" explores "the importance of treasuring each day -- the good and bad -- and not taking a single moment for granted," according to Wide Open Country, while Billboard noted how, "after the surprisingly delightful Mellotron opening, [the song] takes on a tone similar to the Lori McKenna-penned' Humble & Kind' both melodically and thematically."
"Fool's Crusade" is extravagant in its examples of love-slaying a dragon, taming a beast, tearing down walls-but, that is what unconditional love is, after all. "Daylight's Burning" and "If You Really Love Someone" focus on the other side of things, the end of romantic relationships, from some that seem all-consuming and others that can take quite a while to finally tie up their loose ends. "Sunday Morning Going Up" is a play on Kris Kristofferson's "Sunday Morning Coming Down," with an emphasis on celebrating hard work, enjoying the here and now, and appreciating what you have. "Homesick for the Heartland" recalls a sunny summer day with the windows down, full of innocence and nostalgia.
"Flight Anxiety" offers a dizzying account of -- well, exactly what it sounds like. "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow" is a call for apologies when they're necessary, echoing the album-wide importance of appreciating loved ones when you can and never leaving problems unresolved or a kind word left unsaid.
"Grandfather's Grandson" bookends the album, cementing John's place in the world as someone who values hard work, building a future and loving the places and people in the world that really matter. Country Standard Time says, "Kudos to Baumann for keeping our eyes on the right prizes."
Country Shade marks the continuation of an eventful few years-in 2017, he released his acclaimed sophomore album, Proving Grounds, and Kenny Chesney recorded "Gulf Moon" for 2018's Songs for the Saints. Baumann is a member of The Panhandlers, with fellow Texans Josh Abbott, William Clark Green and Cleto Cordero, and recently signed on with The Next Waltz, the Texas-based brainchild of legendary songwriter Bruce Robison, for management.
Country Shade Track Listing:
1. The Country Doesn't Sound the Same
2. Next Ride Around the Sun
3. Daylight's Burning
4. Homesick for the Heartland
5. Fool's Crusade
6. If You Really Love Someone
7. Sunday Morning Going Up
8. I Don't Know
9. Second Wind
10. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
11. Flight Anixety
12. Grandfather's Grandson