The Far West Releases Second Album of Alt-Country
Any Day Now Out February 25, 2014
Los Angeles’ The Far West came together in 2010, in some part thanks to a Craigslist ad that consisted of nothing more than a Waylon Jennings video of “A Couple of More Roads.” Each member, from all parts of the country, left other bands to pursue a common goal – to make music inspired by artists such as Gram Parsons, Uncle Tupelo, Sun Volt, and The Band. They released their self-titled debut album in 2010. Since then, they picked up respected booking agent Mongrel Music and have been consistently growing and selling out shows in the southwest. Their second album, Any Day Now is out February 25, 2014 and is steeped in alt-country with a few flourishes.
The record attracted attention. “The Far West bring LA’s signature, Gram Parsons style Country Rock, together with the type of Honky Tonk that is unmistakably Texan,” said Turnstyled Junkpile. “But whatever it is they play, The Far West exceed in coming together to produce a distinct sound that is undeniably their own.”
The album kicks off with “On The Road,” written by vocalist and guitarist Lee Briante from the Hudson Valley. Driven by train beat drums and haunting Leslie organ, "It's about my perception of Hollywood after moving here," says Briante. "It’s a place of self-created identities and it can certainly seem like people out here think they are the next big thing, but there's a bigger tinsel-town ethos and mythology at play.”
Not everything has a roadhouse sound. “Leonard,” about the folk-artist, who built the famed Salvation Mountain in California, includes horns. "You can definitely hear the influence of songs like 'Minnie the Moocher' here," says Briante "but this arrangement is also influenced by Springsteen’s Seegar Sessions, and some of Levon Helms horn treatments.” The band called on Nic Chaffee, who added some warm and vibrant brass.
“The Bright Side” has a little more kick (similar to The Old 97s) with excellent picking on guitar by Aaron Bakker. Writer Robert Black (bass, mandolin, vocals) says, “We all take our little trips to the dark-side from time to time. The Bright Side is your fist in the air anthem for those days when you wish the rest of the world would just “f*ck off” already.”
“The song ‘Wichita’ is about the journey back to a certain time and place when I was a kid,” says Black. The band decided to give the title something of a double-meaning and, in keeping with the Midwestern theme, they pay respects to some of their favorite music from the region including Son Volt, Wilco and of course The Jayhawks on this song - a deliberate homage.”
Black, hailing from Texas backed many a band there – as well as bands from the across the country. Briante has been playing in dozens of bands since he was 15 – and found Black via the Jennings’s ad. James Williams’s keys have bolstering many an eclectic band and has performed live on KCRW' Morning Becomes Eclectic with Nick Harcourt. Chicago native Aaron Bakker (guitars, vocals) found his true passion for music when he picked up his first guitar at fourteen. He's played was an integral part the Chicago band, Dorian Taj and dozens of 0thers. Travis Popichak has been a hotly sought-after drummer in Los Angeles for years.
This is producer Colin Mclean's second album with The Far West. He recorded their first album at an American Legion Post while the bar was open for business and in keeping with his interest of using unusual spaces as studios, recorded Any Day Now in a Vintage Hot Rod Repair shop. “The room you use to record really makes an imprint on the overall sound of a record, so using places that have lives of their own adds something special I think', said Mclean. The album’s title, Any Day Now was taken from a newspaper article that had a line that read "a follow up album is due any day now." That was over a year ago. Any day now has finally come.