City and Colour - USA Tour 2017

City and Colour - USA Tour 2017

Greyhounds

Fri, March 10, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Cox Capitol Theatre

Macon, GA

$35.00 - $45.00

City and Colour - USA Tour 2017
City and Colour - USA Tour 2017
There's a line that I'm trying to find, between the water and the open sky," sings Dallas Green on "Friends," the penultimate track off of his fifth release as City and Colour, If I Should Go Before You. For someone like Green, it's hard to imagine that there's much left to search for – he's traversed the globe on tour, released numerous albums (one most recently as You+Me with Alecia Moore, aka P!nk) and collected scores of accolades. Though Green is a musician, he doesn't make a show of things: that's the songs' job. Thus he's done this all quietly, intentionally, still looking for the next answer or dog-eared chapter each record holds. And this time, on If I Should Go Before You, he once again uncovered something new: a certain kind of family in his bandmates.

"It's been a very special two years for me," says Green, about the period since the release of 2013's The Hurry and the Harm, which has seen him touring with the consistent ensemble of Dante Schwebel (guitar: Dan Auerbach, Rumba Shaker), Doug MacGregor (drums: Constantines), Jack Lawrence (bass: The Raconteurs, Dead Weather) and multi-instrumentalist Matt Kelly. "They inspired me to want to create new music, just to create it with them – I don't think I wrote these songs for the band, per se, but I certainly wrote them because of the band."

Green had always been an introspective, solitary writer, demoing songs in his basement, working up every instrumental part by himself. But he considers If I Should Go Before You to be a band record, where the input of these trusted comrades was of the upmost importance. Even more pivotal was trying to capture the essence of their live show symbiosis in the studio; which comes through with an undeniable force. For a project that was very much about the inner world of Green, these relationships have morphed City and Colour into something with more emotive power than ever before: the layers go beyond just music and lyrics, into the people creating the songs themselves.

"Anybody who has seen us play will understand that this is the best representation of what we do live that we have ever recorded," says Green. "I was so excited about being able to make and record an album with these guys that it just flowed. I felt so confident about their abilities to make all of my ideas come true."

But there was one thing that Green did want to do himself this time: produce the record. He returned to Blackbird Studios in Nashville, where The Hurry and the Harm was made, but decided to take the production reigns himself, with the help of friend Karl Bareham as his partner and engineer, along with the masterful mixing skills of Jaquire King (Dawes, Kings of Leon, Tom Waits). Everyone who had a hand in the making of the record was or became part of the City and Colour family. Green's songs have always had a striking, visceral feel that pumps through the veins like oxygen, and, this time, it became a sort of translatable DNA.

Along the way, Nashville has come to be a special refuge for Green – it's a city he's gotten to know for several years now while not in his native Toronto, Canada, and he even recently purchased a home in the town. "In Toronto, I think of what I have to do," he says. "In Nashville, I think of everything I have done."

Indeed, it's a perfect time to think of everything he has done - and If I Should Go Before You is a celebration of that. With instrumentation recorded live off the floor, it comprises every part of the person Green has become over the years: chugging ballads that tug at the gut, aching confessionals set to slicing guitars, little licks of pedal steel for his new southern-swept soul, moody distortion from punk rock roots. Though he's recorded in many incarnations, If I Should Go Before You acts like a roadmap through all of them, showing that none of these were simply "projects," but they were part of the same whole.

The album opens with the sweeping, "Woman," a track that very well could be a surprise to those who might expect a simpler, acoustic-based entrance gate. At over nine minutes long, it's a sultry and dynamic ode to everlasting love expressed through a powerful, layered build of sounds and emotions like a complex sweep of watercolors – a percussive heartbeat, echoing riffs, Green's grounded yet ethereal falsetto. You can almost picture the stage lights spiral across a crowded auditorium; it moves with a life outside just the studio walls. Rare does a record strike a perfect balance between the live sound and studio magic; but this is one of them, that captures the synchronicity of Green and the band at its best both at the controls and on stage, through songs like the deconstructed waltz of the title track, a devastating request to a cherished lover.

"It's about the idea of loving someone so much you want them to move on if you were to go, but loving them so much you wouldn't want to if they did," Green says. "But, in my head, it also says, 'if I were to go, I give you this record to listen to.'" It's a sentiment that expresses just how strongly he feels this album is a key to past, present and future. That's further evidenced in "Friends," written as a heartfelt ode to his new musical family, set to a pedal steel that sounds like it’s weathered too many winters, but finally feeling the melt; or the razor cuts of "Wasted Love," where the confessions of a failed romance are echoed by licks of visceral guitar that plays in wordless response.

Green began recording as City and Colour in 2005, with Sometimes, followed by 2008’s Bring Me Your Love and 2011’s Little Hell, and has experienced huge success both on the charts and the road. All four previous studio albums have achieved platinum status in Canada, while Little Hell is also now Gold in Australia. The Hurry and the Harm debuted at #16 in the USA on the Billboard chart, # 1 on Canada’s Top 200 Chart and #4 in Australia, as City and Colour's highest debut. He also released four records as part of Alexisonfire, which have all received Gold and Platinum certification in Canada, as well as 2014's rose ave. as You+Me with P!nk, which made its entrance at #1 on the Canadian Albums Chart, # 4 in the USA, #2 in Australia and #6 in Germany .

On If I Should Go Before You, Green may have found one answer to what lies between the water and that open sky: it's the people we hold close, and the art born out of friendship. But he will always be searching; and thus, there will always be more songs. Though this time, when he's ready to share them again, he'll know exactly who to turn to.

As he sings on "Northern Blues," "I've got too much in front of me. I didn't leave enough behind."
Greyhounds
Greyhounds
"The war is on for your mind," sings Anthony Farrell, one half of the soulful Austin duo Greyhounds, "and we're on the same side." Arriving midway through the band's adventurous new album, 'Change Of Pace,' the line serves as a powerful refrain, with Farrell's voice peaking in intensity over musical partner Andrew Trube's chirping electric guitar. But more than just a memorable hook, it's an encapsulation of the shift in consciousness that defines the album, Greyhounds' second—and finest—collection of funky, blues-and-R&B-laced rock and roll for the iconic Ardent label.
 
"It's a reflection of the times that we're living in," explains Farrell. "As an adult these days, you can't help but feel like you're being bombarded by all these people trying to influence you one way or another to their type of thinking. There's this polarization of American culture where you're either on our side or you're against us, and I don't think that really helps anybody."
 
Such are the politics of Greyhounds, less concerned with your particular point of view than with your ability to come to an informed one that's true to your own moral compass. Where their last album, 2014's acclaimed 'Accumulator,' focused on internal emotional turmoil and personal relationships, 'Change Of Pace' draws its inspiration from the outside world and the struggles the duo sees every day in Texas and on the road.
 
"This record has a lot more to do with what's around us and our perceptions of that," explains Trube, who splits songwriting and singing duties with Farrell. "We're passionate about what's going on right now, and it's not necessarily 'political,' but as an artist, I feel like it's our duty to provide this looking glass for people to see what's going on around them and encourage them to wake up and start taking care of the world and each other."
 
Trube and Farrell first met while living in California, where an L.A. Weekly classified ad brought them together. The connection between the guitarist and keyboard player was instantaneous, and the remarkable magic they conjure together has since earned them widespread attention from critics and peers alike. Derek Trucks raved that "Greyhounds make real music, the right way and for the right reasons," while JJ Grey described their songs as landing "somewhere between a heartfelt hymn and the dirtiest jank you've ever heard in your life," and Gary Clark Jr. summed up a recent LA show by tweeting simply that they "crushed it as usual." Meanwhile, Esquire hailed their debut as "intoxicating [and] gut-wrenchingly lovely," USA Today compared them to "The Meters, Earl Hooker and Buck Owens," and Texas Monthly fell under the spell of their "ringing guitar…bluesy swagger, and all the pain a strained falsetto can convey."
 
Besides their unique ability to finish each other's musical sentences, the duo also bonded over a shared love of rescued gear. 'Accumulator' highlighted Farrell's collection of rewired vintage keyboards and Trube's extensive collection of antique guitars (all of them purchased for under $100), and 'Change Of Pace' finds them taking their DIY sonic approach to the next level.
 
"Farrell and I produced this record ourselves, and we're real proud of the risks we took," says Trube. "In most recording situations we've ever been in, we've had a producer telling us the 'right' and the 'wrong' way to go about things, but this time around, we just went for the sounds we thought would be cool. We'd have crazy ideas like hanging an amp on the showerhead in the bathroom and putting a microphone in the hallway with the door open, just trying to experiment with whatever equipment we had."
 
It wasn't all purely DIY, though, as the band recorded some of the tracks at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis, which has hosted everyone from Led Zeppelin and Big Star to The Staple Singers and Booker T. and the MGs in its storied history.
 
"It's incredible to record at Ardent," says Farrell. "It's inspiring, but at the same time it kind of lends this gravity to things. It made us feel the importance of what we're doing and of making it something that can last beyond the time that we're here and hopefully inspire others that come after us. We were given this opportunity to record in this place with all this history, and we felt like we had a responsibility to do it justice."
 
That responsibility rings out loud and clear in songs like the slow-burning come-together anthem "Walls"—where Farrell sings "What happened to the feeling that we can make a change?"—and "Sizzle"—which finds Farrell reflecting, "So many people just don't seem to care / They think that it doesn't matter because it's happening over there / But they forget that all nations used to be one / Living under the same sun." There are lighter moments, to be sure, like the playful, Trube-penned "Late Night Slice," in addition to the deep wells of emotion that bubble up on the heartbroken "Cuz I'm Here" and the funky "For You," but across the board, the album showcases the remarkable artistic maturation the band has undergone in the short time since releasing 'Accumulator.'
 
Despite the varied subject matter and recording approaches, Farrell and Trube's singular blend as songwriters proves to be the unifying thread that ties together all of the disparate, daring sounds and ambitious lyrical work.
 
"We're both two different guys, but once a song goes through our filter together, it's just Greyhounds," explains Trube. "I might have written the majority of the lyrics for some particular tune, but all in all, it wouldn't sound like it does if it hadn't had been Farrell and I working on it together. Every song has to go through the Farrell-Trube filter before it's put on the record. That's what makes the sound that we create."
 
If 'Change Of Pace' is any indication, the Farrell-Trube filter is working in peak condition right now, and the timing couldn't be any better. The war is on for your mind, and Greyhounds' new album is without a doubt a win for the good guys.
Venue Information:
Cox Capitol Theatre
382 Second Street
Macon, GA, 31201
http://www.coxcapitoltheatre.com/