It's tempting to assume that any guitar band with a southern twang and some charm is country music, especially when that band's origin is Nashville, aka the capital of country music. Not everything out of Nashville is country music. Just ask Kesha. Or Jason Isbell. Or Blank Range, whose song "Opening Band" we're premiering above. It's a great example of how, sometimes, a song just needs to be simple to be good.
"Opening Band" is a lightly polished southern rock song about being, well, an opening band. It's appropriate, and a little bit of an elbow jab to the band themselves, who have made a career of being an opening band for everyone from Benjamin Booker and The Mountain Goats to Alice in Chains and the Drive-By Truckers (though, if you're one to want a deeper or more nuanced read of songs, you could say life on Earth is like being the opening band for God's main act, or something). The song is their first release from their forthcoming debut album Marooned With The Treasure that follows two EPs released over the past two years. Jon Childers' (no relation to Tyler Childers, by the way) vocals resemble a southern-fried Bob Dylan, and frankly, that rules.
"I started this song in a field in Tulsa, OK on the last night of a west coast tour we did last fall," Childers says. "At the beginning, I only had the melody and the line "We're still playing in the opening band." I was thinking about the years we've spent on the road opening tours and writing a little tribute to that time.
"The night we got home off that run, I went to our back shed with an acoustic guitar and set to figuring out what the rest of this song had to say. I'd been reading a lot about inter-dimensional travel, out of body experiences and the work of The Monroe Institute in the works of Ken Eagle Feather at the time. The idea of "The Opening Band" slowly morphed into more of a metaphor for life on this plane, and the search for purpose as I ruminated on those ideas.
"Now that I'm almost 30," he continued, "and watching some of my friends find more stability in their lives, I can let a little doubt about the future creep in if I'm not careful. Every once in a while, I wake up in the back seat of a van flying down some interstate to a show and wonder 'Is this really what I should be doing right now?' I wrote the last verse as a little prayer I get to sing to myself and the other guys every night. A reminder to "keep the faith" in the path we've chosen."
Marooned With The Treasure is out August 25 via Thirty Tigers. You can preorder it here, and check out Blank Range on tour.
7/7 – Nashville, TN – Two Boots Pizza [giving away a FREE PIZZA FOR LIFE CARD]
8/9 – Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle w/ Banditos
8/11 – Milwaukee, WI – The Back Room @ Colectivo Coffee w/ Banditos
8/12 – Burlington, WI – Tall Tales Music Festival
8/13 – Evanston, IL – SPACE w/ The Wild Reeds [93 XRT & Billions First Impressions Show]
8/14 – St. Paul, MN – Turf Club
8/19 – Nashville, TN – Musicians Corner at Centennial Park
8/25 – Nashville, TN – Grimey's In-Store
9/14 – Nashville, TN – Americanafest