Back towards the end of last decade, we released the EP titled Side A. We had recorded a full album’s worth of material with the intention of dropping the more odd and interesting songs from the session as Side B not long after Side A. But then…trauma hit. And Chris and Brad retired from being full-time Tracers. And then, the global pandemic.
Back towards the end of last decade, we released the EP titled Side A. We had recorded a full album’s worth of material with the intention of dropping the more odd and interesting songs from the session as Side B not long after Side A. But then…trauma hit. And Chris and Brad retired from being full-time Tracers. And then, the global pandemic. Lewis and I kept on during the great pause. We wrote, recorded and released Hug You All on the Other Side (HYAOTOS) to chronicle our experiences in the year 2020.
In the summer of 2022, we revisited the handful of songs that were intended to be Side B. The “deep cuts” songs as it were. Too Far Gone was the first song Lewis and Josh co-wrote together which pre-dated Natchez Tracers. Parnassus ’83 was a also a legacy song we constructed during that era that also pre-dated Natchez Tracers forming in 2014. The sweeping epic Black Nails has been a part of the live show since 2016. Any Old Machine is pure and strange Natchez Tracers dressed in our Sunday Prog-Rock best (who puts a Phrygian dual-harmony guitar solo in a pop song these days anyway?).
After listening back, we thought we had good strong bones with these tunes. So, we touched them up and decided to get them out there to the world. The foundational playing is the classic lineup with Josh and Lewis on all guitars, Chris Long on drums and Brad Clark on bass. Chris Emkey's keyboards are all over Too Far Gone and Parnassus ’83, with the latter displaying a particularly ripping latin-tinged solo. Our friend Kaitlyn Felicia Connor, who played and sang on HYAOTOS, added some hauntingly beautiful organ and piano on Black Nails. Synth wiz Collins Gordon mixed it up with us on the exploratory jam that concludes Any Old Machine, Pt.1. Our old pal Chris West gave us a hot and punchy horn section arrangement for Too Far Gone. Everyone’s contributions are stellar on these songs. Thank you friends.
These tunes are discernably odd, but they do represent a special side of what we do and the music we often create. They are as dear to us as any of the others. While it was not the intention, the production of these songs harkens back to the waning pop-music influence of organic funk and southern rock music of the very late 70’s and early 80’s. A time when real drums, guitars and keys still mattered but knew that change and evolution was coming. The snare’s not gated here just yet, but it’s definitely thinking about it. Thanks Marv Treutel for co-producing this with us and the delightful mix!
Surprisingly, there is a lyrically theme with these songs. These are songs of perseverance. They are songs about holding steady and breaking through against your struggles. These songs champion human uniqueness and present-minded determination.
We hope you’ll sit back and enjoy Side B in sequence as it’s really the best way to experience the vision we had for this set of songs. Maybe, sometimes the deepest cuts hit the deepest.