Levi Petree Announces New Album 'It's Country'

01-11-2017
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Levi Petree

(Skye Media) Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Levi Petree has announced that he will be releasing his new studio album, entitled "It's Country," on March 3, 2017. We were sent the following details:

Described by some as "if Johnny Cash fronted The Clash," Petree is a ragin' Cajun from Lafayette, Louisiana; Petree was born on the bayou and infuses that area's unique spirit into his music and performances. With songs that are lyrics- and guitar-driven and boasting a healthy dose of humor and a touch of American swagger, Petree's album was recorded at Exposition Studios in Culver City, CA, with Chad McKinsey at the production helm. The record was mixed and mastered at Exposition Studios, with additional mixing done by Paul Broussard at Leap Studios in Lafayette, Louisiana.

"I still believe in the promise of rock 'n' roll, and our aim is to remind people it's out there," says Petree. "One of the most consistent comments I get from people who see us play live is that, as a band, we go for broke. I take pride in that and hope it's something that comes across on the record."

To complete It's Country, Petree worked at Exposition Studio on trade and eventually built up enough credit to record 11 tracks, of which 10 made it onto the final album. Over a year of Tuesday nights, Petree worked with his producer and drummer McKinsey, to shape and layer the tracks. Most of the songs recorded had been in the live repertoire he had built up with his backing band, The Radio Publica. Sean Novak, bass player and Petree's right hand man, was the key force in guiding the songs to the finish line. John Salgado, Jr., who'd joined the band after befriending Petree at an East L.A. Morrissey-oke bar, provided the guitar fireworks. Wanting to go all out on the production value, Levi called in favors from the network of musician friends he'd built up in Los Angeles. Liz Beebe, of Americana darlings The Dustbowl Revival, lent her voice and washboard to a few songs, and John McKenna, of L.A. Irish band Slugger O'Toole, added his accordion on the album's back half. Aedan MacDonnell (accordion) and Erick Szabo (piano/organ) provided additional backing.

Levi Petree's music has been described by critics as "rallying, thrashing, and infectious" (The Daily Country). About his sound, Petree says, "I'd learned to play by sitting in the back of these Irish jam sessions I'd been invited to, so it was a very '3 chords and the truth' beginning. It was a really great lesson, though, in learning how much emotion, or racket, you could fit into a simple structure. When I started writing, I tried to keep my focus on lyrics, melody, and that simple joy of playing.'" Petree still takes his cues from those roots, cranking out songs he hopes people would turn to as a perfect road trip companion, or perhaps a good partner in crime for karaoke night.

The title of his debut album, It's Country, said with a wink and tongue planted firmly in cheek, was (verbatim) the response given by a friend when asked to describe her thoughts on Levi's first public performance. It was always meant for a laugh, but whether people were thrown by the occasional twang in Levi's voice, or the presence of guitars on a classic structure, the country comparison started to happen more and more. Rolling his eyes at what he felt was a generalization, Levi began to embrace the description "it's country" as a smartass' act of defiance, an inside joke that maybe this is just what people called rock 'n' roll nowadays.

The songs on It's Country showcase a range of styles and influences. Yes, there's a little Americana thrown in on tracks like the hopeful "Fight On" and humorous story song "The Habanero Do-Si-Do," but you've also got barn-burning rave-ups ("The Rapture," "Eyes So Blue"), an ode to Morrissey and '50s pop ("I Know You're Gonna Haunt Me"), a Beatles-esque sing-a-long ("Rockaway"), an early-Elvis era ballad ("Lover's Cove") and the snarl of the Sex Pistols ("Do What You Want"). The closest the album ever comes to truly tapping into its country namesake is the song "What's It Gonna Take?," an emotionally charged, Springsteen-esque response to a movie theater shooting in Levi's hometown of Lafayette in July 2015.

"To finally have it out there is exciting and a little scary, but I'm eager to get on the road and support it in front of people who aren't familiar with us," Petree says. "I obviously can't control where it goes once it's out there, but I'll show a little faith and hope it reaches the people it was meant to. If it becomes at least one person's album they do Saturday morning chores to... then we got it right." Visit official website to learn more here.

Skye Media submitted this story.
It may be edited- Excerpted here with permission.

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