John Keane Goes Down The Corduroy Road
Since its inception, The Corduroy Road has molded roots in Americana, folk rock, and old-time country with the rawest of live performances. The group was founded by Drew Carman (vocals, banjo) and Dylan Solise (guitar, vocals) in early 2006. The two were born and raised in the Central Kentucky Bluegrass Region where they learned their craft until relocating to the musical gem of the southeast: Athens, GA. With the addition of John Cable on drums and Tim Helms on bass, The Corduroy Road quickly gained a reputation in Athens as one of the best bands on the scene after sharing the stage with such notable bands as The Avett Brothers, Paleface, The Packway Handle Band, Ian Thomas, Langhorne Slim, Drakkar Sauna and more.
In October 2008 the band released a 6-song self-titled EP and began incessantly touring the Southeast, rapidly building a loyal fan-base with their infectious live shows. Heavy airplay on Charlotte's WNCW is attracting attention to the band all over the Carolinas and beyond. GO TRIAD said "These six catchy, toe-tapping tunes feel like the kind of songs your friends end up playing around a campfire well into the night. They're familiar, bright and earthy."
The new releases find The Corduroy Road taking a new direction; the two songwriters have found that it is more rewarding to not always try to answer questions in your heart, but learn to love the questions themselves, addressing the issues of relationships, life, death, love or loss, with the hope of evoking some sort of emotion in the listener. Carman comments, "In the past we have relied upon stripped down rawness and energy to guide our recordings. Now, with the brilliance of John Keane and resources of Mule Train Records, we have harnessed that energy, focusing on the arrangements and composition of each song, bringing our music to a whole new level."
In addition to producing, Keane also contributes pedal steel guitar, dobro, mandolin, guitar and vocals to the recordings. Other guest players include Bill Mallonee (Vigilantes of Love) on vocals and harmonica; Tim White (Widespread Panic, Randall Bramblett) on organ; Andy Carlson (Cowboy Junkies, Vigilantes of Love, Vic Chestnut) on fiddle; and Rachel O'Neal on vocals. Keane adds, "The Corduroy Road combines soaring melodies and honest, thoughtful lyrics with primal acoustic energy. Their songwriting shows surprising range and maturity for such a young band. I believe this is one of those rare recordings that will truly stand the test of time."
The "Just One Drop" EP will be released on April 7, 2009. The full length Love Is a War will be released in June of 2009. The title track has already been selected to be on the AthFest 2009 compilation CD to be released on Ghostmeat Records in conjunction with the annual festival. Mule Train label head Ryan Kelly's enthusiasm is palpable. "Love Is a War is a refreshing soundtrack for today's complex times," he says. "The Corduroy Road's songs capture the tale of love and inspiration in a world looking for insight. I can see them quickly becoming a shining keystone in today's Americana/ folk legacy."
Meanwhile, the band continues to tour heavily. Itinerary is as follows (all dates subject to change).
Tues, March 3 Smith's Olde Bar Atlanta, GA 9 PM
Wed, March 4 Georgia Theatre Athens, GA 10:15 PM
Sun, March 8 Burgeon Bluegrass Fest Auburn, AL 5 PM
Fri, March 13 Broad St. Music New Bern, NC 9 PM
Sat, March 14 Sadlack's Heroes Raleigh, NC 7 PM
Sat, March 14 Ruckus Pub Raleigh, NC 10:30 PM
Thurs, March 26 The Back Room Flat Rock, NC 8:30 PM
Fri, March 27 Steelwater Coffee Wise, VA 8:30 PM
Sat, March 28 Dragonfly Theater Boone, NC 10 PM
Fri, April 3 Amici Milledgeville, GA 11 PM
Sat, April 4 Georgia FolkLife Fest Danielsville, GA 3:30 PM
Sat, April 4 Loco's Gainesville, GA 9 PM
Thurs, April 9 Melting Point Athens, GA TBA
"Just One Drop" EP Release Show
Fri, April 10 Puckett's Farm Equipment Charlotte, NC 10 PM
Sat, April 11 Studio B Greensboro, NC 9 PM
Fri, April 17 The Hummingbird Macon, GA 10 PM
Wed, April 22 Preservation Pub Knoxville, TN 10 PM
Thurs, April 23 JJ's Bohemia Chattanooga, TN 10 PM
Fri, April 24 Rafter's St. Simons Island, GA 10 PM
Fri, May 1 The Garage Winston-Salem, NC 10 PM
Thurs, May 14 Hell's Kitchen Wilmington, NC 9 PM
Fri, May 29 Five Spot Atlanta, GA 9:30 PM
Fri, June 12 Stillwater Taproom Augusta, GA 10 PM
Fri, July 10 Home Team BBQ Sullivan's Isle, SC 10:30 PM
Fri, July 24 Home Team BBQ Charleston, SC 10:30 PM
Sat, July 25 Smokey Joe's Café Charlotte, NC 10:30 PM
Sat/Sun, Sept 20/21 'Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Bristol, TN TBA
Click here to read today's full Day in Rock report