Adrianne Lenker / abysskiss
Adrianne Lenker has been writing songs since she was 10 years old. Her “back story” has been well documented in various interviews and profiles for Big Thief over the last 3 years. Despite, or more likely because of the constant touring and studio work, the last few years have been some of the most prolific for Lenker as a writer. Songs pop out at soundcheck. They pop out on late night drives between cities. They pop out in green rooms, hotel stairwells, gardens, and kitchens around the world.
“I want to archive the songs in their original forms every few years,” explains Lenker. “My first solo record I made was Hours Were the Birds. I had just turned 21 and moved to New York City where I was sleeping in a warehouse, working in a restaurant and photographing pigeons. Now five years later, another skin is being shed.”
Following a two week road trip through the southwestern United States, Lenker headed into the studio with longtime friend Luke Temple. Temple put on his loosely fitting, bright orange, 100% wool producer hat and for one week they made music. The songs chosen for this collection were the songs that felt the most alive in the room. These are not castaways or B-sides. Some of these songs have been alive for years while some were written just days before the session. Some will appear in different future forms, some will not. The thread that connects these songs is not something that can easily be put down in words. Intuition connects these songs. They are a record of a time.
The Byrds / Sweetheart of the Rodeo
With one mighty swing of the axe, the Byrds changed not only the face of rock 'n' roll but country music, as well, with their sixth album, 1968's Sweetheart Of The Rodeo. Tired of dipping a toe into the genre, Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman added singer Gram Parsons and drummer Kevin Kelley and went for total immersion. The baptism of country-rock was a natural with Parsons, former International Submarine Band frontman, now on board. And the repertoire was wide open for country classics by the Louvin Brothers ("The Christian Life") and Merle Haggard ("Life In Prison"), as well as Depression-era ballads (Woody Guthrie's "Pretty Boy Floyd") and honky tonk weepers cut by George Jones ("You're Still On My Mind"). The town wasn't big enough for both of them, of course, and Parsons soon split to form the Flying Burrito Brothers, but it sure was nice while it lasted!