I’ve been pretty sad ever since my buddy Greg Loftus moved away to Austin, Texas a few years back. I was lucky enough to go visit him down in the live music capital of the world, play a few shows, eat my weight in cow tongue tacos and brisket and drank enough Lone Star to kill a man. And of course Greg has been back a few times and we have played shows together when he is in town. I still miss my buddy and sitting around the table, slamming pitchers, and swapping songs at our favorite Brighton dive. One good thing that has come out of this (you know, aside from Greg’s own personal happiness and getting away from Boston winters) is his band formed since venturing south, Carpetbagger. These boys can play some tunes, I tell ya. Coupling some killer country rock vibes with Greg’s distinct vocal and songwriting and you have an incredible band…seriously, seriously awesome. Well, Loftus and the boys have a new record due out at the end of the summer/early fall and I was lucky enough to get a preview of two tracks from that album. And they are f*cking fantastic.
‘The Shenandoah Banks’ is a song of drifting. It has some of those great lonesome vibes running through it with the ever present sad and lonely sound of the pedal steel, some killer guitar parts courtesy of Cody Brown. A great reprise towards the end of the song that really builds. And Greg’s songwriting chops are still absolutely phenomenal. He really encompasses that Springsteen, blue collar, working guy who comes home from a long day, tosses on his pearl snap, exchanges his cement caked work boots for a pair of worn cowboy ones, and heads off to a gig with a guitar case and a head full of songs. I love this dude’s writing.
I’m a long way from lonesome and I won’t fake what I don’t have to
The other track is right up there with Shanenedoah. Called ‘The Lowlands’. A similar vibe that is different enough to make them back to back interesting, but this is the same band. A bit more of a slower vibe. Loftus hollers out his heart for the barroom to drink up with their 2 dollar drafts as he catches looks from some lonely ladies at the end of the room and a raised shot of whiskey from disheveled gents in plaid and beaten up trucker hats. Seriously, there is feeling and soul in these tunes.
Check out Carpetbagger’s last EP here:
And keep an eye out for their debut full length out in the next few weeks.