The world of Americana and Folk is flooded with “dude with guitar” type songwriters in plaid shirts and beards singing about the same old thing, their sound indiscriminate and playing the same old tired game. In a musical terrain where people get the same old notion about another singer-songwriter that falls under that umbrella, well its hard to really make an impression on folks. The first time the first word came out of Joe Young’s mouth, well, that impression struck me like a bag full of bricks straight to the side of the head. And while Joe indeed may have a beard, and probably wears plaid on occasion, the gent’s voice just has “that something” to it. A bit Ray Lamontagne, a smidge of Joe Purdy, perhaps even David Gray with a bit more twang, there is a graveled nature to his voice, but a glimmer of polish and sheen that flickers bright in the occasional grim stories of his songs.
When Young let me know of his new project Young Frontier I was particularly interested. The band’s debut record is almost out and features Bethany Weiman, Daniel King and Young with the help of Mike Connors (Drums, Percussion), Mike Effenberger (B3), and Craig Weiman (Electric Bass, Upright Bass) on the recordings. Filling out the songs beautifully and really opening up the arrangements of these tunes in a way that is exciting and fresh. The harmonies are on point, the instrumentation is acoustic drive but with a rock n’ roll edge, and the overall feel of the tunes is charged and dynamic.
While the official release is slated for later this summer (July 15), we got the skinny on a video shot for the first single off of the album called “Waste of My Time”, which highlights the band and that golden voice of Joe. Part behind the scenes look at the actual set up and filming of the session and part performance, its a great example of all the work that goes into recording a new album, and the excitement, sweat and heart that a new band bleeds into it.
Part rambling folk romp and other part sweet balladry soirée, the tune sways with an uptempo feel that is anchored down a bit by the lonesome, range-filled cry of Joe Young’s vocal.