Jason Boland to make tour stop in Goliad
IF YOU GO
• WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday
• WHERE: Schroeder Hall, 12516 Farm-to-Market Road 622, Goliad
• COST: $12 advance, $15 door
• FOR MORE INFO: SchroederDanceHall.com, 361-573-7002.
Jason Boland has traveled a long road since his whiskey-soaked, stoner days of pining over a "Rich, Young, Dumb Nymphomaniac."
While he's a sure match for a boat party, midnight back road cruises - and heavens yes, Schroeder Hall - the Oklahoma native has done some growing up.
From the Houston Livestock Show, Boland chatted with Get Out about his new album out in May, writing music with meaning and staying humble.
HOW WAS WORKING WITH SHOOTER JENNINGS ON THE NEW ALBUM, 'DARK AND DIRTY MILE'?
He's great. You need a certain air for it. I knew he possessed the knowledge we needed when we got in the studio: how to set the mics and get the vibe. He's a piano player as well, so he's good with a range of songs. He's personal and down to earth. It was a smooth, organic experience.
We recorded it in Austin down at Cedar Creek and did some work at 12th Street Sound.
'RANCHO ALTO' SEEMED TO STICK UP FOR THE UNDERDOG. WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU WANT TO CONVEY WITH THIS ALBUM?
I don't think I intentionally go to say something. I write most of the songs we do as I experience life.
Sometimes, you find old songs that fit what you're doing. You tell them (your audience) different things in different songs. With all of our records, we try to take them on a ride of everything.
There's a lot of speaking for the downtrodden. There's already a lot of songs about how good it is to drive around, listen to music or party at the lake. We're the type of guys who gravitate toward the tradition of Merle Haggard or Johnny Cash - to have some form of social issue.
HOW DO YOU STAY IN TOUCH WITH YOUR ROOTS?
Touring keeps you humble, period. You go to new places. They don't know you. There's no special treatment. Even in some places where you 'think they ought to know who you are,' it's a big world out there.
If everything else is going right, you'll blow an axle. We've done it on trailers. We burned a tag axle last time we were heading east. We stayed in Longview, and I had to fly to Auburn to do a show acoustic. Then I rented a car and drove to Atlanta to do a show acoustic before the band caught up.
Hurricane Sandy closed down sold-out shows in Washington and New York.
It teaches you to roll with the punches.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE CURRENT STATE OF COUNTRY MUSIC?
Pop music - the stuff for 14-year-olds - people in their 20s and 30s have always called that bad. I don't think anything has changed.
When I first started getting into music, it was really cool to get into Jerry Jeff, Gary P. Nunn, Ray Wylie and the guys who we wanted to find out where it came from.
Now this day and age, it seems like they've already started to emulate pop: "We've heard you, now on to the next."
We try to stay relevant and push ourselves and make better music than we did when we were young. People heard the energy, the angst and the vitality of it, then they followed us through all the years and journey we've been on.
It's going on 14 years. We just now recorded an album basically the way we recorded "Pearl Snaps." It was straight to tape. It's not enhanced or pitch-shifted, not pieced together. The same original four of us and now Nick Worley with us on fiddle and mandolin - the fact that we can still get together and record music is pretty cool.
I'd rather it sound like this than everything else that's out right now.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE FUTURE OF TEXAS COUNTRY?
I don't see anything but it to keep getting bigger. The main thing that keeps anything going in a music scene, art scene or food scene is the people. The people in Texas are proud of their music and the Okies from the north. ...
This scene is always going to be great and have tons of bands and tons of bars and you can go see anything - western swing, singer/songwriters, rock 'n' roll, southern, four-piece bands - it all falls under the umbrella of being original and rootsy.
WHAT'S THE NICEST THING ANYONE'S EVER SAID ABOUT YOUR MUSIC?
This last album, "Rancho Alto," we got Country Music Album of the Year, from the Lone Star Music Awards. I believe that's still voted on by the fans online.
You think that'd be all the younger bands names. To be in it this long and our last album to get this award, that's one of the great ones.
Or when someone says the music does this or got them through something. That's why everybody puts it out there originally. You just want to put out a song that resonates with people.
IS SONGWRITING THERAPEUTIC FOR YOU?
They all come about from some situation. It's also just as important to capture something that inspires you in a good mood.
It's very easy to sit down with a guitar and start complaining. When the sun is shining, it's easier to get out and throw the football.
They all take grabbing their own inspiration in their own way. I've always been able to write tragedies and darker songs, but now for example, I got married June 11, and my wife has been an inspiration for a lot newer and lighter side of songwriting: "Lucky I Guess," "Only One," but also "Between 11 to 2"
THROUGH THE HARD TIMES AND THE GOOD, WHAT KEEPS YOU WRITING MUSIC?
It is naturally what I gravitated toward: creative writing. This is just a way I found my niche in creative writing. I wrote a few songs and people enjoyed them. So you sit around and keep trying to be honest with yourself.
Mike McClure, Bob Childers, Tom Skinner, Red Dirt Rangers - I think the spirit of all of it is just be yourself and something interesting will be created in the process. You might even amaze yourself.
I'm amazed we still get to do it. I listen to old recordings, and I don't know what people were listening to. Maybe they heard the angst and the passion. Every album I think we sound better and better. We're at nine albums now.
GOT ANYTHING PLANNED FOR THE SHOW AT SCHROEDER?
If people want to see the real thing still standing, go out to Schroeder Hall. It's an oasis out there, just like it ought to be. It's what it should be. There's not a lot of them left.