COUNTY WELL GETS CREATIVE AND FREE ON THE DEBUT RELEASE “FUTURE COUNTRY”
Floating Records announces the release of Future Country, the debut release of the artist collective known as The County Well. The Album has a scheduled Release Date of Friday, March 16th, 2018.
“Future Country is an album that embodies the idea of musical collaboration and sonic experimentation within the Marin County music scene of Northern California and beyond,” says Don Zimmer, one of the principals of Floating Records who’s also Recording Engineer and a contributing musician on Future Country.
“The goal is to connect the talents of both local and traveling musicians. “Being free and creative were the main goals of this project,” reveals Zimmer. “The name (County Well) comes from the idea of growing the well of musical collaborators in the area.”
The origin of the County Well was Zimmer connecting with Graham Guest of the Houston, TX-based group, Moses Guest. “We started writing and collaborating together,” recalls Zimmer, who along with Guest penned all eleven tracks on Future Country. “I’d use anyone that came by the studio that had musical talent. We just asked ourselves how much fun we could have trying different things.” The answer to that question seems to be “a lot,” as Future Country constantly shifts under the listener’s feet like a smooth, psychedelic carnival ride.
Recording projects that have this much collaboration usually lack a sense of rhythm and groove as musicians typically overplay parts, making the songs sound crowded – like too many people speaking at the same time in a small room. Future Country never allows this to happen. Zimmer starts with distinctive rhythms and determinedly keeps them to the end. “I would start with a click track and keep everything from there,” observes Zimmer. “The rhythmic aspect had to be tightened down. I wanted (Future Country) to sound like a band playing together.”
“Future Country“: A Song-By-Song Synopsis
“Whiskey Before Noon” (Don Zimmer): Spirited Country-flavored track featuring Michael Blumenstein (guitar, vocals) and acclaimed newcomer Alyssa Joy Claffey (fiddle. vocals), with the full Country Well ensemble contributing to a memorable, rousing chorus.
“Mezzanine” (Graham Guest, Don Zimmer): Guest’s soulful baritone vocals lend this tune a strong roots-and-rhythm feel all over it (can you say, ‘Country Cha-Cha’?), nicely augmented by Sandy Stadfelt’s trombone.
“Mrs. Soul” (Don Zimmer): Tasty guitar licks by Graham Guest and Don Zimmer augment Guest’s soaring vocals. Erik Yates lends his flute prowess, while Tracy Blackman and Steven Younger add spot-on backing vocals. A toe-tapper, to be sure.
“Baby” (Graham Guest): Country-fied dittie flows with the layered harmonies of Amy Nordstrom, sweet slide guitar of Joel Jaffee and Dobro dexterity of Erik Yates.
“Ship You Can’t Steer” (Don Zimmer): Opens with an arresting Jethro Tull-like flute lead by Yates as Guest wistfully sings, “singing a song, hope you won’t hear, wondering when, you got all that fear…”
“Light” (Graham Guest): Beautiful acoustic track with those ever-present sweet harmonies by Eric Eisenberg and others that are a staple of Future Country.
“Alabama” (Graham Guest): Leads with the comforting blues-y swells of a Joel Jaffee’s pedal steel guitar and Zimmer’s snare drums, with its Paul Simon-like harmonies, but quickly shifts into an upbeat tempo as drums and bass play in a near-poly-rhythmic groove. Special mention for Ms. Sophie Meier’s backing vocals.
“Extra Heavy” (Don Zimmer): Simmers to a slow, grooving boil with its Grateful Dead-esque double-dose of Joel Jaffee’s lap-steel guitar and piano lead by Steven Younger.
“Empty Hall” (Graham Guest): Ethereal, blues-sounding track features haunting vocals by Guest and pedal steel guitar to die for by Joel Jaffee, augmented by those ever-present, multiple-artist harmonies.
“Hollywood” (Don Zimmer): Haunting piano solo by Younger as Guest waxes poetic on Route 66 and the venerable City of Angels (“I just came to see…if the Hollywood sign..is still in the Hollywood Hills,” sing the Future Country harmony troupe, almost mournfully (Editor’s Note: it still is, but is practically inaccessible to the public anymore).
“Subtle And Serene” (Graham Guest, Don Zimmer): All-instrumental song featuring Guest on lead guitar and Yates on flute channels the popular “Jam Band” sound.
Future Country was Produced By Graham Guest, Rob Kovell and Don Zimmer; Mixed By Joel Jaffee, Buddy Saleman, and Doz Zimmer and Mastered By Jeffrey Norman.