Americana artist Grant Langston's newest album, Hope You're Happy Now, is a step away from the hard-edged Telecaster country that has been his stock and trade for the last decade. It's still country music - chock full of booze, broken dreams and busted marriages - but this new record is dark, moody and veers into the downright somber.
"I write a lot of ballads, and because of the crazy places I play and the kind of records I make, it's hard to use those songs. I wanted to just slow things down and make a more reflective album of primarily darker material."
A major source of inspiration for Hope You're Happy Now turned out to be one of Willie Nelson's darkest records, Phases and Stages. "I put together a large band and did a show in Los Angeles where we played all of Willie's Phases and Stages record in order. I got very familiar with the material and fell in love with his simplicity and subtlety. I decided that I should just follow my gut and make an old-school record that's about quiet stories and steel guitars."
With that in mind, Langston booked into a vintage studio on LA’s East Side and played live with his band directly to 2” tape.
The finished collection of 12 melancholy songs is set to be the first album release from California Roots Union, the music promotion company bringing national and international awareness to the rich history of California Country Music. CRU was founded to promote real country music in Los Angeles. "There's an entire generation of roots and country artists who have turned their back on the Nashville sound. That music certainly isn't all bad, but it's taken on a polish and posture that feels like 80's rock. We think that when people hear real American roots music like Grant’s record, they'll fall in love with it.” - Co-Founder David Serby.
released April 7, 2015
Grant Langston - Vocal, Electric and Acoustic Guitar, Organ and Piano
Tony Horkins - Drums and Percussion
John Ramey - Bass on 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12
John Fleeger - Bass on 1, 2, 3
Darice Bailey - Piano, Organ, Vocals, and Glockenspiel
Rich McCulley - Guitar on 2
Craig Ferguson - Pedal Steel on 1 and 3
Johnny Hawthorn - Electric Guitar and Lap Steel on 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12
Chris Lawrence - Pedal Steel 4
Jennifer Gibbons - Backing Vocal on 10
Recorded at Station House Studio, Echo Park, California by Mark Rains, and Red Hill Studios, North Hollywood, California by Rich McCulley.
Mixed by Mark Rains
Mastered by Rueben Cohen
Cover Photo by Duff Ferguson
Album Design by Christopher Friedman
Thanks to Ethan Dempsey, Elizabeth Pearl and Catie who are the inspiration behind all this music. Thanks to Tony Horkins, who has been my partner in 15 years of performing and recording. I cannot thank enough all the people that labored to make this record happen. We made it the old fashioned way, with a group of musicians in a room staring each other in the eyes. Thanks to my friends and California Roots Union co-founders, David Serby and Robin Young. Thanks to the venues, radio stations, writers, bloggers, and fans who keep buying the music and sharing the news.
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