JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS (Leroy Powell, Dean Tomasek)
Dean Tomasek recalls -
“I had recently gone to the doctor for my annual check-up. I was deemed fairly healthy, but there was a small dark spot on one of my lungs. Of course, I immediately thought, "lung cancer!" The doc said that it could be a number of things, and that more test were needed to find out what it was. Come back in a few weeks for more tests. Well, I had been a smoker all of my adult life, but that day I quit cold turkey. I mean, what kind of dip-shit keeps smoking with cancer in their lung?! Not this dip-shit. I had actually weened myself off cigarettes years ago, and was only smoking cigarillos by then. Now, no more cigarillos either. I swear, the thought of being so old that there are things that I USED TO do bugged me more than the threat of cancer. Things that I used to do when I was young. I'm not young anymore? When did that happen?
So, that's where the spark of the song came from. It is a lament for all of the great, foolish, brave, naive things you do before life gets in the way. Leroy came over to my house, and we sat outside playing guitars and drinking beer shortly after I got the news. Which was a great time to smoke, by the way, but I didn't. Again. I had the lyrics "Someday smoking you will just be one one of those things that I used to do" swimming around in my brain, but I wrote "loving" instead of "smoking", showed it to Leroy, and he immediately played and sang the chorus as it is now. I had most of the first verse, and we collaborated on the second verse, bringing in the love interest.The whole song was written in about 15 minutes. The first line originally was" Cigars and speed", but "cigarettes" sang better, so we rolled with that. The reality is, the song is an ode to cigarillos thinly veiled as a break-up song. ... When Tobacco and I got D-I-V-O-R-C-E-D.
P.S. The spot ended up being scar tissue from a childhood illness, and I still don't smoke.....tobacco…”
Nashville Condominium (Leroy Powell, Tim Jones)
Nashville Condominium sums up the dreams and desperation of Music City USA in a powerful blast of biting stratospheric vocals high as the cranes on every corner and a bass line and beat that is groovier than every piece of wax ever placed on a turntable.
Leroy Powell - Vocals, Guitars, French Horn
Tim Jones - Vocals, Guitar
Chase McGillis - Bass
Chris Powell - Drums
Old Flame (Leroy Powell, Tim Jones, Carey Ott)
Leroy Powell recalls the writing process -
“Me and Tim and Carey had a writing appointment scheduled which I had totally forgot about. Tim texted me late the night before reminding me and I got nervous since I had absolutely nothing to bring to the session. I like to show up with a couple of ideas just in case the inspiration well dries up in the middle of the writing hang. I immediately sat down with my guitar for a couple hours and brainstormed some chords and melodies. I landed on this line where the chorus melody hangs in the air while the chords glide underneath. It was sad and spooky - perfect for the Whiskey Wolves. I don’t remember having any lyrics except the Old Flame and that quick delivery vocal thing in the verses.
The next morning I showed up with the idea and in no time Carey, Tim, and I had a form for the tune and Tim started slapping lines on there. Tim really put the work in on the lines and got it to almost tell a story.
We recorded a worktape that day and I forgot all about it until a couple days later when Carey put together this demo of the song. It was amazing to hear it with this Calypso type pulse he put on it. Taylor Powell nailed it in the studio.”
Leroy Powell (vocals, guitars, pedal steel, percussion, producer, mixer), Tim Jones (vocals, guitars), Chase McGillis (bass, moustache), Taylor Powell (drums)
Freedom (Leroy Powell, Tim Jones)
Tim Jones recalls —
“Freedom was recorded in Nashville at Bill Reynold’s Fleetwood Shack the same day as Sound of the South and Drifting On with Chris Powell on drums, Willie Weeks Bass, Tom Bukovac guitar. We considered releasing it on “Country Roots” but it just didn’t fit with the other tracks.
I think I sang live and then we overdubbed singing it together at a later date. The band had it in a take or two. I overdubbed an acoustic guitar part at some point, but Leroy probably replaced it with a better one.
Tom and Leroy had a lot of ideas for the solo section so Bill had them both set up different amps and different tones and play simultaneously. I of course was thinking of time and money and how these guys could guitarmageddon each other until the morning light and was trying to get Bill to have them move onto something else and do this later at leroy’s studio, but Bill is great about seeing magic come from a couple of guitar nerds eyes so sent me on a beer/wine/soda water run so they could pull some pretty smoking hot notes out of heaven’s ether nest. Glad Bill sent me away.
Tim Jones on the writing process -
“Leroy had made a record called ‘The Overlords of the Cosmic Revelation’ that just blew me away sonically and moreover, thematically. It was his own feelings and passion but told through metaphorical characters almost like Thin Lizzy’s masterpiece, Jailbreak. I had for most of my life only written from a personal perspective and almost exclusively to an imaginary audience. We had set up a writing appointment and I started to think more outside the box like “I don’t care what we write but I want to call it “No.1” so that we can always say the first song we ever wrote was #1.” I just had the idea that I wanted the chorus to say “Freedom”. I had nothing else. I think we kind of wrote the 2 side by side.
Leroy and I both have a distrust and dislike of the military industrial congressional complex and big banks(who likes them?). The word "Freedom" has so much intrinsic meaning, but Post 9/11 had been co-opted by a lot of brands, politicians, and religious leaders to sell what they wanted people to buy. Leroy came up with the story of a farmer seeing everything he’d dreamed of slip away right in front of him and having to question what it was he really wanted in the first place. And I got my big chorus. And ultimately the song is a great metaphor for what I wanted out of writing and life in general.”
Leroy Powell (vocals, guitars, pedal steel, synths, producer, mixer), Tim Jones (vocals, guitars), Tom Bukovac (guitars), Willie Weeks (bass), Chris Powell (drums)
whiskey wolves of the west
When artists have a certain degree of laudable talent in their arsenal, expectations can be quite high whenever they endeavor to branch out on their own. Good thing Tim Jones and Leroy Powell, the dynamic songwriting and performing tandem known collectively as Whiskey Wolves of the West, knew just how to harness the chops they honed as prime progenitors of the new Nashville sound. Helping forge the creative lane now occupied by the likes of Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson also opened up a seam for the pair to charge through themselves to put forth a concisely focused, seven-track melting pot of an album aptly named Country Roots, which is set for release on March 2, 2018 from Rock Ridge Music.
“I don’t know where we fit into that whole vibe, but I do feel like the music Tim and I do could easily be put side by side with any of it—we’re not shooting to sound like anybody other than ourselves,” theorizes Powell, a first-call guitarist/multi-instrumentalist for noted Music City producer Dave Cobb who’s backed the aforementioned heavy-hitter Simpson in the studio, as well as both Shooter and Waylon Jennings. Concurs Jones, a top-cat Nashville singer/player in his own right who’s worked side by side in a band with Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket) and had Chris Robinson (The Black Crowes) as a producer and tourmate, “I’m proud to say we’re both making the same kind of music now that we did back when we were starting out. It’s the love of a genre that a certain zeitgeist movement may have briefly captured, but we never left it.”