Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers)

Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers)

David Luning

Sun, December 11, 2016

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$25.00 - $30.00

This event is all ages

Patterson Hood
Patterson Hood
Back in January, worn out from having spent a year on tour and facing a new album's release and another year spent mostly on a bus, away from the comforts of home and family, I decided to try to write a book. I had made a couple of stabs in that direction before (as well as a couple of screenplays) but had so far failed to complete one. The thing is, I love to write on the road. I write most every day out there. It's usually not songs, as completing a song amid all of the noise, distractions and music blasting on the bus is very difficult (I do often start songs there that get finished later) but writing non-musical compositions comes pretty easy for me out here and it sure passes the time. Beside, I had an idea for a story I wanted to write and it started coming very easily. By our third month on the road I already had a pretty firm outline of what I wanted and several chapters that I felt really good about.
I was calling my book "Slam Dancing in the Pews", named after a cassette that Virgil Kane had recorded in 1992 when Cooley and I were playing shows under that name after the break up of Adam's House Cat. The book was basically half-assed fictionalization of that very turbulent period of my life. I was 27, my band broke up, I got divorced and left my hometown to live in Memphis. My car got stolen, our band's truck got stripped and I fell in love. I fell out with my family (who I was very, very close to) and had my heart broken. I seriously pondered killing myself several times but instead wrote literally over 500 songs in a three-year period. A time when I reinvented myself artistically and experienced a sort of rebirth that led to a lot of the things I have done in the last two decades.
My book would sort of tell that story, but interspersed with lyrics from that period of my life, as well as new song lyrics either set in that time or from the point of view of various characters from the book. The structure would be chapter / song / chapter / song and so on. If the book was coming fast, the songs were coming even easier.
Then the booked stopped coming. Someday I may want to tell that story, but timing is everything and this just isn't the time for it. The songs, however continued to pour out, taking a few left turns and then morphing into its own thing. Most of this album comes from that short period of time between February and June of 2011. The songs begin in the period that the book was set in, but don't end there, as they really just were the impetus for writing about the life
I am living now and contrasting it with the troubled times of two decades ago. I called it Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance and decided that spring to record it as a solo album. I could clearly hear in my head exactly how I wanted every song to sound and made a list of who I wanted to play on each one. It is in some ways the most personal album I've ever made. There has always been a lot of me in all of the albums we've done, but usually semi-disguised as character sketches and stories, but the first person narrative in this one is pretty firmly rooted in autobiography, albeit in two dramatically differing time periods.
A Festival of Teeth - The making of Heat Lightning:
I have GarageBand on my computer so I decided to record a rough sketch of the album in my office, off from our kitchen at our house. The new songs nearly sequenced themselves into a near narrative and I started passing out my GarageBand demos to various friends and relations and received near unanimous positive feedback from it. David Hood is a session bass player who played on tons of those great Muscle Shoals soul classics back in the day. He played bass on The Staple Singers' classic "I'll Take You There" as well as hits by Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Bobby Womack, Bob Seger, Paul Simon, Willie Nelson and Etta James. He is also my Dad and he came over to record with me last fall and absolutely outdid himself. His playing on the title cut is just stunning and we had an amazing time working together. David Barbe, who has partnered with me on almost everything I've done for about a decade now, co-produced and played bass on the rest of the album. Kelly Hogan has long been one of my favorite people and I knew I wanted her to sing on my album. She has just recently recorded an album of her own and she and I had attempted to co-write a song for it. She sent me a set of lyrics to an unfinished song she was working on about our friend Vic Chesnutt. I loved her lyrics and set about re-writing it and turning it into a song called "Come Back Little Star" which I then sent back to her to complete, but alas she didn't get it finished in time to make her album and upon deciding to do my album, asked her if I could finish it for my album and she agreed. She came down to Georgia and sang on it and on "After The Damage" which I also wrote with her voice in mind. Upon singing her takes she could see through the glass into the control room what she described as "A Festival of Teeth."
As always, Brad Morgan played drums and just keeps getting better and better all of the time. As a lot of the songs were piano based (and since I'm just not a very good piano player) I was fortunate to have Jay Gonzalez playing Andy Baker's grand piano (on indefinite loan to Chase Park Transduction) as well as Wurlitzer, accordion and Mellotron. John Neff came by to play some spot-on pedal steel and we even got Cooley in to play banjo on a couple of tracks.My love for the Denton, Texas band Centro-matic is well known and once again I was fortunate to have Will Johnson and Scott Danbom in for a few days each to play with me. Will came in October, played some guitar and did some stunning singing. Scott came by in August and played upright piano on “Leaving Time”, then came back in early December and played the fiddle. I had always heard cello on some of these songs and for the first time got to play with Jacob Morris (Madeline, Moths and Old Smokey). In the end, I think we made the most intimate and personal record of my career and I’m extremely proud of how it all turned out. I have put together a really good band, The Downtown Rumblers, to go out tour behind it and
I’m really looking forward to taking this show on the road.
David Luning
David Luning
John Prine forced David Luning to drop out of college. Not at gunpoint or anything—
the two had never even met—but the effect of hearing the songwriting legend's music
for the first time had an equally compelling effect on Luning, who was studying film
scoring at the Berklee College of Music in Boston at the time. Now an accomplished
artist in his own right, Luning is preparing to release his most dynamic and gripping
collection to date, 'Restless,' and he can trace it all back to one fateful night that
changed everything.
"A couple of friends invited me over to share some songs at their apartment, and that
was the first time I'd ever really listened to Americana music or folk or country or
whatever you want to call it," remembers Luning. "They showed me John Prine, and it
just resonated with me so much. I was like, 'Oh my god, this is what I have to do with
my life.' I just figured it out in that moment."
Luning dropped out of school almost immediately, moved back to his native California,
and devoted himself to songwriting and performing. He worked his way up through
open mics to large festival performances, piecing together a band to flesh out his
songs along the way and hitting the road to tour with a fierce determination. His selfreleased
debut album, 'Just Drop On By,' garnered acclaim from both critics and fellow
musicians alike, with country megastar Keith Urban hailing Luning's "staunch
originality." Songs from the album landed numerous film and TV placements, most
recently on NBC's 'Grimm,' and Luning's reputation for exhilarating live performances
earned him dates with luminaries like Jackie Greene, Dave and Phil Alvin, and Elvin
Bishop, along with a slew of festival performances up and down the West Coast.
If 'Just Drop On by' announced the arrival of a promising new talent, 'Restless' delivers
on that potential and then some. Recorded under the guidance of engineer/producer
Karl Derfler (Tom Waits, Dave Matthews) and with Luning's longtime live bandmates—
Ben Dubin (bass & harmonica), Linden Reed (drums), and Dave Sampson (guitar &
mandolin)—the album marks a major step forward, both sonically and emotionally.
"With the first record, I produced and engineered everything myself," explains Luning.
"I'd never worked with an outside producer before, so it was nerve-racking going into
the studio with Karl for the first time, but it was just a perfect fit. It was like he knew
what I wanted in my music before I even did, and he could push my performances
where they needed to go and really take my music to another level."
Luning and his band set up shop at the stunning Panoramic Studios in Stinson,
California, crafting a darker, grittier vibe for the music and exploring a wider palette
than ever before. While many of Luning's songs are inspired by the lives and stories of
the men and women he's grown up with in California or met on the road, the lyrics are
all filtered through his own unique perspective and reflect his remarkable personal
journey. Perhaps no track fits that bill more directly than "Driftin,'" an infectious road
warrior's anthem that find's Luning singing, "I wanna keep on drifting like a rambling
man."
"I had so much fun on tour going from place to place and playing to new people all the
time and I got into the rhythm of it all, so when it ended and we came home I wasn't
ready to stop," he explains. "We pulled into Ben's house to unload our gear and I said,
'Ben, we're packing up and we're gonna go somewhere tomorrow right? We're gonna
keep on going right?'"
Much of the album is uptempo and exuberant—"Almost Sounds Like Laughing" is
a footstomping
folk tune with the energy of a runaway train—but Luning shows off his
remarkable depth and range on some of the record's more restrained tracks, like the
slow-burning "Brother In Chains" and delicate "Gonna Forget About You," which finds
him pulling his vocals back to an intimate near-whisper that conveys a world of
heartache and regret. "In Hell I Am" started life as an acoustic blues on a resonator
guitar before morphing into a fiery, electric rocker, while "Bet It All On Black" takes on
a harder, Southern edge, with Luning repeating the mantra, "Ain't no use in holding
back."
"It's essentially about a person who's kind of carefree," he says, "and they know that
something might not be the best thing to do, but they're going all in with it anyway.
They're just going for it, regardless of the outcome and any repercussions they might
face."
If that sounds familiar, perhaps like the attitude of a man who might risk everything to
drop out of school and move across the country to pursue a dream, it's no coincidence.
With songs this good, it's a safe bet that a restless soul like David Luning is going to
keep on traveling for a long time to come.
Venue Information:
Sweetwater Music Hall
19 Corte Madera Ave.
Mill Valley, CA, 94941
http://www.sweetwatermusichall.com/