Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The 44 Territories - Debut Release 'Story'

A honky tonk with sawdust and peanut shells on the floor, a jukebox heavy with outlaw country and the warmest beer in any town is conducive to influencing any group of talented musicians to don the shitkickers and toss their hats and worn acoustics into any available space and get twang and dirty. That's the story of these talented outlaws from Detroit and I'm sticking to it. Don't walk, shuffle and grab this album and play this thing loud with an open dance floor and a lady in a Prairie dress.

The 44 Territories are a Detroit-based band, who take their interpretation of Americana music – heartfelt lyricism, twangy guitars and evocative imagery – and marry it to a distinctly Detroit rhythm and drive.

The 44 Territories, consisting of Dan McKernan (guitar/vocals), Erik Pelto (drums), John ‘Wolf’ Abel (bass) and Josh Weddle (guitar), was formed in 2015 as the four collaborated on new material and realized the music they were creating was different than projects they had worked on in the past.
Individually, The 44 Territories come from a variety of backgrounds, each as varied as the guys themselves. McKernan and Pelto spent years playing in the alt-country Desolation Angels. Abel has played with artists as diverse as Tantric, Kenny Olsen, and is a member of Detroit soul artists The Infatuations. Weddle brings his southern rock and blues guitar from a variety of rock and gospel bands.

Last summer and fall, the band went into the acclaimed Rustbelt Studios to record their debut with Producer John Smerek (The Deadstring Brothers, Detroit Cobras, Kenny Tudrick). The resulting EP, Story, showcases songs full of twang and gusto, from the California-country infused "101"
to the southwestern "Blacktop Road" and the driving Outlaw Country of "Getting Even (and Movin’ On)". There’s even a cover of the Talking Heads "Psycho Killer", with an arrangement that would make Waylon Jennings (or Sturgill Simpson) proud.

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