TM Label Lowdown - Snakefarm Records
Updated: Jul 8, 2021
With Nashville arguably the most influential music city on earth and demand for the discovery of roots rock music reaching far beyond US shores, Snakefarm Records - an imprint under storied heavy metal label Spinefarm Records - has been set up to provide a supportive home for new and recognised names from the heavier side of the country and blues spectrum.
Snakefarm declares: "the time is right for pre-conceptions to be put to one side and music to be enjoyed purely in terms of quality and its ability to connect". We've picked three of the most exciting and accessible artists that the label has to offer, perfect for those ready to dip their toes into the worlds of southern rock, country, blues and Americana. And who better to introduce the label than Snakefarm 'King Cobra' himself, Dante Bonutto?
An Introduction To Snakefarm - By Dante Bonutto
At a time when so much is shallow and of-the-moment, actively celebrated for the shortness of its shelf-life, Snakefarm rides out of the sunset with the dust of tradition on its boots and an altogether deeper set of values beating in its heart – values that touch on history, geography (The South!), family, kinship, culture and a whole lot more...
By focussing its ‘man with no name’ stare on the music that aligns most comfortably with said list, the likes of country, blues, bluegrass, soul and roots rock in general, real music straight from the crossroads, Snakefarm will continue to fly the flag for, well, let’s just call it the ‘good stuff’.
And if that ‘good stuff’ comes with extra guitars plus a generous side helping of attitude, then so much the better. - Dante Bunutto
Eric Church - Heart / Soul
In the States, Erich Church is one of country music's premier names and biggest, most respected stars. His ground-breaking Outsiders album (2014) is noted to have spearheaded the rock/country crossover style that dominates country radio today. Snakefarm Records reissued Eric's fifth studio album MR Misundestood back in 2017 and this year presents his latest ambitious offerings; Heart AND Soul.
Rolling Stone described the three-album set from "the Nashville maverick" as "his biggest, boldest statement". The album is split into three separate parts: Heart (released on April 16, 2021), & (released exclusively as a vinyl record to members of his fan club, called the Church Choir, on April 20, 2021) and Soul (released on April 23, 2021).
"I've always been intrigued when a song is born in a writer room - there is a magic that happens there. I wanted to put that in the studio form."- Eric Church
In a short video to fans on January 21, 2021, Church officially announced the triple-album and revealed that he wrote and recorded the majority of the songs for the project during a 28 day trip to the mountains of North Carolina in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eric recalled: "every day, we would write a song in the morning and we would record the song that night. Doing it that way allowed for the songwriters to get involved in the studio process and the musicians to be involved in the creative process."
BC Heights observed that the project "gracefully dances between pure country, lively rock, soulful blues, and heartfelt ballads. And this time Church and his team did not just make one album with their heart and soul, they made three." Heart and Soul are available now on CD and vinyl from the Snakefarm Records Store.
John Pardi - Rancho Fiesta Sessions
Falling under the spell of country artists like George Jones and George Strait, and with a special affinity for Hank Williams, JR, John Pardi was playing the guitar as a child and was only seven years old when he belted out 'Friends In Low Places' at his father’s 30th birthday party at a local hall.
Signing to Capitol Nashville and releasing his first album Write You A Song in 2014, Pardi followed his debut with a further two albums noted for their embrace of 'neotraditional country', defined by an emphasis on the instrumental elements and a traditional country vocal style. The latest studio album Heartache Medication arrived in 2019 and saw him become the only country artist to appear on year-best album lists in both Rolling Stone and the Los Angeles Times.
Described as a 'surprise covers set', the Rancho Fiesta Sessions sees Jon paying tribute to his influences by interpreting much-loved material by the likes of Dwight Yoakam, Merle Haggard, George Strait, Tom Petty and Prince. The platinum-selling star recorded the set live with his touring band during a one-night jam session from his home base in Nashville and it’s named after that location, Rancho Fiesta.
“It sounds like we’re in your backyard.”- John Pardi
This covers album presents an accessible portal for newcomers to dive into the music of Jon: “All these covers are of artists that I admire, and I look up to. I think the magic and the fun of it is all is in these eight covers of songs that I really like or grew up singing."
The vinyl version of the Rancho Fiesta Sessions is exclusively available now on the Snakefarm Records Store.
Alan Jackson - Where Have You Gone?
Alan Jackson is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 75 million records worldwide, known as a pioneer of the 'neotraditional country' sound for blending traditional honky-tonk and mainstream country-pop sounds. Where Have You Gone is Alan Jackson's 16th studio album, and 25th in a storied career that includes two Christmas albums, two gospel albums, three greatest hits collections, a bluegrass album, and one box set!
Packed with 21 performances, Jackson – a member of the Songwriters Hall Of Fame – penned fifteen of the album’s songs, including the title track. Keith Stegall, his longtime producer, once again plays that role.
"I was driving and listening to the final mixes Keith sent me, and I started to tear up. I was surprised to get so overly emotional, but I just love this kind of music.” - Alan Jackson
The Country Music Hall Of Fame member see the record as "harder country" than much of his previous output and considers harnessing the sound of the instrumentation as intrinsic to the spirit of the genre: “Real country songs are life and love and heartache, drinking and mama and having a good time but it’s the sounds of the instruments, too. The steel and acoustic guitar, the fiddle – those things have a sound and a tone - and getting that right, the way those things make you feel... that’s country, too.”
Set for release on 14th May 2021, Where Have You Gone is available to pre-order now.