Rocky Votolato in-studio, 7-19-07
Though you'd never know it from his current incarnation, Rocky Votolato once fronted the punk and emo-tinged Waxwing, a band that released three full-lengths ending in 2002. This fact alone makes his transformation into a rootsy troubadour unlikely, but how effortless he's made the switch seem is nothing short of remarkable.
The Brag & Cuss, his latest out this summer on Barsuk, features both the fullest band line up he's ever used, as well as the most country (as in classic) leaning batch of songs yet. The collection is full of references to the road, a lonely travelogue where mournful train whistles happen to fall into minor keys and the whiskey flows freely in places like Reno and Kentucky. We'll talk to Votolato about the childhood roots of his emerging sound (he grew up in Texas), the double-edged sword of life on the road (he's a husband and father), and more.
Recording engineer: Steven Kray