…and then there’s just a bunch of them, you know? But I come across The James Low Western Front, who will be releasing an album in February and when it comes to people from the Pacific Northwest, I want to know and hear. Can I relate to their sense of wonderment, the isolation, the chill, the occasional boredom? I don’t know, it does apply to any specific location but the Pacific Northwest is unique in that it’s the Pacific Northwest? In this case, these guys are from Portland, so I’m even more interested.
The James Low Western Front is lead by singer/songwriter James Low, and the new album will be called Whiskey Farmer (Union Made). Do they make whiskey in Portland? Yes they do, or at least there are a number of small distilleries in/near the city, but what Portland does have is a wealthy amount of drinkers. Loads of bars, loads of people who want to feel the spirits or escape the doldrums, and one can say Low is someone who represents the feel good guy who may hit a few moments of misery here and there, and wants to escape them with song and a drink or five.
He does so with this video which begins his visual tale at the Westerner Motel in Portland, where he sings “thinking California, living a Texas life/nothing I do seems to bother this dusty sky”. It could literally be written anywhere, which will definitely help bring him appeal to a wide range of people. It feels a bit like good country pop, or Americana with pinches of the kind of rock sensibility that is sometimes joked about but taken seriously when someone is affected by what they hear. The video is nothing more than Low carrying a drawing of a sun, hoping to find it somewhere in his travels, or perhaps someone is willing to take him there. You’ll have to watch the video to see what happens, but I will say that it’s open-ended, which is often a good way to interpret a song.
Low does plan on making videos for each song on Whiskey Farmer, not sure if he will create them in the same sequence as the album or if the videos plan on telling a story on its own, but I look forward to hearing and seeing the results. In fact, you can listen to the album right now iwith the Bandcamp player below, and pre-order it right now.
If you like what you hear, The James Low Western Front will be doing a few shows throughout Oregon, including a show in Pendleton, along with a quick drive or train ride to Seattle. Here is where he’ll be:
February 3… Portland, OR (Laurelthirst Public House)
February 7… Seattle, WA (Sunset Tavern)
February 25… Portland, OR (Laurelthirst Public House)
March 31… Eugene, Oregon (Sam Bonds Garage Eugene)
April 13… Hood River, OR (Cebu Lounge)
April 14… Pendleton, OR (Great Pacific Wine and Coffee Co.)