By Emma Shirlin
With plans underway to release their third studio album, Western Centuries is kicking off the New Year with a South-Eastern United States tour and will be making a stop at Boone’s very own Boone Saloon on January 22nd.
“If it seems crazy to compare any band today to giants like the Band and the Flying Burrito Brothers, then call me crazy, but Western Centuries is the country supergroup we’ve been waiting for: three first-rate lead singers, each of whom writes solid, heartwarming and heartbreaking country songs, together in one band.” —Kristin Cavoukian, Exclaim! Magazine
When did country music start to sound the same? The first generation of country artists borrowed from everything around them: Appalachian stringband music, Texas fiddle traditions, cowboy songs, Delta blues. In an era of unprecedented access to our musical pasts, shouldn’t country music be even more diverse than it was in its infancy? Honky-tonk supergroup Western Centuries, back with a new album in 2018, surely understands this. They aren’t bound by any dictum to write songs in a modern country, or even a retro country style; instead they’re taking their own personal influences as three very different songwriters and fusing it into a sound that moves beyond the constraints of country. Part of the reason they can make music with this range of influences is because of their roots in city life. Both Cahalen Morrison (Eli & Cahalen, Country Hammer) and Ethan Lawton, two of the three principal songwriters, live in Seattle’s diverse South end, and the third songwriter, Jim Miller (formerly of Donna the Buffalo), spends most of his time in and around New York City. The urban landscape is rarely mentioned in country music, but it makes for a refreshing sound that draws as easily from modern R&B as it does George Jones.
Western Centuries’ music crosses vastly differing geographies–the city, the southwest, the metaphysical. And their musical influences are equally as diverse. Together, they weave a tapestry of western music, without sacrificing their hard-earned country dancehall sound. Their 2018 album, Songs from the Deluge levitates heavy hearts, turns spilled beer into ballads, and brings country music home as literate, epic odysseys from parts unknown.
Check out the video for “Barcelona Lighthouse” (a track off the new record), here!
“What a relief! Country music is alive and well. Great players, fine songwriting, and honest singers. These guys are doing it right.” —Willie Watson
“This record and band hits the spot. The songs are cool, smart, deep and fun (the way I like my swimming pools). They’re rooted in classic country with a twist.” —Jim Lauderdale
“Western Centuries comprises a terrific blend of what we love at WNCW: good ole’ rock-n-roll, a healthy dose of honky-tonk twang, and some great songwriting courtesy of Cahalen Morrison, Jim Miller, and Ethan Lawton.” —Martin Anderson, Music Director & Morning Host, WNCW-FM, Spindale, NC
Western Centuries at Boone Saloon
January 22nd, 2020
If you can’t make it to Western Centuries’ Boone debut, check out their full list of tour dates:
January 16th – Jammin’ Java – Vienna, VA
January 18th – Kennett Flash – Kennett Square, PA
January 19th – Barns of Rosehill – Berryville, VA
January 22nd – Boone Saloon – Boone, NC
January 23rd – The Down Home – Johnson City, TN
January 24th – Purple Fiddle – Thomas, WV
January 25th – Purple Fiddle – Thomas, WV
January 26th – Avalon Theater – Easton, MD