September 2015 “Band of the Month” – JOHN MORELAND

Band of the Month

Started in January of 2012, the “Band of the Month” feature has allowed The Blue Indian a unique opportunity to share some of our favorite bands with our readers. As we move into our fourth year of the feature, we’re eager to continue showcasing some of the best and brightest bands around. Thanks for the continued support!

photo by Joey Kneiser

photo by Joey Kneiser

Some days, being John Moreland has to hurt. As others bury experiences and stifle regrets, Moreland pokes old wounds until you’re sure they’ve got to be bleeding again. It’s painful. But in Moreland’s care, it’s also breathtakingly beautiful. With the release of his highly anticipated third solo album ‘High on Tulsa Heat’ (out April 21st via Thirty Tigers), he offers another round of the lyrics-first, gorgeously plaintive songs that have earned him devoted listeners across the country. -via JohnMoreland.net

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I’d love to know more about what initially drew you towards music, whether as a performer or listener, and what are some moments that stand out to you as significant in your discovery of genres, artists, etc.. 

It’s always felt like the most natural way to express myself. I was always drawn to it. Some of my earliest memories are riding around in my dad’s truck, listening to classic rock radio, and as soon as I saw him play the guitar, I wanted to learn how to do it.

You spent your early years in Northern Kentucky, right? Depending on where you are in that part of the state, it can be kind of bleak, so I was just curious about how you relate to that time in your life and what aspects of living there you still connect with?

We lived in the Burlington/Florence area. I was 10 when we moved away, but it was great place to be a kid. I had lots of friends to run around with, and we spent lots of summer days at King’s Island and Cincinnati Reds games. 

photo by Joey Kneiser

photo by Joey Kneiser

You’ve gained a great deal of traction with the release of High on Tulsa Heat, but there are also two previous albums to your name. A lot can change in the span of 10 years, so what are some things that really stand out when (if) you’re analyzing and comparing the content of those albums? 

Well, you start out just writing, and doing what you think is cool, and then gradually you start to learn what it is that you do, where your strengths lie, and what feels good, so I think I’ve just been focusing in more on that with each record.

I read in an interview you did with NewsOK that you recorded the most recent album over just a few days in your parents house while they were on vacation, which is great! Did you and the band go into the process with a firm idea of all the songs or did some things just flesh themselves out during the session?

The record doesn’t exactly have a ‘band’ in the traditional sense. It was mostly tracked my buddy, John Calvin Abney, and me, plus a couple guests here and there. Pretty much everything just came together naturally during the session, there was no planning at all. I don’t think John Calvin had even heard most of the songs before we started recording them. 

What’s your current attitude towards time on the road and has it changed over the past decade that you’ve been touring? I can only imagine shows with folks like Dawes and Jason Isbell has to be enjoyable and inspiring..

I’ve always liked touring, and the way I do it now is still pretty close to what I’ve always done, just a bit more comfortable. I have a tour manager and usually enough money to get a hotel room, which is nice. And yeah, getting see musicians you admire every night doesn’t hurt either.

In general, what’s the speed of life in Oklahoma like for you? What’s kept you living there? I have to admit my knowledge of the place is pretty much limited to Cain’s Ballroom, JJ Cale, and Leon Russell. 

It’s cool, it’s kind of a slow pace. And I like not being in the middle of the music business all the time. I really like places like LA and Nashville, but I think it’s good for me to be able to go to those places and participate, and then go back home to a world where nobody cares about who you can name drop.

Who have you started listening to in the last year who’s really impressed you?

Christian Lee Hutson

Upcoming Tour Dates

September 18th @ Mercy Lounge (AMA Showcase) – Nashville, TN
September 20th @ Proud Larry’s – Oxford, MS
September 21st @ White Water Tavern – Little Rock, AR
September 22nd @ Common Grounds – Waco, TX *w/ Patti Griffin
September 23rd @ Paramount Theatre – Austin, TX *w/ Patti Griffin
September 26th @ Charleston Music Hall – Charleston, SC *w/ Dawes
September 29th @ Iron City – Birmingham, AL *w/ Dawes
September 30th @ Music Farm – Columbia, SC *w/ Dawes

October 1st @ Orange Peel – Asheville, NC *w/ Dawes
October 16th @ Kessler Theatre – Dallas, TX *w/ John Fullbright
October 17th @ Main Street Crossing – Tomball, TX
October 26th @ Knuckleheads – Kansas City, MO *w/ JD McPherson
October 27th @ Off Broadway – St. Louis, MO *w/ JD McPherson
October 29th @ The Vogue – Indianapolis, IN *w/ JD McPherson

November 5th @ Eddie’s Attic – Atlanta, GA
November 6th @ Cat’s Cradle – Carrboro, NC
November 7th @ Ashland Tea & Coffee – Ashland, VA
November 8th @ Stoltz Listening Room – Easton, MD
November 10th @ World Cafe Life – Philadelphia, PA
November 11th @ Great Scott – Boston, MA
November 12th @ Rockwood Music Hall 2 – New York, NY
November 13th @ The Parlor – Northampton, MA
November 14th @ O Patro Vys – Montreal, QC
November 15th @ The Drake – Toronto, ON
November 17th @ The Ark – Ann Arbor, MI
November 18th @ Ignition Music Garage – Goshen, IN
November 19th @ Schuba’s – Chicago, IL
November 21st @ Village Theatre – Davenport, IA
November 22nd @ Turf Club – Minneapolis, MN

January 6th @ Rockefeller – Oslo, NOR *w/ Jason Isbell
January 7th @ Kagelbanan – Stockholm, SWE *w/ Jason Isbell
January 8th @ Pustervik – Gothenburg, SWE *w/ Jason Isbell
January 9th @ Vega Jr. – Copenhagen, DEN *w/ Jason Isbell
January 11th @ Privatclub – Berlin, GER *w/ Jason Isbell
January 12th @ Knust – Hamburg, GER *w/ Jason Isbell
January 13th @ Blue Shell – Cologne, GER *w/ Jason Isbell
January 15th @ Paradiso – Amsterdam, NLD *w/ Jason Isbell
January 16th @ Botanique – Brussels, BEL *w/ Jason Isbell
January 18th @ La Maroquinerie – Paris, FRA *w/ Jason Isbell
January 19th @ Concorde 2 – Brighton, UK *w/ Jason Isbell
January 20th @ Trinity – Bristol, UK *w/ Jason Isbell
January 22nd @ O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire – London, UK *w/ Jason Isbell
January 23rd @ Ritz – Manchester, UK *w/ Jason Isbell

John Moreland – “Cherokee” Official Video

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