The Walkabouts

Devil’s Road (deluxe edition)

Release Date: 06/27/2014 · Format: CD/2-LP(+CD)/DIGITAL · Catalog-No: GRCD/LP 810



Deluxe Reissue
of their 1996 classic with re-worked and extended artwork plus a bonus CD containing five unreleased tracks of that period. Comes in a multifold digipak with 16 page booklet and as a two-LP set (180 gram heavyweight vinyl, gatefold sleeve) plus two CDs!

For 30 years The Walkabouts have written and sung about one of their main topics: America – the origin and home of Rock’n’Roll. The Walkabouts scrutinize America as a mythic place spotlighted by desires and hopes, but also contradictions and inconsistences.

Singer-Songwriter Chris Eckman and Carla Torgerson founded The Walkabouts in 1984 in Seattle. 1989 saw the release of their Sub Pop debut, finding themselves the only non-Grunge band next to the likes of Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Mudhoney. Ironically enough the sound of The Walkabouts, the mixing of Folk, Americana and Country with the knowledge and energy of Punk, survived the Grunge hype of the 90's and became one of the most important and enduring musical genres of the following decades. In 1992 The Walkabouts and Sub Pop split but the band joined forces with Sub Pop Europe represented by Glitterhouse Records in Beverungen, Germany. After releasing two albums -- „Devil’s Road“ (1996) and „Nighttown“ (1997) -- with Virgin Records, The Walkabouts returned again to their home Glitterhouse and have remained their from1999 until today.

1996: The Walkabouts are standing at the edge of their career. Glitterhouse isn't the distribution partner of Sub Pop anymore and because of these changes the bond breaks and the band are in need of a new label.

At that time, Major-Labels still had a strong interest in signing Indie-bands, and were open to investing reasonable amounts of money into their careers. Acts with an underground reputation were added to these label’s rosters in order to raise the label’s artistic profile and credibility. And so The Walkabouts were drafted, and in 1996 „Devil’s Road“ saw the light of day as the first of their two albums recorded for Virgin Records.

Based on the higher production budget that the major-label provided, the band realized their long held dream and added string arrangements to their somber Folk-Country ballads and dust-dry mid-tempo rockers. In cooperation with arranger Mark Nichols and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra the strings were recorded in a radio studio in Warsaw that was still very „Eastern Block“. Eckman remembers: „We were in that rather drab studio in Warsaw. There was nothing very special about the place except for the amazing musicians. It was wonderful to see how those arrangements emerged as though they came out of thin air. It rarely happens that recordings turn out exactly like the sound that you have in your head. It was a thrilling experience when I first heard that monumental backing, added to songs that I had written – unbelievable.“

Especially compared to Eckman's and Torgerson's rather stripped-down side project of those days, Chris & Carla, these songs come through almost overblown. „„Devil’s Road“ did split our audience a bit“ Eckman says, „you'll always lose fans when you develop your sound. Some people might think it was a mistake to have recorded these two albums for Virgin the way we did because we changed our sound so much.” But one has to admit something that goes for all The Walkabouts‘ albums: „Devil’s Road“ is another cornerstone on the never ending road the band has followed in search of the perfect song. Chris Eckman: „These songs did stand the test of time. We've played them live for many, many years in many different versions. And: „The Light Will Stay On“ even become a hit song of sorts, though one that happened like most things in our career, quite unintentionally.“ - Albert Koch

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Tracklist

CD 1
01 The Light Will Stay On
02 Rebecca Wild
03 The Stopping-Off Place
04 Cold Eye
05 Christmas Valley
06 Blue Head Flame
07 When Fortune Smiles
08 All For This
09 Fairground Blues
10 The Leaving Kind
11 Forgiveness Song

CD 2 (bonus tracks)
01 Devil’s Road (demo)
02 The Light Will Stay On (demo)
03 Christmas Valley (no strings)
04 The Leaving Kind (no strings)
05 Devil’s Road (live at the “Bad”)

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