No one ever said country music had to be simple, and when Austin Lucas began thinking about the follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2013 album Stay Reckless he had a lot on his mind. The Indiana troubadour wanted to do something not only different from his own work, but unlike anything else being done in the realm of country music and Americana. Between The Moon And The Midwest marries traditional & cosmic country sounds with sharp, vivid storytelling in a fully realized album concept.
The songs began to emerge during the 2011 Stay Reckless sessions and tour cycle; a tumultuous time masked by non-stop life on the road. With his marriage dissolving, Lucas began pouring his pain into fictionalized characters. Stay Reckless captured the experience of his divorce, and Lucas put those first few songs on the backburner while he toured heavily behind the album and avoided reflecting on the state of his personal life.
Two years later he found himself dealing with crippling anxiety and depression. Returning to the songs with a darker perspective while drawing on his life experience in rural Indiana, he crafted an intimate song cycle capturing the intricacies of friendship, love, betrayal, and the pain arising from the nature of those relationships. Being in a state of despair allowed Lucas to inhabit the characters in the story and he emerged from the darkness with the songs for Between The Moon And The Midwest.
Citing influences like Buck Owens and George Jones, Lucas had wanted to record a fully country album since 2011’s A New Home In The Old World. Enlisting the help of Joey Kneiser – guitarist and vocalist of the Tennessee band Glossary- they crafted a sound that, while rooted in outlaw and hard country, was infused with 60s psychedelic pop like the Zombies and the Beach Boys circa Pet Sounds. The result is a finely produced sound layered with guitar, vocal harmonies and atmospheric harmonics. Between The Moon And The Midwest is unique in its mix of sounds, songwriting, and influences.
From the country-gold sound of “Unbroken Hearts”, the infectious “Ain’t We Free”, to the plaintive truths in “Wrong Side of the Dream” and “The Flame”, he delivers an album at once timeless and modern. Boosted by guest appearances from John Moreland, Lydia Loveless, and Cory Branan Between The Moon And The Midwest finds Lucas at the top of his game and taking his music into exciting new territory.
Tennessee Shines Radio Show is performed for a live audience every Wednesday at 7pm at Boyd's Jig & Reel musical pub in Knoxville's historic Old City. The show is broadcast live on WDVX FM and WDVX.com. Tickets are $7 plus applicable fees in advance, available at http://jigandreel.ticketleap.com/ or $10 at the door starting at 6pm.