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Somewhere on the shores of Lake Travis, just outside of Austin, there’s a house with a blue tile roof.
Truth be told, there may be more than one place that fits that description. If you had hiked up to this one particular place during one particular stretch of days last year, you’d know you were exactly where you were supposed to be.
You could tell by the music. Somewhere inside, Kyle Park and his studio band were rattling the walls with one hard-hitting, crank-it-up song after another. Those who had followed Park these past 10 years or so would recognize his sound --raw, heartfelt and rooted in the honest-to-God, real country music.
But they’d also notice something different -- a tougher edge, a beat that slammed a little harder, guitars that slashed and sliced with a more aggressive attitude.
Yes, this was Kyle Park. No doubt about it. Specifically, it was an invigorated Kyle Park, adding a jolt of rock ‘n’ roll intensity to the mixture of Strait, Waylon, Cash, Haggard and more than a dozen other influences that had helped define his unique artistry.
The good news was that he was recording all this as it happened. Best of all, it’s coming your way on Park’s new, self-produced album, aptly titled The Blue Roof Sessions, released by Thirty Tigers. Key to this expansion of his style was his decision to not record the basic instrumental tracks in a traditional studio. “Recording in the house, the idea was to use the feeling of being in a house to go for an open feeling, something really big, with the drums very prevalent in the mix,” he explains. “It wasn’t about
making a rockin’ album as much as making an album where the music comes first.”
This meant, first of all, that there was no clock ticking the minutes away toward the end of time booked in a commercial facility. “Sometimes we’d do two songs in a day,” Park says. “Sometimes we did three. Sometimes we didn’t even produce one. The point is, we just kept working until the song felt right. I remember being in the house and thinking, ‘Alright, we’re gonna cut this unfinished song. Once we get to a point where I’m not sure to go lyrically, we’ll let the music take us there.’ And if I felt like it should go to the IV chord, not the I, or it should go to a bridge instead of a solo or a pre-chorus or whatever, I would write the lyrics around that.”
In other words, The Blue Roof Sessions were as organic as sessions can be. Writing, tracking, tweaking and finally nailing it: The steps overlapped, each one energizing the others. This process also helped focus the album as the band moved forward.
Randall King grew up on the plains of West Texas in Amarillo, influenced by Country artists both legendary and new. Heroes such as Hank Williams, George Jones, Merle Haggard, and George Strait – along with Texas/Red Dirt icons Wade Bowen & Cody Johnson – heavily influenced his craft. Randall moved to Lubbock in the fall of 2009, where he began brewing his own, unique songwriting blend. He released his debut album, Old Dirt Road, in 2013, and began to make a splash in the Texas/Red Dirt scene. “Don’t Ask Her Tonight” was released to local radio stations, and was listed at #62 on the Top 100 Songs of Lubbock in 2013 by New Slang. The record also produced several consistent, top five most requested songs on Lubbock’s 105.3 The Red Dirt Rebel/KJDL. Old Dirt Road was also voted #4 of the Top 5 Lubbock Albums of 2013 by New Slang. Since then, King and his crew have been working in Ft Worth, TX with Bart Rose at Ft Worth Sound narrowing in on the true country sound of Randall’s songwriting. “The Problem”, the lead single off the upcoming E P- “Another Bullet”, is a direct reflection of King finding himself and his modernized honky-tonk style within his music. The EP drops in May 2016, so look out TX. Country is back.