East Nashville, Tenn. Veteran Southern songsmith Afton Wolfe, known for his pointed lyrical dynamism and sonic adventurism, has announced the November 10th release of The Harvest, a rich collection of deeply moving portraits that shine a light on venerable songwriter Lawrence Halliburton.
While Wolfe has highlighted other significant, but mostly unheralded, regional writers in the past, this project saw him record an entire body of someone else’s work, in this case, his father-in-law, who sent him 30 songs to consider. Seven were planted.
Wolfe remarks on LH’s influence on his music:
“LH has a very distinct songwriting style that I’ve admired since I’ve known him, which has been about six years now. His writing style is sincere, poetic, and melodic in a timeless way. It differs from mine in a lot of ways but there was common ground as well. We’ve become close over Music, so I wanted to record these songs as a way to include my family in a project because, ultimately, family is the most important thing in this world.”
Lawrence Halliburton was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1948 and raised in Oklahoma, though he spent the last 40 years in Nashville. Never seen without boots and rarely without a cowboy hat, he comes from a musical family. His mother, a gifted pianist, and his father leading the church choir and a barbershop quartet; he wrote songs and played guitar from an early age, as did his brother.
The title track was where Afton’s journey began, “This song was what inspired me originally to record some of L.H.’s songs. The song is about perseverance and patience – the realization that just because things haven’t been perfect early in life, there is still more life to live. And the seeds that have been planted by love, hard work and determination can still pay off in the Fall when the Harvest comes in.”
He also couldn’t resist a loose tribute to the complicated history of his birthplace, the piston-heavy “Mississippi.” “The song had just enough R&B mixed with grungy country and that classic chord progression. It sounds to me like speeding through country backroads in Mississippi, a ‘50s Chevy that someone’s grandfather rebuilt in humid summer and grease,” offers Wolfe.
The second half of All Hallows’ Eve pivots to WEIRD PALS – A Tribute to “Weird” Al Yankovic. The brainchild of Dylan Sevey of The Minks and Mort Guffman of Los Colognes, this meta project covering the songs of a legendary satirist who himself “covers” some of the most recognizable tunes ever to exist will be extolled triumphantly by the likes of Lauren Morrow, Joshua Hedley, Lilly Hiatt, Jon Latham, Patrick Sweaney, and Sam Outlaw, among others. Advance tix available for just $20.
It’s this essence, a harvest of the best of us, a bounty of community, communion and common ground, with everyone expressing themselves without presumption, that is more Americana than any genre.
Afton Wolfe Tour Dates:
10/12 – Nashville, TN – Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge (Prine Night)
10/19 – Oxford, MS – Thacker Mountain Radio
10/20 – Hattiesburg, MS – Downtown Grill and Grocery
10/21 – Merigold, MS – Other Fest
10/29 – Nashville, TN – Big Lebowski Fest at East Side Bowl
10/31 – Nashville, TN – The 5 Spot (The Idiot Box Show + Weird Pals)
11/10 – Nashville, TN – 3rd & Lindsley (WMOT Finally Friday)