Conrad Ford is a band featuring Seattle natives Andy McAllister and Jordan Walton. After McAllister spent some time in Austin, he returned infused with the tunes of the Texas troubadours.
On their first full-length CD, Don't You Miss Yourself, McAllister and Walton are joined by April Sather and Nathanael Butler in what has been called "downtrodden country songs of romance and loss." The sparse sound of Don't You Miss Yourself came from an unlikely place--a makeshift studio under a motorcycle repair shop. Then they selected producer/engineer Phil Ek, who had earlier worked his magic on The Shins' Chutes Too Narrow, to finish their project.
The CD opens with "Golden Hearts" and the line "I'm headed where the grass is brown," a line that is at once both familiar and unusual, evocative of someone leaving Seattle's emerald green for Austin's dusty brown. In the second song, "Godfather," Sather's trumpet adds to the spare guitar/vocal sound. Backup instruments include ukulele, mandolin, accordion and cello. There's even an omnichord, a rare electronic instrument featured on some Devo's recordings. With all that, it's still the world-weary vocals and the Texas-tinged message they convey that shines through. On "Stay Up," they're "hoping not to grow apart as [they] grow up." On "Big Black Moon," a child in bed knows he's safe even if "the city might be under siege tonight," so he closes his eyes, but not his ears.
The 10 tracks on Don't You Miss Yourself have been referred to as "a soundtrack for the lonesome." Check them out live when they touch down in Boise on September 30 at Neurolux.