North Carolina-based Americana band Yarn knows all about finding opportunity in cloudy situations. Their new album, This is the Year, is a celebration of the light that shines through when life gets tough and the future seems uncertain. The album is out Friday, May 27, 2016, on Ardsley Music/Red Bush Records.
"We were dealing with real life issues. Broken relationships, a sense of having to regroup and put some things - and people - behind us. The new songs became kind of a catharsis. Nothing was contrived. We didn't have to relate to it in the third person," Blake Christiana said. "We were living these circumstances, and that gave us the impetus and inspiration to share our sentiments. Ultimately those setbacks and difficulties led to new opportunities and allowed a little light to shine through."
The record seamlessly blends vibrant back porch melodies and narrative, descriptive lyrics about a particularly tumultuous time in the life of the band. Inspired by Waylon and Willie, Merle Haggard and other Texas troubadours with distinctly renegade reputations, This is the Year is the resolution the band reached after a period of real life challenges left the band splintered and unsure what was next. Internal tensions were simmering. A new album was scrapped. A major move from Brooklyn to North Carolina added to the uncertainty.
This Is the Year is all about re-evaluating relationships, making tough choices and sometimes skirting the rules - a page from the book of the musicians they admire. The album opens with "Carolina Heart," an homage to the band's new home; the boldy optimistic "This is the Year" is juxtaposed by tracks like "Love:Hate" and "Now You're Gone," which detail the challenges faced when one's life is jolted off its bearings. Scattered throughout are playful tunes, like "Sweet Dolly," which pays tribute to Americana's first lady, the sweet-sounding epitome of reinvention and breaking the rules.
Since 2005, Yarn has received a Grammy nomination, nods from the Americana Music Association, placed top five on Radio and Records and the AMA album charts, garnered airplay on Sirius XM, iTunes, Pandora, CNN, CMT and they were the "Download of the Day" from Rolling Stone. They shared stages with superstars including Dwight Yoakam, Charlie Daniels, Marty Stuart, Allison Krauss, Leon Russell, and Jim Lauderdale, and performed at prestigious venues including Mountain Stage, Daytrotter, the Orange Peel, the Fox Theater, the 9:30 Club, South by Southwest and more. They have accumulated more than 1,000 shows, half a million miles and performed in 32 states. They've paid their dues and then some.
For Christiana, bassist Rick Bugel, singer guitarist Rod Hohl and drummer Bobby Bonhomme, the band's sixth album is emancipation; a change in direction, a chance to express themselves just as they like. The title is appropriate - this is their year to look forward. To take chances.
April 22 - Mifflinburg, PA - Rusty Rail
April 23 - Frostburg, MD - Dante's
April 27 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Bowl *
April 29 - Thomas, WV - The Purple Fiddle
May 5 - Charlottesville, VA - The Southern
May 6 - Washington, D.C. - Gypsy Sally's
May 7 - Andover, NJ - Yarn at the Barn **
May 26 - May 29 - Axton, VA - Rooster Walk 8 ***
June 3 - Cloverdale, CA - Friday Night Live
June 4 - Nevada City, CA - Crazy Horse
June 5 - Felton, CA - Redwood Faire
June 18 - Critz, VA - Bushels & Barrels
June 21 - Ann Arbor, MI - The Ark
June 22 - Chicago - Beat Kitchen
June 23 - Menasha, WI - The Source Public House
June 24 - Milwaukee, WI - Famous Dave's
June 25 - Davenport, IA - The Redstone Room
June 26 - Kansas City, MO - The Tank Room
June 27 - St. Louis, MO - The Demo
June 28 - Nashville, TN - Acme Feed & Seed
June 29 - Decatur, GA - Eddie's Attic
June 30 - Asheville, NC - The Altamonte Theatre
July 1 - Greensboro, NC - The Blind Tiger
July 2 - Charleston, SC - The Pour House
July 3 - Ocracoke, NC - Macnally's
July 4 - Raleigh, NC - Red Hat Amphitheater
July 8 - Red Wing Roots Music Festival
July 9 - Blacksburg, VA - 622 North
July 16 - Leesburg, VA - Smokehouse Live
August 4 - Denver, CO - The Walnut Room
August 5 - Crested Butte, CO - Crested Butte Music Festival
August 6 - Pueblo, CO - Songbird Cellars
August 20 - Charlotte, NC - Triple C Brewing Company
September 9 - Richmond, VA - The Broadberry
September 15 - Masontown, WV - Deep Roots Mountain Revival
September 16 - Masontown, WV - Deep Roots Mountain Revival
September 17 - Masontown, WV - Deep Roots Mountain Revival
September 18 - Masontown, WV - Deep Roots Mountain Revival
October 31 - Rocky Mount, VA - Harvester Performance Center
* with the Hackensaw Boys
** with Todd Sheaffer
*** with Sam Bush Band