In the Fall of 2019 Andrew McConathy & his band of Drunken Hearts embarked on a 20 show, cross-country album release tour that spanned more than 15,000 miles from Portland, OR to Portland, ME, and everywhere in between. Six men, six plane flights, 3 tow trucks, two vans, two winter storms, one bad transmission, one flatbed U-Haul truck, one SUV, and one trailer resulted in… ONE LIVE ALBUM.
Set for digital release only on Friday, January 15, Andrew McConathy & The Drunken Hearts’ Alive 'n Free showcases the band in the midst of a grueling tour supporting Yonder Mountain String Band October 10 - November 24, 2019. The tour made stops at fabled venues like the 8x10 in Baltimore, Brooklyn Bowl, Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY, The Ardmore Music Hall near Philadelphia, Wooly's in Des Moines, IA, as well as a notable headlining album release show at the Fox Theatre in their hometown of Boulder, CO.
Alive 'n Free accurately captures McConathy’s infectious energy while smack-dab in the band’s element - on the road, enduring the hardships that often come with life as a touring band, and the result is magnetic. Glide Magazine’s Jim Hynes says, “Drunken Hearts adeptly blend country, mountain music, and psychedelia… And, surely McConathy has one of the most memorable voices in roots music.” American Songwriter’s Dallas Jackson echoed this sentiment, “[They] carry a mountain spirit into its music and mix it with a 90s rock blend, that is eerily reminiscent of Pearl Jam — due in large part to the vocals of Andrew McConathy.”
JamBase premiered the album in its entirety and interviews with McConathy more about it here: www.jambase.com/article/andrew-mcconathy-drunken-hearts-live-album-alive-n-free
This debut live release features 12 original songs including standout performances along the tour of then-brand new tunes, “Unrest,” “Shining Eyes,” and the Jack Kerouac inspired politically appropo title track from their most recent studio album “Wheels of the City.” There is also an explosive cover of fellow Coloradan Robin Davis’ “Prom Night” (Broke Mountain) and short anecdote from the road in “Van Story”
Alive 'n Free flows almost as if it were a "Best Of," documenting the band's rise from three piece bluegrass outfit to full-fledged country rock'n roll machine. The album progresses from some of McConathy's oldest original songs like "Don't Go" and "Happy" into scorching new staples like "Black Snake" (their testament to Standing Rock), "Want You Back," and "Broken Things.
One previously unreleased song, “Tell Me,” kicks off the album, starting subtly with an “Amazing Grace” intro leading into a pounding rhythm and the lyrics, “The road keeps winding under these feet… No winds can stop us, these words are the seed… Here to remind us there’s nothing between… the end of the darkness & the sight unforeseen.” McConathy says of the song, “Tell Me’ is about showing resilience in the face of defeat or adversity and hitting the gas, not slowing down, when it feels like the world is on your shoulders. We wrote the song holed up in a cabin outside of Winter Park, CO in July 2019.”
Alive 'n Free is a follow up to 2019’s studio release, Wheels of the City (LoHi Records), which PopMatters’ Michael Bialas called “a pulsating, ambitious, adventurous new record” and Americana Highways’ Gary Schwind called “A Soundtrack For The Open Road.” Wheels was produced by McConathy’s longtime friend and mentor Tim Carbone (Railroad Earth) and was recorded over several sessions in 2018 at Silo Sound in Denver, CO. Both the new album and Wheels feature McConathy on acoustic guitar and vocals, Alex Johnson on drums, Jon McCartan on bass, Cody Russell on pedal steel, lap steel, and dobro, and Kory Montgomery on electric guitar and vocals.
Produced by McConathy & Todd Divel, Alive 'n Free was recorded by the band’s sound engineer Taylor Hines and then mixed and mastered by Divel at Silo Sound throughout 2020.
Alive ‘n Free brings Andrew McConathy & The Drunken Hearts’ soundtrack from the open road!