Arlo McKinley Releases New Album Full of “Power & Beauty” via Oh Boy Records (NPR Music)

Article Contributed by Shore Fire Media | Published on Monday, July 18, 2022

Arlo McKinley releases This Mess We’re In via Oh Boy Records. Offering "consolation in the midst of darkness" (NPR Music), the album is a collection of the Cincinnati songwriter’s best and most unabashed, unflinchingly honest music to date. Spanning multiple lives’ worth of experience with loss, addiction, mental health and self-forgiveness, each of the 11 tracks deliver “vibrant vignettes that'll have you laughing, crying, angry and gracious all in the span of a few minutes" (The Boot).

Listen to This Mess We’re In, and watch the brand new lyric video for “Rushintherug,” a Neil Young-inspired standout that captures the album’s rousing, rocking essence and steadfast mission to move forward:

As the follow-up to 2020’s acclaimed Die Midwestern LP, This Mess We’re In provides “proof that Arlo McKinley is a talent who’s in it for the long haul” (The Boot). Produced by Matt Ross-Spang (Margo Price, Jason Isbell) and cut at Memphis' famed Sam Phillips Recording Service, each song serves as an internal compass navigating the next chapter of McKinley’s life and career. After a period that brought the passing of his mother, best friend, and multiple others, the music charts his path to becoming a better artist and person, driven by the hope that he can make his listeners feel seen, recognized and a little less alone.

Backed by an ace band of drummer Ken Coomer (Wilco, Uncle Tupelo), pianist Rick Steff (Lucero, Cat Power), guitar and mellotron from Matt Ross-Spang, plus guitarist Will Sexton, fiddle by Jessie Munson, and the new addition of cinematic string arrangements, This Mess We're In shows why Arlo McKinley has earned comparisons to the likes of Sturgill Simpson and Tyler Childers, while also revealing his love for the romantic melancholy of inspirations like Nick Cave and Nick Drake.

After headlining the East Coast and playing his first series of international dates this spring, Arlo McKinley and his live band just kicked off a summer tour that includes a performance of the national anthem before a Cincinnati Reds game, and much more stretching into October. Find the full list of upcoming dates below, and tickets at

This Mess We're In Tracklist

I Don't Mind

City Lights

Back Home

Stealing Dark From the Night Sky

To Die For

Dancing Days

This Mess We're In


I Wish I

Where You Want Me

Here's to the Dying

Arlo McKinley Tour Dates

7/15 - Indianapolis, IN - Hi-Fi

7/16 - Huntington, WV - Ritter Park Amphitheater

7/23 - Cincinnati, OH - National Anthem @ Great American Ballpark

7/28 - Springfield, IL - Levitt AMP Springfield

7/29 - St Louis, MO - Old Rock House

7/30 - Berwyn, IL - Fitzgerald's Club

8/13 - White Sulphur Springs, WV - Big Draft Brewing

8/17 - Lakewood, OH - The Winchester

8/18 - Fort Wayne, IN - The Ruin

8/19 - Wellston, MI - Hoxeyville Festival

8/25 - Murfreesboro, TN - Hop Springs

8/26 - Little Rock, AR - Stickyz Rock 'n' Roll Chicken Shack

8/27 - Fayetteville, AR - Fayetteville Roots Festival Late Night @ George's Majestic Lounge

8/28 - Springfield, MO - Southbound Bar & Grill

9/3 - Peoria, IL - Peoria Blues Festival

9/4 - Copper, CO - Copper Mountain Resort*

9/5 - Avon, CO - Avon Performance Pavilion*

9/10 - Bristol, TN - Bristol Rhythm and Roots

9/11 - Bristol, TN - Bristol Rhythm and Roots

9/24 - Lewisburg, WV - Healing Appalachia

10/7 - Memphis, TN - Overton Park Shell

 *featuring Jeremy Pinnell