The Indiana blues-rock outfit The Cold Stares have unveiled “Nothing But The Blues” and “The Ghost,” two new singles that reflect a new era of songwriting for the band. Both featuring characters fueled by desperate longings - for hope, for purpose, for comfort – “Nothing But The Blues” is an epic anthem that wrestles with hard times in a down-and-out town, while “The Ghost” channels the redemptive fervor of a Sunday morning tent revival.
“Nothing But The Blues is kind of a continuation of the theme of our song ‘Hard Times,’” comments guitarist/vocalist Christ Tapp. “I was thinking about what it takes to play ‘authentic blues,’ which traditionally meant suffering through the horrors of the old south. In my mind, there are so many things that can definitely set you down in the blues in the current world we live in. Lot of things in this song are sadly autobiographical, but as always it seems to take some challenges and struggles to bring about honest art.”
Reflecting on the band’s haunting second single, Tapp adds: “’The Ghost’ is a song about the loss of true love. Visually it’s a man secluded in a cabin in the southwest, mourning the loss of his wife and unable to move past it. He’s left there with her spirit and the memories they had. I thought the most poignant line in the song was, ‘Sit around and stare at these walls, killing time until Jesus makes that call.’”
For the past ten years, The Cold Stares have toured the world relentlessly as a duo, blowing away audiences across the US and Europe with a fierce, blistering live show that belied their bare bones, guitar-and-drums setup. Now, the band is embracing a whole new kind of chemistry as they launch their next chapter, adding a third member and channeling the classic power trio sound they grew up on. “Suddenly, all the parameters that had dictated what we could and couldn’t do just disappeared, and we were free to create whatever sound we wanted,” Tapp recalls.
Launched in 2012, The Cold Stares got their start when longtime friends Tapp and Mullins agreed to team up for a fill-in gig that caught them both by surprise. With a sound far bigger than any duo should rightfully have been able to create, the pair of Kentucky natives began turning heads almost immediately, releasing a series of acclaimed albums that landed them on the road with the likes of Larkin Poe, Rival Sons, Reignwolf, Spoon, Grand Funk Railroad, and Thievery Corp, among others. American Songwriter praised the group’s “hard-won commitment, honesty, and intensity,” while No Depression hailed their sound as a “roots rocking firestorm,” and tunes from their albums turned up everywhere from ESPN and TNT to the hit video game Cyberpunk 2077.
After wrapping up touring for 2021’s ‘Heavy Shoes’ (their fifth studio album and debut release for Mascot Records), Tapp and Mullins returned to their adopted hometown of Evansville, Indiana, with a decision to make. The band’s sound had been growing increasingly elaborate in the studio, but unless they wanted to start playing along to pre-recorded backing tracks onstage, they were reaching a point where they wouldn’t be able to faithfully replicate their tunes anymore as a duo.
“We’d been a two-piece for a decade, so it wasn’t something we took lightly,” says Tapp. “But we’d also known Bryce for a long time and knew he’d fit right in.”
Stay tuned for continued updates.