By Pati deVries.
Truly gritty, this dusty Outlaw Country might be the unlikely result of a 20-year hiatus to hang up his gear, change careers and raise a family. But this band and these songs snuck up on Andrew Browning and hit him with the force of John Henry's steel-driving hammer. With a guitar in his hands, Andrew needed to walk down the road a bit further before he was ready to return to the studio to share these rockin' cinematic stories.
Andrew Browning and the 9 Pound Hammers have refined their swagger to deliver their second album, The Midnight Desert Talk Radio. With Derek O'Brien (Social Distortion, Agent Orange, The Adolescents) again engineering and producing, this collection of the genre-bending gonzo country was birthed at DOB Sound in Santa Fe Springs, California.
"The title of this album references the late nights I spent listening to Art Bell as a kid during a misspent youth. I've long tried to escape that prodigal past, but as I began writing this record, I realized I had enough tree bark to embrace it as part of who I am. These songs bring to life a patchwork quilt of characters who are part of me and part of who I envision others like me to be. These songs are about the families we make as we move through life, the complex dualities we experience, and the deep, imperfect love and lessons that come from those life-changing relationships."
Although The 9 Pound Hammers hail from all over the U.S. and Europe, they all have the heat and beat of L.A. in their blood. Ilya Portnov (Harmonica) was born and raised in Moscow and can summon the devil at the crossroads. Phillip Alan Smith (Guitar) comes from a long line of Oklahoma City musical legends influenced by the haunting wind and red dirt that color his high-lonesome, b-bending sound. Lelah Simon (Bass) holds it together with her Colorado, Rocky Mountain High altitude, and pin-up girl attitude. Finally, Derek O'Brien (Drums) was born and bred in Fullerton, California, and brings his punk rock fire and punch to the band.
Andrew Browning and the 9 Pound Hammers deliver a fresh brand of Outlaw Country music that cuts through the static and brings the lucky listener along for one hell of a midnight ride.