Album Review

Road Trippin' Through Colt Kraft's Dreamy Debut Album

Colt Kraft Band - My One True Home

Colt Kraft Band L-R: Jamie Henwood, Olie Eshleman, Colt Kraft, Grant Robinson, Tyler Potts. Photo Credit: Steve Mauer

Let's pack up the convertible and criss-cross the country, Jack Kerouac style. Colt Kraft Band's new album, My One True Home (set to drop October 30) begs you to come along for the ride as it cruises through 11 songs and visits places from the midwest to the southwest, and a few tucked away in the imagination. It gets a little dark and lonely at times, but it's worth the trip.

The echoing vocals of Colt Kraft hint of a bygone era, in the days of Roy Orbison, one of Kraft's musical heroes. Kraft's easy, breathy delivery and guitarist Jamie Henwood's clean harmonies set a consistent tone for the album. Henwood also drums on half the songs, switching from easy-going tempos like "Wisconsin" to the roots rocker "Waitin' And Watchin'". Rounding out their sound is Grant Robinson, swapping guitar and drumming duties with Henwood. Olie Eshleman honors their country roots on pedal steel and bass. Tyler Potts on "The Key", a guitar synthesizer, crosses over the lines of country, Americana, rock, surf, and groovy psychedelia. The Key rings through on the ominous "Don't Kill" and "Randy's Cousin", the most psychedelic song of the album, with hues of Todd Snider's "Guaranteed" from Viva Satellite. The band uses some old-school equipment for practicing and recording, including Sano amps and a reel-to-reel 8-track tape machine, giving them an ethereal sound, according to Kraft.

Most of the dreamy songs clock in under three or four minutes--long enough for a two-step or a pause at a stoplight. The tunes tell of happy times laced with some darkness, such as in the song "Hey, That's Cool", where the narrator says the "grim reaper hasn't come and saved me yet / he's sittin' in a diner in Lafayette".  Other lyrics include tales of beautiful girls, high school regrets, smokin' weed in Tennessee, catching a train, killing time, love, love lost, and going home. 

"Moment of Rest" , the first song on the album, underscores the "Spaghetti Northwestern" vibe (coined in a previous article), with reverberating guitar and quiet harmonies. Next, we travel to "Tennessee", a sweet, addictive little tune that entices one to whistle along as Grant Robinson keeps a boot-tapping tempo. 

"High School" focuses on the regrets, pain, and awkwardness of growing up and out of high school. The fuzzy TV memories in the video, directed by Douglas Arney, convey that feeling for so many who "didn't really get the picture" in high school.

"It Gets So Easy" Starts out with a beautiful classic country whine of pedal steel with a touch of Hawaiian slack-key. Although Colt Kraft and the band reside in Seattle, Kraft wrote this song with a nod to his childhood home. "It seems a good representation of the band and me; all in all we’re a pretty easy going bunch and this song is influenced by time I spent on the banks of the Rio Grande growing up in New Mexico," says Kraft. The repetitive lyrics fit with the laid-back style of the song, recalling those lazy, sunny days where the cares of the real world are forgotten for a bit. Ease on back against the tree, push that hat down, and have a little siesta. It gets better. 

I’m gonna go down to the river

Take a bottle of something and bring a good lookin' friend

I’m gonna go down to the river

Take a bottle of something and bring a good lookin' friend

It gets so easy in the sunny weather

It gets so easy in the sunny weather

We’re gonna sleep until the sun goes down

we’ll come up with a plan, and then we’ll just forget it

We’re gonna sleep until the sun goes down

we’ll come up with a plan, and then we’ll just forget it

It gets so easy in the sunny weather

It gets so easy in the sunny weather

“Arizona” travels to a cooler, darker place, with Henwood's twangy guitar riff dropping half a step, and a rolling "oooh" in the background chorus that sends it floating into space.

Kraft's whispered croon on the final song, "Alabama", is mesmerizing. Tyler Potts used his Korg 4 track and got feedback from his headphones to produce the affected vocals, akin to a warped megaphone. The song includes the album title in the lyrics and brings us home with a slow turn up a long driveway.

Visit Colt Kraft Band's Website for more information, show dates and other news. 

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