Always feels like when the last weekend in August starts on a Friday it should be a bank holiday but sorry, that bird has flown as they say. Console yourself dear readers with the news that the americana “supergroup” Glorietta, who American Songwriter described as “the Traveling Wilburys on a bender” have announced the release of their debut album along with a handful of UK dates performed by a couple of the band. The album comes out on September 21st on Bread + Butter Music, with 12 tracks recorded at a ramshackle rental outside Santa Fe over five days, which have echoes of Ryan Adams, Jeff Tweedy, War On Drugs, Uncle Tupelo and Wilco. We’ve had a listen and it’s a treat, although listening to some of the vocals if it does turn out to be a secret Ryan Adams side project we won’t be completely amazed.
The story goes that Glorietta was in a way conceived long before this year thanks to a serendipitous Craigslist connection. Grammy-nominated Austin artist Adrian Quesada scored a 1975 Fender Super Reverb amp that Vasquez posted online for $700. As Vasquez tells it, he and Quesada went for a “grown-ass man hang” at Antone’s to catch a set by Texas raconteur David Ramirez. After the show, the three of them had such a good time that Vasquez promised himself not to let the best drunken idea of the night — recording a stream-of-conscious record with buddies — to disappear with his tequila buzz.
“I’ve been making my solo records and wanted to play with friends. I thought fondly of the experience making the Middle Brother record with John McCauley (Deer Tick, Diamond Rugs) and Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), and how fun that was. Adrian and David were in on it immediately.”
Vasquez tapped Seattle solo-artist Noah Gundersen and Austin artists Kelsey Wilson (Wild Child) and Jason Robert Blum, a prolific songwriter. To round out the crew, Vasquez called his long-time pal Nathaniel Rateliff, who agreed to pop in along with backing musicians Patrick Meese and Luke Mossman. And the rest is history as they say.
The album’s opening track, Blum’s “Loser’s Lament” offers a glimpse of the Glorietta vibe. “I can’t have a sip of that thing,” Blum says before the tape rolls. “We were drunk on mescal, loose enough to sound fun and tight enough to be a good recording,” Blum said. “The beautiful part of all this was the openness. There’s a bit of a party in there but there was beautiful, deep songs getting laid down.”
And what you get, Ramirez says, is an robust “pinball machine of a record where not a single song sounds like another. What you hear on the album is exactly what happened. There are mistakes and flaws and humanity on it. It captures all of the personalities that were there at work. I hope people can vibe with that. I hope they can get the spirit of it.”
Glorietta UK Dates 2018 (David Ramirez and Matt Vasquez playing Glorietta songs)
04 Sep – Cluny 2 – Newcastle, UK
05 Sep – Broadcast – Glasgow, UK
06 Sep – Brudenell Social Club – Leeds, UK
07 Sep – Borderline – London, UK