Two-day marathon session sees new album from Scott Nolan
Winnipegger plays the Park Theatre on Saturday.
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Winnipeg singer-songwriter Scott Nolan made his new album in Alabama, but it’s still home-brewed.
Silverhill was recorded over two days at the home of musicians Anthony and Savana Lee Crawford in Silverhill, Alabama. Nolan first visited the small southern town when he played The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm, an outdoor concert series akin to Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble.
Taken with The Frog Pond, Nolan returned to Silverhill with a batch of tunes and recorded them with Willie Sugarcapps, a band that was born on Blue Moon Farm.
A spirited and spirituous affair, Silverhill’s 13 songs are sequenced in the same order in which they were recorded, so you can actually hear the hillbilly hooch by track six.
“It was the end of day one and someone brought along apple pie moonshine from one of the neighbouring farms. It’s like a 103-year-old recipe,” Nolan says.
“I’d been nursing it and by the track When Can I See You Again you can hear it in my voice. I had to be talked into including that cut. Art (MacIntyre) at Transistor 66, my label in Canada, it was one of his favourites and he insisted on it. I was nervous. It’s like that photo of your drunk uncle at a wedding, like ‘Oh god, look at his face.’ That’s how it sounded to my ears.”
Silverhill was recorded live-off-the-floor with no rehearsals or pre-production. Nolan says teaming up with Willie Sugarcapps – a band composed of the Crawfords, Grayson Capps, Will Kimbrough and Corky Hughes – allowed him to tap into some moonshine magic.
“I like to say it’s an ancient musicality. When you put those five people together, magic happens,” Nolan says.
In addition to Willie Sugarcapps, Silverhill contains three co-writes, including When You Leave This World with Hayes Carll. The Texas country artist previously covered Nolan’s Bad Liver and a Broken Heart on his 2008 album Trouble in Mind.
“He invited me to do this particular tour and the premise was we would live straight and clean and write. We didn’t do that at all. We spent our nights in Irish bars getting loaded,” Nolan says
“On the last day I sent him a text saying ‘Goddammit! You told me to come here. You said we were going to do this. I fucking demand a song.’
“I’m really thrilled with how it turned out.”
Scott Nolan plays the Park Theatre on Saturday. Tickets are $20 at the Park Theatre, Music Trader and Ticketfly. Showtime is 9 p.m.