Runner of the Woods | Thirsty Valley

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Rock: Americana Country: Country Rock Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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Thirsty Valley

by Runner of the Woods

Prepare to feel better. This is "countrygaze" - music that inhabits the middle ground between indie rock and hazy, introspective country.
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Thirsty Valley
2:16 $0.99
2. Good Things Will Come
2:37 $0.99
3. B-Sides (And Long Drives)
5:10 $0.99
4. Easy On Me
3:42 $0.99
5. Down There
3:24 $0.99
6. Even the Radio
2:43 $0.99
7. Marching 100
2:35 $0.99
8. Eastern Time
3:30 $0.99
9. Back to the Good Life
3:32 $0.99
10. Reach for Wine
2:45 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Good things will come – and not a moment too soon.

For Nick Beaudoing, the front man of Nashville, Tennessee’s Runner of the Woods, 2014 was spent in the shadow of a serious family illness. His mother was in a coma in his hometown of Dallas, Texas, and her condition was dire enough to require him to leave his wife and child behind for weeks at a time. Long days at the hospital gave way to quiet evenings with his father and siblings. Between visits to Texas, he would return to Nashville and stay busy in the studio, where he occupied his mind with a recording project he had begun months earlier. One night while listening to rough mixes of the track “Good Things Will Come”, he had a gut feeling that things would somehow work out. “I’ve never had the experience of listening to my own music and being cheered up,” Beaudoing says. “It felt like a pat on the back at just the right time.”

Scheduled for release on July 10, 2015, Runner of the Wood’s debut album, “Thirsty Valley”, is countrygaze that’s road trip-ready. With punchy guitars and odes to wide open spaces, the record is dedicated to the proposition that the key to the good life is time spent in the great outdoors.

Beaudoing previously led NYC’s Cajun honky-tonkers, the Doc Marshalls. Over the course of three releases, the band evolved from Bakersfield-style shuffles and Acadian barnburners to jagged, glimmering folk. “Thirsty Valley” actually began as the band’s fourth record.

But the new musical direction, combined with his relocation to Nashville a few years earlier, was conspiring to lead Beaudoing away from the Doc Marshalls. For him, being a front man with a band in New York City was akin to having a long distance girlfriend. It couldn’t last forever, even if he did everything right. The Doc Marshalls, as a band, had run its course, and Beaudoing understood that a clean break was the only way forward. “If I’m being honest, “ he says. “Even a dyed-in-the wool country singer can’t pretend his record collection is pure. For every George Jones LP on the shelf, there’s another by Big Star, Phosphorescent, or A.A. Bondy. And that’s a beautiful thing.” It was time to draw from these new influences and begin a new project, Runner of the Woods.

When not tending to his mother in Dallas, sessions resumed at the Toy Box, a studio located minutes from his front door in East Nashville. There he indulged in his desire to try out different approaches to the new songs, most of which eschewed typical country subject matter in favor of broader themes. Chief among them was his love of lakes and rivers. This is further reflected in the band name, which is equal parts a reference to his love of Tennessee’s natural beauty and a nod to his own French-Canadian heritage. The term, a literal English translation of coureurs de bois, refers to French fur trappers who explored much of North America. It seemed the perfect moniker for the avid kayaker and fishing fanatic.

“I’ll always love honky-tonk, “ says Beaudoing. “But I’m no longer a twenty-something looking for love in bars. I’m a family man whose greatest joy is spending time out on the water. Lately, that’s where I draw most of my inspiration.”

Apart from mortality, which was on his mind as never before, Beaudoing came to view spare time as a precious commodity. Completing the album meant recording at night, after first working at his day job and then checking in with his family. This cycle was punctuated with periodic trips back to Dallas to care for his mother, whose condition only gradually began to improve. Just when it seemed that his schedule couldn’t get any more hectic, he received the welcome news that he and his wife would be expecting another baby.

“As you get older,” explains Beaudoing. “Making an album becomes a more deliberate act. You have so much responsibility that it takes real determination to see it through. It also requires understanding on the part of your family, who inevitably takes on more work when you’re not around to help.”
Through it all, the record began to take shape, though Beaudoing increasingly felt a need to be rattled out of his comfort zone. To that end, he booked studio time at Russell Street Recording in Brooklyn and enlisted guitar slinger Josh Kaufman (Josh Ritter, Dawn Landes) to give the songs a spaced out, dreamy quality. He also recruited pedal steel guitarist Jonathan Gregg (the Doc Marshalls), whose ferocity on the instrument has become a key component Runner of the Woods’ sound. Gregg has since joined the band full time.

What initially seemed like a costly detour proved to be a crucial step in realizing the finished product. Kaufman and Gregg immediately understood what the songs needed. “Josh uses the guitar sounds to to color the tracks and create different moods. He didn’t just clutter them with paint-by-numbers honky-tonk picking. And Jonathan is the rare pedal steel player who can unleash its potential to shake the walls. His outro solo on the song “B-Sides (and Long Drives)” is unbelievable – and it’s even crazier live.”

Runner of the Woods will support “Thirsty Valley” with spring and summer tours, an opportunity for which Beaudoing is grateful. “The past year was trying, but in a few short months the difficulties gave way to good things: my mother made a near-full recovery. I had another son. And now I have a record with a new band that I’m really proud of. It turns out I was right to be hopeful.”



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