Sam Llanas | Absinthe - A Good Day to Die (feat. Sammy Llanas)

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Absinthe - A Good Day to Die (feat. Sammy Llanas)

by Sam Llanas

"... (Llanas) produced an album of moving, memorable songs, solid musicianship and consistent vision. There are echoes of Springsteen and R.E.M., and the cellos and backing vocals add a resonant depth to a serious, sincere effort." MOJO Magazine 11/98
Genre: Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
1. A Good Day to Die (Intro)
1:18 $0.99
2. Bully On the Corner
5:00 $0.99
3. Defeat
5:20 $0.99
4. A Good Day to Die
4:56 $0.99
5. Spanish Waltz
4:51 $0.99
6. It Don't Bother Me
4:43 $0.99
7. Messed Up Likes of Us
3:33 $0.99
8. Still Alone
5:01 $0.99
9. Angelina
5:00 $0.99
10. Dying in My Dreams
4:32 $0.99
11. What I Don't Feel
5:22 $0.99
12. A Little Bit of Hell
4:14 $0.99
13. Time For Us
4:22 $0.99
14. A Good Day to Die (Outro)
4:28 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Sam Llanas - ABSINTHE - A Good Day To Die

As co-founder of the Milwaukee outfit BoDeans, singer/ guitarist Sam Llanas has seven albums of feel-good roots rock under his belt. For the debut of his new project, Absinthe, he took a different approach, crafting a melancholy concept album of loss and redemption. While Absinthe varies from the signature BoDeans sound, Llanas doesn't consider it a radical departure. "If you follow the songs that I've written for the BoDeans, there's definitely a darker vibe to them," he explains. "There was always one or two songs that didn't quite fit in."

The 13-track A Good Day to Die is a semi-autobiographical account of Llanas' experience dealing with death. The title track affectingly chronicles the day in 1976 when his brother Thomas committed suicide; others like "Messed Up Likes of Us" and "Dying in My Dreams" are poignant portraits of his family's grief in the aftermath. But the disc closes with "Time for Us," a sad yet hopeful ode to overcoming sorrow, followed by a solemn epilogue: a bell tolls amidst environmental sounds like birds, wind, and traffic, Llanas repeating the title phrase with guttural passion.

Absinthe also features the talents of Guy Hoffman -- original BoDeans drummer now playing with the Violent Femmes -- and Milwaukee guitarist Jim Eannelli. The trio recorded A Good Day to Die at the BoDeans' local studio, Hacksville, between Halloween of '97 and May '98. The disc is released on Llanas' own independent record label, Llanas Music, the result of circumstance more than entrepreneurship. "It just sort of fell into place," he explains. "The BoDeans aren't going to be on Reprise anymore. We were released from our contract about four months before I started recording this. This actually worked in my favor because I wasn't sure what the legal ramifications of my solo record would be. I know that it's going to be harder to get it out there, but I'm thinking of it as a challenge, and there's not going to be a time limit on it. This will be a slow- building thing."

A Good Day to Die was released in the Midwest in August, with national distribution in place Oct. 31. Llanas plans to give the public "the chance to get used to it" before bringing Absinthe to the stage. Llanas is not planning on signing any other acts to Llanas Music; he is starting to look at Absinthe as a testing ground for the band....
-- Liisa Ladouceur

Absinthe A Good Day To Die (Llanas Music)
Solo album from Sam Llanas, the former BoDeans singer

Apologies first, but I have to say it: Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder. Vocalist/guitarist Sam Llanas' first solo effort is a revealing tribute to the memory of his brother's suicide in 1976, when Llanas was 14. Twenty two years later, after a critically welcomed run with the BoDeans, he's produced an album of moving, memorable songs, solid musicianship and consistent vision. From Bully On The Corner to Time For Us, the closing track, these are lingering, haunting melodies in a atmosphere of loss, regret and pain. Childhood traumas are two a penny, but Llanas avoids cheap emotional manipulation. The favourite tipple of the enervated fin-de-sieclers, the group's name suggests deadened nerves, but Llanas's are anything but.

There are echoes of Springsteen and R.E.M., Jim Eannelli's guitar deserves special mention, and the cellos and backing vocals add a resonant depth to a serious, sincere effort.

Gary Valentine
MOJO (England) November 1998



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