Album of the week - Hang Jones

Hang Jones - The Ballad of Carlsbad County

The best Americana songs all have one thing in common: someone has to get shot. Singer/songwriter Hang Jones took this to heart when writing the songs for his debut album The Ballad of Carlsbad County. What began as a collection of bluegrass inspired country-rock songs evolved into a Western Outlaw-themed story album complete with hangings, gunfights, love, sex, and revenge. Jones credits two of his songs as catalysts for inspiring him to write a concept record. “When I began writing material for the new record, ‘Caroline’ and ‘Red’ were my favorites. I liked them for their cinematic quality, and they were a lot of fun to sing, but when I noticed that they could be chapters in a much larger story, I got really excited about rewriting all the other tunes to fit into the story.” The album chronicles the life and fall of William Bishop. Born the son of a notorious outlaw, William, at an early age, witnesses his father’s capture and hanging. He spends his developmental years wrestling with the stigma of his father’s crimes (and punishment) while his mother stresses that William’s fate is not the same as his father’s. “I liked the idea of playing with free will versus destiny. Put the protagonist into situations where if he does what he feels is morally right, he will eventually wind up on the same road as his father, a man he himself views as amoral.” Each track on the album is a chapter in the story, taking William, and the listener, to the inevitable crossroads where our hero will have to decide his own fate: hang like his father, or live free like his mother taught him.

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