Somewhere on a dusty road or a well traveled interstate, right at this very moment, a rock n’ roll band is pounding the rock. They’re probably wearing the same clothes they had on yesterday, and reminiscing about last night’s gig. Inspired by a guitar lick that cuts to the bone or a melody that lingers on refrain, this band is following a path forged by countless other musicians who’ve lived and died in dive bars or ‘made it’ with their posters taped to bedroom walls. What makes this band of brothers any different? This band is The Artisanals.
Johnny Delaware grew up in a small South Dakota town surrounded by cornfields and dirt roads. For 19 years, he lived in a wide-eyed perspective baptized in the setting of a John Mellencamp song. In order to personally evolve and carry out his musical destiny, Delaware knew that the heartland wind would have to blow him around the country. Eventually, Delaware would move to Charleston, SC and team up with guitarist Clay Houle, and bassist Eric Mixon to form The Artisanals in late 2016. Within a year of forming, The Artisanals dropped their four-track debut EP, Literally, Anywhere, and promptly received critical acclaim from Huffington Post, Paste Magazine, Daytrotter, PopMatters.
Now, with drummer Nick Recio and keyboardist Ian Klin rounding out the group, The Artisanals are stirring national traction with their self-titled debut LP featuring a blend of 70s Heartland Rock and Alt-Americana. The Artisanals, released on AWAL on September 21, 2018, is the culmination of the collective’s years of unique individual experiences writing, recording, touring, and living life one day at a time. It’s also the product of being dedicated to life on the road and touring relentlessly despite the toll it took on the guys’ personal lives and relationships in their 20s (shout out to ex-girlfriend Robyn). “Inspiration is like an invisible ghost,” says Johnny Delaware. “It’s your friend, and it kind of takes you over. You’re a conduit for it. That’s what musicians are; these modern-day shamans that take inspiration and give it form through song. It’s a lot like magick.”
With sonic influences ranging from the heartland rock of Bruce Springsteen (“Angel 42”), and neo-psychedelia anthems of My Morning Jacket (“Pound The Rock”), to the dream-pop work of The Cars and The War On Drugs (“Drag”), The Artisanals 10-track LP showcases Delaware and Houle’s knack for writing hooks as well as their ear for quality production. The album utilizes everything from a gong, organ, piano, sitar, french horn, trombone, and koto, to a string section sourced from the nearby University of Iowa. Mastered by Howie Weinberg, (Spoon, Ryan Adams, Nirvana), there’s no filler on The Artisanals. From start to finish, this record is a straight banger. And The Artisanals are far from done here - with the summertime comes fresh inspiration as the single “Violet Light,” makes its way into the world on June 21. In follow-up to their breakout release, The Artisanals are breathing new life into the Heartland Rock genre with their driving new song, hitting the streets just in time for summer.
Praised by Rolling Stone as having been “built to preach the gospel of rock n’ roll,” The Artisanals hold iconic predecessors Tom Petty, George Harrison, and Jackson Browne close to their chest, while offering a refreshing vantage through their new single. Produced by Drew Vandenberg (Toro y Moi, of Montreal, Kishi Bashi), “Violet Light” invokes conflicting emotions of hope and longing and begs to be played through a car stereo while the sun sets in the rearview mirror. With an infectious hook and feel-good melody, “Violet Light” is the perfect summer playlist addition, and promises that whatever comes next from The Artisanals is sure to be nothing short of sensational.