Twin City music scene veterans Run Westy Run are releasing a new album, Beyond Reason, on March 3, 2023. The album is being released on the band’s new Cardinal Drive imprint and will be initially available on CD and major digital platforms, with a vinyl release date TBD. A preview single, “Milkyway’s Mainframe,” received its worldwide premiere recently on The Local Show, broadcast on The Current, and will be released to the digital platforms on February 24. An album release show is scheduled for March 3, 2023 at The Turf Club in St. Paul, MN with The Mood Swings as support.
Beyond Reason is the first full-length Run Westy Run studio release since 1990’s Green Cat Island - a gap of 32 years. Material for the new album was culled from dozens of new songs written over the last decade since the band triumphantly emerged from a 15 year hiatus with a show at First Avenue in December 2013. Since then, Run Westy Run has been performing regularly at various venues in Minnesota while also constantly working on new material.
Beyond Reason was recorded with the current Run Westy Run lineup: Kirk Johnson (vocals), Kraig Johnson (guitar), Terry Fisher (guitar), Paul McFarland (bass) and Peter Anderson (drums). Longtime friend and past collaborator Jessy Greene contributes violin on two tracks. The album was recorded at Flowers Studio in Minneapolis, produced by Run Westy Run, recorded and mixed by Peter Anderson, with additional engineering by Kris Johnson.
The new album features 14 tracks, with many of them being mainstays of recent Run Westy Run live setlists. Stylistically, Beyond Reason covers a lot of ground, incorporating a wide variety of sounds and influences that have informed the band’s growth over the last 4 decades since their formation in the midst of the explosive 1980s Twin Cities music scene. Trademark crunchy rock riffs and hooks galore sit comfortably alongside funky grooves, some reminiscent of the explorations undertaken by Iffy, a band with overlapping membership that has co-existed with Run Westy Run on and off since the late 1990s. The lyrics provide a vivid peek inside of Kirk Johnson’s multi-faceted creativity - a major asset of the band since their earliest days. The organically robust production is sonically adventurous but still incorporates the visceral thrill of a live Westies show.
Run Westy Run was formed in Minneapolis in 1985. There have been a variety of personnel changes over the years, but the core of Kirk Johnson, Kraig Johnson, and Terry Fisher has remained intact. The band released 3 albums in 3 years on Twin/Tone and SST from 1998-1990. During the 1990s the band flirted with signing a major label deal and released a handful of singles and EPs, while continuing to build their reputation as one of the best local live bands of the era. Since the band’s reboot 10 years ago they’ve released an archival live CD in 2014 and a digital EP in 2018.
With an ample amount of even more new material already stockpiled, combined with a recent surge of creative momentum, it’s a safe bet that the world won’t have to wait 32 years for the next Run Westy Run album.
A more detailed history of the Run Westy Run universe can be found here: bit.ly/RWRhistory