lifeblood: songs: backgrounds: bondsman (evening in missouri)


2018-09-26: brandi carlile interviews amy ray about her new solo album, holler, paste magazine:

carlile: my favorite vocal, and i think actually my favorite song, was "bondsman (evening in missouri)." was that the most vocally challenging song you did, or if not, which was?

ray: yeah, it was. i mean, i didn't have to do it a lot, but i really worked on it a lot leading up to that time. i started writing that song years ago, and i tried it in five different keys. i tried different ways of making it softer or more rock or more this or that. it was actually a song that i was trying to do for the last indigo record but everybody passed on it, and i think it was because i hadn't gotten it to the place it needed to be yet. so i just knew i didn't want to lose that song.

carlile: no, it's amazing.

ray: it's just a live recording, but it was a cathartic sort of feeling for us as a band, you know? we got to the end of it and we kind of all knew, like, "okay, that's the one," you know? and if there are little things that are out of tune, it's okay, or when we transfer it to digital if i need to pitch something because if it's just god awful then i'll do it. that kind of was my security blanket ultimately. that if it was just terrible, that everything about the performance is so good but one note-you know how it is-that rather than leave that one note in, i knew i could fix it. i would be able to move on from that and not like be burned by it and have to do it a hundred times. but i didn't end up doing that that often because i let a lot of things go, pitch wise, that maybe i would have fixed if emily was trying to sing harmony with me, you know? that kind of thing. but when it's one lead vocal and you don't have to worry about someone singing with you and frustrating them because it's not in tune...

carlile: i didn't anything that stood out to me pitch wise, at all.

ray: now, i can listen to it and be like, "okay, cool."

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2018-10-19: amy ray brings 'holler' to durham, wunc:

guitarist derek trucks and banjo virtuoso alison brown feature on the album in "bondsman (evening in missouri)" and "dadgum down" respectively.

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2018-11-07: amy ray: holler, folk radio uk:

sparrow's lullaby offers a brief reprise of lines from the earlier number, but here in the same musical setting as old lady interlude before trucks joins the line-up on slide guitar for bondsman (evening in missouri) which, about the hardships of life in the ozarks, was originally intended for the last indigo girls album in 2015 but never made the grade. having worked on it since, it finally surfaces, recorded live with brass and strings, a soaringly sung spiritual about the burdens of legacy ("i am my father's daughter/i got his crimes just hanging on me") and a call for relief from suffering ("oh lord, let me sleep through the thunder/let me sleep through the rain/one more night before the bondsman comes/and takes it away").

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2018-11-07: amy ray, opener rock old town school, the windy city times:

they played mainstays like "the gig that matters" and "the rock is my foundation" along with a stunning rendition of the indigo girls' "the rise of the black messiah." new songs off holler included hard rocking performances of "sure feels good anyway" and "dadgum down," as well as "sparrow's boogie" and "bondsman" ( homages to poet byron herbert reese and the film winter's bone, respectively ). the energetic encore was a cover of tom waits' "refugee."

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2018-11-xx: album review: amy ray - 'holler', your life in a song:

taking a broader view of today's america, 'bondsman (evening in missouri)' ray highlights the abject poverty of those living in the ozark mountains. ray sings with a passion and intensity straight from those peaks. the solo from derek trucks is equally lofty.


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