Slider Pines

Slider Pines



“I wrote this record while moving back and forth between Dallas and Memphis, where I grew up,” explains Slider Pines’ songwriter Joey Shanks. “I have a complicated relationship with that place.” Road Avenue Railroad is anything but complicated. And it shouldn’t have to be — the effect of straddling two of America’s most developed musical cities is more than enough. Slider Pines makes no bones about its roots, nor where it’s headed. Primed by a natural talent for tunes and an open-valved engine for rhythm, the trio springs from the South this fall on an eagerly anticipated tour. Like modern rock ‘n roll bands The Hold Steady or Pernice Brothers, Slider Pines leans heavily on their songwriter to guide its simple sound. “I think he’s the driving force behind this record,” says drummer Bill Spellman. “Our record has a certain timeless quality to it,” says bassist Andy Lester, “which I think is true about good songwriting in general.”

Road Avenue Railroad is a simple description of Memphis and an allegory to the band’s sound – roots upgraded. Uprooted, even. All the members have an affinity for the sounds of the 60s (from Holland, Dozier and Holland through English folk rock and “Sympathy For The Devil”) and it shows. Tracks like “The Memphis Hack” make like a sloe-gin shanty, full of fuzz and feeling. “Missing Street Sign” is a brilliant exercise in songwriting (“cobras and kickball / asthma and frost”) set to the simple-syrup style of a snare trap and Lester’s sweet Mellotron. “Fast Track” shows off the trio’s powerful ability – a clamorous southern anthem where Spellman’s driving drum fills sturdy Shanks’ anti-corporate sentiment. “To me, Memphis is a strange mix of strip malls, lame tourist traps, unsung talent and racial unease. In my mind, it’s a weird town.”


"Road Avenue Railroad", 9/25/07, Wire to Ear Records (