the langston chronicles

the langston chronicles

 Atlanta, Georgia, USA
BandAmericanaSinger/Songwriter

Americana meets the British Invasion. The Langston Chronicles conjure up a magical mix of rock and roll spirit and country longing. Sounds like Natalie Merchant singing with U2 and Wilco.

Biography

The Langston Chronicles, made up of singer Hallie Meushaw and guitarist Scott Bryant, conjure up a magical mix of rock and roll spirit and country longing on the band's debut album, Back Roads to Far Places. The eleven songs on this record are loaded up with emotion, texture and atmosphere, full of dynamic shifts ranging from the infectious folk pop of "Idaho", “Gone Down a Highway” and "King of Tennessee" to the wide open sonic landscapes of "Flatland, Ohio" and "Castro and the Jukebox Girl". These songs build, hit crescendos, then surprise you when they drop off cliffs...and that's how they work.

The Langston Chronicles seamlessly blend rock 'n' roll, country, Britpop, folk and blues, all with fluidity, understanding, honesty and respect. To this band, genres and categories are meaningless, and all that matters is whether the music is good or bad, honest or false. Whether it makes you feel something. Whether it makes you want to get off your ass and change the world, or at least just dance and sing along.

Back Roads to Far Places. A record of and about journeys. A geographical journey along forgotten or often overlooked back roads, from small, lonesome southern towns, to the industrial cities of the northeast, across the flatlands of America's midsection and the endless desert landscapes of the west, all the way out to the big dreams of the Hollywood Hills. A philosophical journey through the many struggles and triumphs of life, the wild mood swings of growing up and trying to find one's place in an increasingly complex, mechanized and commoditized world. And a musical journey, crossing through, bending and mashing up sounds from traditional sunset country rock (think Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited, The Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo, The Rolling Stones’ Beggars Banquet and Let it Bleed, Ryan Adams), to female folk pop (Natalie Merchant, Patty Griffin, Gillian Welch), to Britpop (Travis, the Cocteau Twins), and on to the fractured deconstructions, atmosphere and nuance of Wilco.

On Back Roads, The Langston Chronicles create a soundtrack for this collection of journeys: rustic-flavored, honest and personal music that has such an organic feel, it sounds like the band is jamming right there in your living room.

Hallie and Scott first met and started performing together in Charlottesville, Virginia, then after a few gigs moved down to Atlanta and its dynamic acoustic music scene. Hallie grew up literally surrounded by music, having been born at home encircled by musicians and family friends strumming Dylan tunes, and then spending her childhood years on an artist colony just outside of Washington, D.C. Her father was a professional bluegrass musician, her mother an actress and director, her grandparents performing musicians and singers. From an early age, music was everywhere for Hallie, and she absorbed it all, from the standards of the American musical canon to Led Zeppelin and the Smiths.

Scott cut his musical teeth in the Chapel Hill, NC indie rock scene, touring the southeast as a drummer and singer/guitarist for several bands, all the while learning and exploring the craft of songwriting and storytelling the old-fashioned way: on the road, in bars, staying up all night listening to, studying and talking about records, and generally just living and breathing music. In 2005, Bryant’s “Someday Lovesong”, cut as a rave-up rocker by his band Parklife, was a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. On Back Roads, The Langston Chronicles recast the track as a toe-tapping ode to desire.

After moving to Atlanta and playing some shows, Hallie and Scott decided to cut a few acoustic demos of songs they’d been writing. They enlisted close friends Rob Clay, Sam Clowney and Grammy-nominated producer John Custer to help put the demos on tape and headed up for a weekend in Custer’s Raleigh, NC studio in February 2007. Five minutes into the sessions, after one live take of “Idaho”, they felt magic in the room and immediately said, we gotta make a record. So was born Back Roads to Far Places.

As Hallie tells it: “You know, we didn’t have a lot of time or money to make this record, so it was really done in a few late nights up at Custer’s place in Raleigh. He’s moved to a new spot now because his old place was below sea level and prone to flooding, but the place was just a barebones industrial looking building that he’d turned into a studio. Not a studio in the conventional L.A. or New York sense, a cozy place with a couple of rooms with couches, a fridge, and just albums, instruments and cool artifacts everywhere. There’s no control booth so to speak, it’s just Custer at his desk, and you sit right there with him the whole time. He’s a very technical engineer, but he’s really a producer in the Rick Rubin sense: he knows how to get the best out of you, he believes in you more than you believe in yourself. And he’s just pushing you as you record, directing you through his hand motions and faci

Lyrics

King of Tennessee

Written By: Scott Bryant & hallie Meushaw

Well we ain't got much time left here for thinkin'
And we ain't got much whiskey left for drinkin'
So slide another arm around my shoulder
And kiss me soft and slow and we'll be gone

Well we ain't enough time in life for wastin'
Well you walked right in and set my heart a'racin'
So slide that shiny ring around my finger
Let's dance the diamond sky and share the stars

Now won't you come home with me, darlin'
Want you come home with me?
I got a fine, fine record collection and I'm sure i'll let you lead
Won't you come home with me, baby, won't you come home with me?
We're gonna dance all night,
I'll make you feel like
the king of Tennessee

Well we ain't got much time to talk about it,
The kids'll be back home in a couple of hours
So put away your troubles and your worries
And kiss me nice and slow like there's no hurry

And won't you come home with me, darlin'
Won't you come home with me?
I got a fine, fine record collection and I'm sure i'll let you lead.
Won't you come home with me, baby, won't you come home with me?
We're gonna dance all night,
I'll make you feel like
the king of Tennessee.

All the runnin' and a'ramblin'
and a'tryin' to keep a'goin'
while we're under the stars above
well there ain't no thing that can
make you sing
like the hand of one true love
and i really do think i've always loved
you truly
yeah, i really do think i've always loved you truly

Well we ain't got much time left here
for livin'
But we thank our lucky stars for what we've been given
So slide another arm around my shoulders
and kiss me like you did when
we were younger

Won't you come home with me?
Won't you come home with me?
We danced all night,
I made you feel like the king of Tennessee.

Won't you come home with me, baby, won't you come home with me?
I've got a fine, fine record collection
and i'm sure i'll let you lead.
Won't you come home with me, darlin', won't you come home with me?
We've had a real fine life,
you've made me feel like
the queen of Tennessee.

Gone Down A Highway

Written By: Scott Bryant

Don't know why we keep sayin
these hard words that we never mean.
You can't take back a bullet
from a ghost you never seen.

March comin' in like a lion
from the wrong side of the tracks.
We've been a hundred miles of hurtin' and we won't make it back.
And there ain't no second chances
of gettin' love right the first time.

And i'm gone down a higway
in the night to find an angel
in my life,
time it ain't just passin' by
down a highway i'm gone.

Well the worth of things ain't what they cost, but what they cost to get.
And faith and love ain't currency
you sell to pay a debt.

Well you keep the letters i wrote you I'll keep my heart
and the records we played as we danced and we drifted apart.

And I don't know where i'm goin'
i'm just never lookin' back.

And i'm gone down a highway
in the night to find an angel
in my life
time it ain't just passin' by.
I'm gone down a highway
in the night to find an angel
in my life
time it ain't just passin' by
down a highway i'm gone.

Have you gone and left your love behind?
Have you gone and left your love away?

And i'm gone down a highway
in the night to find an angel
in my life
time it ain't just passin' by.
I'm gone down a highway
in the night, i'm a streetlight
i'm on fire
i'm my angel in my life.
Well i'm gone down a highway
in the night, find an angel in my life
time it ain't just passin' by
down a highway i'm gone.

Memphis

Written By: Scott Bryant

She took the last train for Memphis and rode 'til the lights weren't
bleeding down from Hollywood.
She said, "I'll always be faithful to backroads far places that lead me
where you never could."

Says, "I want a simple kind of life,
with love and peace inside.
I want a simple kind of life,
so take me back home
to a simple kind of life."

She says, "we're stuck in this traffic
and life's speeding nowhere...
letters that i'll never send.
So now i'm gone where the faces
are friends and the places
are songs we sing that never end."

Says, "I want a simple kind of life,
with love and peace inside.
I want a simple kind of life,
so take me back home
to a simple kind of life."

They're stealin' love songs from the afternoon, as the mountains disappear.
Still I long for one who's true,
still i long to hold you near.

She took the last train for Memphis
and rode 'til the lights weren't
bleedin' down from Hollywood.

flatland, ohio

Written By: Scott Bryant

i would drive across flatland, ohio
if i could only hear your voice again.
i would bring you all the stars you wanted, if i could only save us
from the end.

stay, love, won't you come back down?
i want to believe in you sometimes.

i wanna hold you when the night goes long
i wanna feel you when the mornin' comes
i'll stand beside you 'til the days run on 'til the end.
i wanna heal you 'til the hurt is gone
i wanna feel you 'til the feeling's gone
i'll stand beside you 'til the nights run long, 'til the end.

i would cross the desert dry and lonesome,
if i could only taste your lips again.
i would bring you all the love you wanted, if i could only save us from the end.

stay, love, won't you come back down?
i want to believe in you sometimes.

i wanna hold you when the night goes long,
i wanna feel you when the mornin' comes,
i'll stand beside you 'til the days run on, 'til the end
i wanna taste you 'til the thirst is gone,
i wanna feed you 'til the hunger's done
i'll stand beside you 'til the nights run on, 'til the end

and you will love, and you will love

i wanna hold you when the nights are long,
i wanna feel you when the morning comes,
i'll stand beside you 'til the days run on, 'til the end
i wanna taste you 'til the thirst is gone,
i wanna feed you 'til the hunger's done,
i'll stand beside you 'til the morning comes alive again
i wanna hold you through the night
i wanna show you to the light
i wanna heal you 'til the hurtin's gone and we begin
i wanna feel you 'til the hunger's done
i wanna feel you 'til the love comes back alive again
i wanna dream you 'til the dreams are done
i wanna feel you 'til the feeling's gone
i wanna love you 'til the love runs on to the end.

Someday Lovesong

Written By: Scott Bryant

So you're done takin' chances,
stuck in busted romances,
with your heart fallin' on the floor.
But i'm achin' for you, babe
show you what i can do, babe,
now it's me knockin' on your door.

Someday, love, yeah
someday, love,
someday i'll be yours.

Come get lost in my arms, babe,
i won't do you no harm,
i'll sail your heart to a brave new world.
I know you're thinkin' of leavin',
but i can't stop believin,
and i need you while the song still plays.

Someday, love, yeah
someday, love,
someday i'll be yours.

So you're done takin' chances,
stuck in busted romances with
your heart fallin' on the floor.
But i'm achin' for you, babe,
show you what i can do,
and i need you while the song still plays

Someday, love, yeah
someday, love,
someday i'll be yours.

someday lovesong (revolution in spain)

Written By: scott bryant

well it might sound pernicious
but you look slightly delicious
dressed up in your evening pearls.
i've got sermons to preach
but you're so out of reach
like the eyes of a lonely girl.
so hold me, love, 'til the war has gone
and dance with me tonight.

i was lost on a train,
revolution in spain
like the heart of a brave new world
i was thinkin' of leaving
but i can't stop believing
and i need you while the song still plays

and someday, love,
yeah someday, love,
someday i'll be yours.

it might sound pernicious
but you look slightly delicious
dressed up in your evening pearls
i was lost on a train,
revolution in spain
and i need you while the song still plays.

and someday, love,
yeah someday, love,
someday i'll be yours.

this is your someday lovesong.

Idaho

Written By: Scott Bryant and Hallie Meushaw

Been losin' all these years
down a long hard road,
everything's been getting heavy
as I'm carrying this load.
Somehow I lost my way,
don't know which way to go
and I can't get you out of Idaho.

Been faithful all this time
though i knew it was a lie.
Just holding on to anything
that could bring me back to life;
something to remind me of
the way I was before.
Take me from the darkness,
won't you show me out the door.

And, Idaho, don't leave me now,
Something in my heart keeps breaking down.
I wrote you that letter for all those years ago, 'cuz love can get you lost
out in Idaho.

Sky was growing darker,
I was dreaming of the light,
someone to be my shelter
from the storm out in the night.
Staring at the city, and wishin' i was there...out there in the wild world
where i don't have a care.

And, Idaho, don't break me down,
Something in my heart keeps leaving now.
I wrote you that letter for all those years ago, 'cuz love can get you lost
out in Idaho.

Well you always tried to keep me from leaving.
I always saw the hope in your eyes.
You know you'll always keep me believing,
there's just something about somebody who tries.

And, Idaho, don't leave me now,
Something in my heart keeps breaking down.
I wrote you that letter for all those years ago, 'cuz love can get you lost
out in Idaho.

Castro and the Jukebox Girl

Written By: Scott Bryant

Drove god's county line and lost my mind,
all intelligent design, what a stupid crime.
The talk show talkers wanna get me outta here.
Castro's on the corner with the jukebox girl,
Martin Luther's singing from another world,
singing, "hey, man, hallelujah, gotta get me outta here".
Well Sherman came marchin' with a burning flame,
and drag queen dixieland looks away
from the strange fruit hanging from
another day in this town.

We've got a little revolution here.

Strip mall junkies on a big box high
buyin' mass destruction and the great big lie, the coke can logic
wanna get me outta here.
Bush whackin' war drums while New Orleans drowned,
god's country, you and love a world apart, and Jesus Christ wouldn't even recognize your heart.
Well Sherman came marchin' with a burning flame,
and dragqueen dixieland looks away
from the strange fruit hanging from
magnolia brown today.

We've got a little revolution here.

Strip mall junkies on a big box high
buyin' mass destruction and the great big lie, a little revolution here.
Coke can logic, burned out town
Bush whackin' war drums while New Orleans drowned.

We've got a little revolution here.

Discography

Back Roads to Far Places - Release Date: January 12, 2008 (Full Length Album Debut)

Set List

Idaho
King of Tennessee
Memphis
Gone Down a Highway
Flatland, Ohio
Talkin' God's Country Blues
President's War
Someday Lovesong
Castro and the Jukebox Girl

Sets usually run 50 minutes to 1:30, depending on venue. Covers range from Dylan, Paul Westerberg, Shawn Colvin and the Talking Heads to Janis Joplin, R.E.M., the Smiths and the Band.