The Whiskey Priest
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The Whiskey Priest

Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States | INDIE

Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States | INDIE
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"The Whiskey Priest is Seth Woods is a Sad Accordion"

Seth Woods is The Whiskey Priest, not the nameless alcoholic fugitive priest in Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory, but the songwriter who put out last year’s Wave and Cloud and who will be touring the UK this October. Based in Austin, TX, Woods also plays with The Sad Accordions who released the EP, The Colors and the Kill in May. The Sad Accordions were originally billed as Seth Woods and the Sad Accordians" (the misspelling of accordions was not realized until later, around the time that "Seth Woods" was dropped from the name). As their songwriting process became more collaborative, Woods realized he was then saddled with a suitcase full of homeless songs. Itching to use these songs and struck by an identification with Greene’s priest character, Woods developed his Whiskey Priest persona leading to the creation of the fervently sincere and stirring album, Wave and Cloud.

Shelf Life had a chance this summer to talk with Woods and try to unravel his creative process, his literary influences and get a peek into that teeming brain of his.


Shelf Life-You have such great imagery in your songs. I'm guessing that comes from being a reader and lover of words. Are there any specific poets or prose writers who have influenced your songwriting?



the whiskey priest-

i'm definitely influenced by all sorts of folks, but it's hard to tell what makes it into the songs and what doesn't. off the top of my head, some folks who have definitely had direct impact on my music are: ursula k. le guin, simone weil, tolkien, kierkegaard, joseph campbell, c.s. lewis, mary doria russell, graham greene, t.s. elliot, shakespeare, khalil gibran. then there are folks that are pretty influential but who might not have made it in directly: annie dillard, rilke, cormac mccarthy, dean young, kurt vonnegut, salinger. a lot of comic book writers make it in as well, specifically warren ellis and neil gaiman, but also folks like alan moore, charles vess, mike mignola, jonathan hickman. also, works like the bible and the tao te ching come into play. the psalms have been pretty important to me as a writer.

when we were coming up with the title for the last sad accordions ep, "the colors and the kill," i was reading a lot of dean young, and was also being floored by "the love song of j. alfred prufrock." we thought about using a line from one of those poets for the title, and though we ended up with using a lyric from one of the songs, i feel like those two men influenced that decision a lot.


SL-What's the best compliment someone can give you about your music?

wp-

wow. i can think of a lot! i guess there's two sides of it, if i'm honest. there's the more ego-driven side ("i love your band, album, you, etc.") and there's the more universal/spiritual/non-attachment side of things, that really just wants human happiness and peace and understanding. i'm not much of a hippy, but those things are really the more universal concerns. i can be obsessed with bob dylan or radiohead or tolkien as personalities or creative-types, but my heart and spirit can also be touched and moved by "all the tired horses" or "the ainulindale," completely divorced from the author. so i guess at the end of the day, i'd rather hear the latter, than the former (though my ego is always hungry for praise!).

there's a short poem by c.s. lewis that kind of hits the mark:

Have you not seen that in our days
of any whose story, song or art
delights us, our sincerest praise
means, when all's said...You broke My Heart?

it's a bit saccharine maybe, but that's kind of the best compliment i can imagine: the touching of the heart, the moving of the spirit.

also i want people to think i'm cool.


SL- Youtube seems to be teeming with musicians named Whiskey Priest. Are you having them eliminated one by one until there is the only true Whiskey Priest?


wp-

ha! yeah, that was a scare when i discovered it. i keep expecting a lawsuit! i read "the power and the glory" and was so moved by the main character, and thought "wow, what a great and original name for a music project!" turns out others have read graham greene as well.

there's a british band from the 80s, there's a metal band, there's a bunch of pubs, there's some guy up in oregon... that's the first one i found. but see, he's "whiskey priest," and i'm "THE whiskey priest," so it's a pretty clear distinction, right?


SL-Walk us through your songwriting process.

wp-

it differs from song to song really. with sad accordions, we work together in practice to come up with the music, and then i'll often take those ideas home (both fully formed or partially), and come up with lyrics for them. sometimes it takes some sculpting, and sometimes it just fits into place.

for the whiskey priest or other songs, there's no one way. sometimes it's very nebulous, where i'll get an idea for a lyric or sometimes a melody or chord progression, and i'll sit down to try and flesh that out. other times i'll just play around on an instrument till something sticks, and i'll see what kind of mood that music has and try to find the right lyrics for it. i wish i could write a real good traditional narrative type song (like "the lonesome death of hattie carol" or "a boy named sue" or something like that). but i tend to write more abstractly. i think writing that way still tells a story, but a more open-ended one. i discovered a few years ago that when i listened to bands like talking heads, wilco, guided by voices - often the stories of the songs didn't make sense to my head right away, but my heart understood what was being conveyed. so i mostly try to write like that.


SL- How does your spirituality influence your writing?

wp-

i don't know about "how." i think it just DOES, you know? the same way it influences my reading - both what i read and what i take away from reading. same for listening, watching, conversing... and just like the rest of me, i'm discovering that my spirituality is in a state of flux. it's changing all the time, in subtle or obvious ways.

the choosing of the name "the whiskey priest" for myself was very intentional in that way. in "the power and the glory," the whiskey priest is this poor bastard who really wants to abandon his faith, his calling, his god, but god's sway over him is just too strong. catholicism has been outlawed and he's the last priest they haven't caught or who hasn't recanted. and he's running from the law, going from village to village to serve communion and hear confessions and such, but he's miserable. so he's always trying to turn himself in, or escape the country, or kill himself. but he can't. so he gets labeled "the whiskey priest" by the people because he is always drunk to cope with this tension of calling, faith, and the impossibility of being human. and the people despise him for it, but they need him too, because there's no one else to perform their rituals and rites. it's just an amazing story, and it really resonated with me. so i feel like my spirituality is like this often, kind of a tug of war between doubt, disbelief, and some sort of calling, whatever that may be. and for some "doubt" is this opposite to faith, an enemy. but i think for me it has been a tool, a testing or sharpening of faith. i think to side with one or the other is to miss the point a bit, possibly in all of life, but especially with faith and spirituality. so i think that's one of the core tenants of my personal faith, and i think this makes it into the writing (the most ready example i can think of is the sad accordions song "the boy who wanted to build a bridge but got a wall instead").

SL- You have your choice of artist to do a duet with, dead or alive. Who do you choose?

wp-

i think it would actually be jon bon jovi, singing "dead or alive."

not really. you know this isn't going to be a "one answer" question... alive, either thom yorke or gillian welch (and if it was gillian welch, chances are i'd get to sing with dave rawlings, too, who is also a bad ass). or leonard cohen.

dead: nina simone. i don't think i'd sound very good paired with her (like a rusty power tool singing along to opera), but how could you pass up an opportunity like that?


SL-Who has the better beard you or That Purple Bastard?


wp-

it's a toss-up. actually, these days TPB's got me beat, hands down. but when we're both at our full glory, it's a bit like comparing apples to persimmons, panda bears to red pandas. you can have a favorite, but you can't say they're the same kind of cornbread.


SL- In your mind what are the stylistic distinctions between The Whiskey Priest and Sad Accordions?

wp-

i think the most ready distinctions are "singer-songwriter" and "indie rock." or something like that. with sad accordions, we've really made an effort to write collectively, especially after making our first record. and there's different instrumentation in that band. the whiskey priest is often just me and a guitar, though there are lots of folks on the record. but it all tends to be a little more folky than sad accordions.

it's fun, too, letting different influences out in the different projects. obviously i'm in both bands, but i try to bring different sides of me to each. i think ben lance, who's in sad accordions and also plays with the whiskey priest from time to time, treats it that way, too. i do appreciate separation like that in bands. i don't really want low to start making reggae, but i'm fine with them being fans of reggae, and even finding outlets for that influence. so i try not to bring as much folk love to sad accordions as i do to the whiskey priest. i don't know if the reverse will hold true for long, though. i could see the whiskey priest songs having room for some electric guitars and drum machines. maybe.


SL-In the Sad Accordions' album The Colors and the Kill there seems to be a recurring theme of baptismal fire, painful change and growth. Am I far off here?

wp-

no, i think you're right on the money. all of those songs really have some pain in them, and have different reactions to the pain. "you can't hide from it" was written about an old friend, who i hadn't seen or talked to in years, who was dying of cancer. "savage" was taken from lyrics i wrote on a four-month long road trip with my buddy alex dupree, which was a very significant time of change and upheaval for me. there's also stuff in there about wrestling with shame, expectations of others, labels - trying to live under the weight of all of this, running away from it, hiding from it, rebelling against it, being stuck in it, and the consequences of all of that.

the record starts with a guy getting his feet knocked out from underneath him, talking to the cops, and trying to explain to everyone why he's a fuck-up. the record ends with this dude driving out to the desert, replaying all these nightmares in his head, trying to keep his head above water and not explode from shame and anger. and while he's out there, this change happens, and this dry and rocky place blooms full of life and color and beauty. for me, that's the two sides: the colors and the kill. the desert can be beautiful and vibrant, and it can also be harsh and deadly. and i think that's life, too. it goes back to not choosing sides. not "faith or doubt," not "the colors or the kill." it's both/and i don't think you get to have one without the other.


- Shelf Life Magazine


"The Seventh Song of a Seventh Son"

Travelling on a bus filled to the brim with people 30 (or 40) years your senior can be a surreal experience. The generational gap is bigger than one could expect but as the days pass, you start to bond over the simplest of things.

Pun-based jokes, the great writers of English Literature (Brönte sisters, of course), lucky pennies and ales. Slowly but surely, you find that although these persons are old enough to be your grandparents (or parents), there are things in common. They might even pull a quick one on you as their gadgets (and their understanding of them) turns out to be superior to yours.

It’s a weird line of thought and an even weirder experience, to travel in coach around the UK with people you might believe don’t have anything in common with you, but old and new aren’t as far as they seem.

See also: The Whiskey Priest‘s Lost Wages. A sweet, sweet album of seven songs. They sound like the songs of old that the people in this bus would’ve been listening when they were nippers, but the emotions displayed are as timeless as the Sun.

Seth Woods is a true renaissance man. This project might be quite different from Sad Accordions (a superb band on their own field - review) and even if nostalgia and yearning are the emotions you get from both bands, the method of delivery is so different.

Whereas Sad Accordions goes for the rock/blues method, The Whiskey Priest varies.

Sure, acoustic guitar might be the unifying sound in Lost Wages, but the little snippets of droning, the electronic drumbeats and the actual organic sounds of the recording (someone mutters the name of the album, a pedal switch goes off in another song) makes it such an intimate affair.

Lost Wages feels so close to the bone. Two instrumental songs feel like very old memories surfacing. The chilling ‘Lost wages’ starts the album sounding like an old gramophone found amidst a Blitz era demolished building; the sadness around the devastation expressed perfectly on the sad chords chosen by Seth Woods.

The other instrumental, ‘The Borderlands at night’ goes into Post Rock territory. It’s the juxtaposition of acoustic loveliness with the electronic notes full of yearning that make it such a gem with that expansive sound. It actually makes me think of those hot summer sunsets back in Tampico, when you could still be by yourself and safe. Long gone days.

‘Watch me tesseract’ and ‘Wave and cloud no. 2' are a wonderful pairing. The former is a sweet ballad, with several layers that never grow into a cacophony, just feel like the different shades a painter like J.M.W. Turner would use to describe a sky. ‘Wave and cloud no. 2' on the other hand is almost minimalistic and filled to the brim with yearning (not unlike the album’s closer, ‘The Wages of Sin’).

There’s two songs that I saved for last in this review. First it’s ‘The Sparrow’, an 8 minute juggernaut that mixes alt-country, electronica and drone. It sounds like chalk and cheese but it’s more like peas and carrots. It works, it has a story to say and it delivers. ‘The ballad of the Whiskey Priest’ is shorter, but possibly as epic (yes) as ‘The Sparrow’. It’s hard to put on words the emotions you get (all about Mr. Woods’ voice – it’s perfect) but it’s a wonderful song for this Autumn season.

And what about that coach doing a tour of the UK? Some people got violently sick in Edinburgh (but survived), some made new friends and some looked at the horizon in a warm night while on a boat. Under the starry sky, they wondered what’s for them beyond the cold, chalky lands… - Sloucher


"The Whiskey Priest // 5.10.11 // The Full Moon"

On the 5th of October I got my birthday wish, it rained and I saw The Whiskey Priest. Unfortunately it rained as I was walking to the show and not the sea spray kind, the full on drowning rat kind that leaves you stood in a venue doorway wringing out your hair, top, jacket, bag and shoes. Thankfully the newly opened Full Moon bar in Cardiff was a welcome haven complete with fairy lights and a charming old cafe vibe except instead of coffee they serve crisps and “hard liquor.” As soon as the band took to stage the place fell into silence leaving Seth’s voice and guitar the only sounds. The second track they played picked up the mood a little with a country pop song; I would love to hear this played in Texas. It was like a bit of Texas had been brought to rainy Cardiff.

Having not heard any of the tracks on their upcoming EP I was interested to hear how they have progressed. Well, I’m pleased to say there hasn’t been a drastic change and why should there be, the first record was perfection. It’s the same stunning melodies and line up as the first record, the same emotion. If anything it’s become a little more conventional, but this is the first song I’ve heard and it’ll be interesting to hear the studio version. He may have an orchestra which he couldn’t fit on stage but I hope not, the track was brilliant as it is. The same goes for the second sample we were given, this was more upbeat and proved the new record is definitely one to be excited about.

The final song they played was the first one I ever heard and one of my favourites and they definitely did it justice. Since hearing Love Me Like A Holy Water I’ve wanted to hear it played live and in this tiny bar, on my birthday, my wish became a stunning reality. I was utterly mesmerised, it was one of those incredible moments in life when everything but the music melts away and nothing else in those five minutes exists.

I love small gigs because you feel a lot closer to the band and can sometimes get a bit of banter such as, “Do I feel cold? Definitely.” Seth’s reply after bragging about the 100 degrees (f) weather he’s just come from in Texas. Well, we had a heatwave. Take that Texas. Despite the pouring rain and the fact I was freezing to death in wet clothes and shoes, the band brought a little warmth to my frozen bones and for an hour or so I forgot the fact that tomorrow, I will definitely have a cold.

Now I’ll be honest, I haven’t listened to his record in a while and I probably should have done today in preparation but it was my birthday and there was a Harry Potter marathon to be had. However, listening to his opening number I was reminded why I loved the record. Music that has the power to silence an entire, previously quite noisy, bar is really something in my view. Music that has the power to keep a bar quiet is something to behold. Everything about the band is perfect, the soft melodies, the harmonies; the build ups and fades to silence. According to Seth they haven’t been doing brilliantly in the States so thought they’d have better luck with “the ten people who write about us here.” I can assure you, Whiskey Priest, I’ll be writing about you as long as you play. - Never Enough Notes


"The Whiskey Priest - Wave and Cloud"

Oh my god. If I could marry a cd I seriously would consider marrying this one. Or maybe I’ll settle for the hairy man (see above) who’s brainchild this album is, he’s got a nice voice and can sing me to sleep every night.

This album is just painfully good, Texas sure does come out with some crackers. It’s country but not too country, nicely folky and very very calming. He said it sounds like the desert and ocean – I’d agree with that. Love Me Like A Holy War immediately made me like walking along a calm beach in the sunset (god almighty!) and I suppose I’d put it down to the banjo which does a very nice job of sounding like how I’d imagine waves to sound like if they were scored.

A Seafarer’s Lament is another track you’ll have to deal with me blithering on about. The emotion, oh my life the emotion. Just listening to it breaks your heart. It’s a slow song and 9 minutes long but the time passes quickly and when you get to the second half you stop whatever the hell you were doing and just listen as the music rises and rises and his singing deteriorates into a heart-rending wail until all you can hear is a wall of noise coming at you in the most beautiful, tuneful and unbearable way. And then it dies and fades into the odd strum and little bits on a piano until finally it ends and releases it’s grip on you and you’re free to carry on with whatever you were doing before.

I’d like to hug him for that.

There are hints of Bon Iver (Uncalled) and perhaps Yeasayer without the harmonies but this entire album belongs on La Blogotheque – I wonder how long it is until he’s snapped up by those French critters and made to walk around Paris with a banjo and beard.

This isn’t an album you stick on in the background whilst frying some chicken or whatever. This needs time and thought and requires you to actually listen to it and if you try and resist I can promise you that one of these tracks will pull you in and before you know it an hour has passed and you have no idea what just happened but you know it’s amazing.

As a parting note I’d just like to say to Seth: Would you please come and tour here so I can sit crying in a corner drinking myself into an amazing music and gin induced coma?!

Wave and Cloud is released on 23rd August on Rainboot Records. - A Case of Sonic Attack


"The Whiskey Priest - Wave and Cloud"

The Whiskey Priest have actually managed to do something quite beautiful. Touching, maybe. The nine-minute intro totally shows you what the eleven following songs are going to be like. The whole LP has a raw emotion to it. It's a kind of strange mixture. The soulful voice, the Damien Rice-like passive style, the emotional lyrics and the purity in the music make this album something quite unique, but as Mr. Cowell would say, it's a bit of a Marmite case, you either love it or you hate it.

From start to finish it maintains the pure and deep emotion, but it lacks a wider range of musical variety. For those of you who love relaxed, down-tempo love songs it will be a great album. Unfortunately, for the ones who can't stand them, the album won't be your cup of tea.

Despite it's annoyingly strange title, If a Train Was a Doctor Was a Song is one of the best tracks on the whole album. The lyrics are like poetry, "If I was a train I would carry you along, in the dark, in the dark," and the music brings out all the folk that this Whiskey Priest has, while Winter Window is the perfect soundtrack to any Nicholas Sparks film adaptation (The Notebook, anyone?).

The only real up-tempo song of the entire album, No Man Is An Island (But Me), is only one minute and a half long. The song is a real breath of fresh air after so many slowies, but it's far too short to even give us a small twist!
There are two problems with albums like Wave And Cloud. One, the possibility of falling asleep when listening to track after track. Second (and maybe more important) you might hate the tracks if you're not actually in love, and that does happen! Otherwise, the album is a solid collection of love songs, or seen in another light, real poetry.

3 stars (out of 5) - Music-News.com


"The Whiskey Priest"


As much as this is a statement that’s going to see me paying out a fortune for a top quality legal defence team in the future, The Playground quite often throws up a fair few pleasant treats.

As much as critiquing music that’s out of your comfort zone can provide the unexpected, when you’re a beard stroking, cardigan wearing social nobody who hardly ever ventures into a nightclub, let alone do anything other than drink your own body weight in Guinness from the fear that somebody might actually ask you to dance (which they never do), another night alone listening to something dubsteppy can get a little repetitive.

The excitement of ripping open the weekly envelope that doesn’t contain death threats from Ting Tings fans is only ever made the sweeter when it contains the likes of The Whiskey Priest (a.k.a Seth Woods), a singer/songwriter from Austin, Texas and quite genuinely worth getting excited about.

‘A Seafarer’s Lament’ is the opener and just falls short of the ten minute mark; Wood’s vocals remaining fragile and highly emoted without resorting to warbling over a sparsely arranged and beautifully layered backing that retains a palpable and immersive melancholy.

‘Uncalled’ and ‘The Way Of The Future’ provide palpable highlights, and a third artist to appear on my Last.fm weekly charts underneath Bright Eyes and Ryan Adams, butthere are plenty of definite cornerstones that have clearly shaped Wood’s musical education without ever feeling in awe of them.

Despite a slight thinning of ideas by the time of ‘All The Way Back’ it’s hard to consider ‘Wave And Cloud’ as anything other than an album filled with both promise and achievement, especially when there’s a danger that he might even slip under the radar over in the UK. Buy this, even if it’s because Paolo Nutini is properly awful, please - The Playground


"Album Review: The Whiskey Priest's Wave and Cloud"

Seth Woods, The Whiskey Priest, composes a haunting effort in his album Wave & Cloud, which debuted August 23rd. For the most part, Wave & Cloud is an airy, ghostly sound, with songs that simply have a single line repeated throughout on top of lonely instrumentals. Wave & Cloud at times showcases the ‘priest’ part of Whiskey Priest, as it has hints of inspiration from a hymnal in its repetitions and sometimes simplistic song structure, and, in rare times, the upbeat life of gospel music. Wave & Cloud is folk music that will give you the blues, but not without a hint of light and hope in it overall. Wave & Cloud, if anything, will be the best sermon you’ve heard all week.

--Mitchell Mazurek - The Deli Magazine


"The Whiskey Priest - Wave and Cloud"

It is a brave musician that opens his debut album with a nine minute epic, but the soft, slow stormy heartbreak that is Seafarer’s Lament that sets the stage for The Whiskey Priest’s Wave and Cloud. But this isn’t a record of sadness, with If I Was A Train chugging along to a more upbeat rhythm as Seth Woods moves on, moves forward – allowing greater scope for the rest of the album. In all, Wave and Cloud is a simple, beautiful and understated folk record that sparkles with little rays of country throughout.

Winter Window is a personal favourite on the record with its ghostly sound chimes, whistles and layers into something altogther more fulfilling. Not everything on offer here is so constructuvely arranged though, with Winter Secret Army Blod a more accesible folk-pop ballad – but even there a violin solo reminds you that this record is so much more than that and the simple repetitive song structures here, as elsewhere on the record, are what makes it feel so familiar and yet still manages to evoke feelings fascination and wonder.

The first recordings for Wave and Cloud were recorded on a four-track in a downtown church attic in Austin, Texas by Seth and a handful of friends, and was released on Rainboot on 23rd August. - The Blue Walrus


"The Power and the Glory"

So the nights begin to draw in again, clouds cover the country and drizzle dampens everyone’s spirits. Out of the grey anonymity of this September sky comes a review copy of The Whiskey Priest’s ‘Wave and Cloud’. The Whiskey Priest is Seth Woods of Austin based Sad Accordions who may be familiar to some. The moniker Woods has chosen draws on the emotional and theological tensions of Graham Greene’s ‘Power and the Glory’, of the fragility of faith and the extraordinary capacity of man for his own self-destruction.

Fortunately the result is something far more life affirming in which heartbreak is tempered by hope and promise.

The album begins with a mesmerising tune, the distant crashing of waves, Seth Woods’ voice and a melancholic guitar sailing through ‘A Seafarer’s Lament’, haunting and tragic and setting the tone for a truly wonderful album. Woods vocal style calls to mind the approach of a singer like Jeff Buckley, one for whom the voice is not simply an instrument but an outlet of emotional expression. This is meant to be high praise indeed, ‘Wave and Cloud’ finding the same strange middle ground as Buckley between rock, country, soul and blues. Woods' voice may lack range and spontaneity, but it has character, commitment and genuine emotion. This is what Phosphorescent thinks he sounds like (and Woods has a better beard). The interplay between Woods’ vocals and guitar playing is a constant pleasure – on ‘Uncalled’, for instance, the two come together in intimate harmony, a hypnotic effect that adds greater power to the final minute of the song when the rest of the backing band join in. While the majority of songs are slow paced, Woods is clearly comfortable on up-tempo numbers, in fact the hand-clapping, foot-stomping and banjo-bashing ‘No Man Is An Island (But Me)’ is one of the best tracks on the album.

‘All The Way Back’, which features on this month’s Americana UK sampler CD (plug, plug), is a great example of what this album is all about: a simple idea pulled off with gospel gusto, a tightly constructed and straightforward song that feels free, loose, untamed. ‘Wave and Cloud’ deserves your attention at a time when it is becoming increasingly difficult to locate genuine musical talent and emotional honesty in singer songwriting.


Date review added: Saturday, September 18, 2010
Reviewer: David Harry
Reviewers Rating: 8 out of 10 - Americana UK


"First Glances - The Whiskey Priest"

The Rainboot label believes it has something special on its hands with Austin based, alt-country songwriter, The Whiskey Priest describing his debut album as “life-changing”. Having heard teaser track, ‘Seafarers lament’ we’re not inclined to disagree.

Real name Seth Woods, The Whiskey Priest began his career in the ensemble Sad Accordions but quickly began amassing a body of his own compositions, too personal to release as part of that groups dynamic. Rainboot will release a full album of Seths own songs right about now. Expect Bon Iver comparisons from every direction.

PS – photograph is by Valerie Fremin. Stunning, isn’t it? - Sic Magazine


Discography

Wages of Sin (single - 2010)
Wave and Cloud (full length - August, 2010)
Lost Wages (ep - November, 2011)

all on UK label Rainboot (label).

Photos

Bio

The Whiskey Priest is Austin, TX based songwriter Seth Woods.

Seth moved to Austin in 2003, where he soon started making music with his band Sad Accordions. Around the time Sad Accordions finished their first record, A Bad Year For The Sharons, the band’s writing process began to move towards a more collaborative effort, with less of an emphasis on already-existing individual songs. While this was a much needed and welcomed change for the band, it left Seth with a suitcase full of homeless songs. And as these things will often go... Heartache plus unused songs and an identification with a specific character from classic twentieth century literature (one tormented by the struggle between the human and the divine, no less!) equals The Whiskey Priest.

Aided by good friend and fellow Austin musician Alex "hooch" Dupree, Seth began working on The Whiskey Priest recordings in May of 2006. Gathering with a small group of friends in a downtown church attic, they recorded a handful of songs to Alex's four track tape machine. These became the beginnings of Wave and Cloud, a record that would finally see its completion in 2009, and its eventual release in 2010. Wave and Cloud is available online through the UK label Rainboot, as well as at various Austin record shops, and of course at The Whiskey Priest shows.

The Whiskey Priest made his way to the UK this October for a few weeks' worth of shows, in preparation for the Rainboot release of the new ep "Lost Wages," due out in November. Seth and the band played in London (Brixton, Soho, Camden), Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, Bristol, Edinburgh, Inverness, Hebden Bridge, and York, as well as radio sessions for Imperial College in London, and Spark FM in Sunderland (which was then distributed through the Student Radio Association (http://www.studentradio.org.uk/news/fullstory/3958).

Here's what the label has to say about the new record:

"Following a move from Texas to New Mexico, The Whiskey Priest has once again exorcised his demons through song, channelling alienation and bewilderment into another beautifully crafted collection of material that perfectly evokes the arid peculiarity of his new surroundings. Eschewing the ramshackle orchestration of 'Wave and Cloud' in favour of a serene minimalism, this new release makes for a bracing, stark and truly beautiful listen and draws clear lines between the narrative meditation of Richmond Fontaine and Calexico-esque ambience."

Alongside Seth's work as The Whiskey Priest and in Sad Accordions, he also plays regularly in Chris Simpson's Zookeeper, and Alex Dupree's Trapdoor Band. He currently splits his time between his band-mates in Austin and his fiance in Albuquerque.