Alyssa and Doug Graham have spent nearly their entire lives exploring music together.
Friends since she was 7 and he was 9, they became a couple in their teens, then husband and wife.
Somewhere along the way, they also became The Grahams, a dynamic Americana duo who’ve married their love of adventure with a desire to build on foundations laid by their musical forebears.
Their first song-crafting expedition, along the Mississippi’s Great River Road, became their 2013 debut, Riverman’s Daughter.
For its follow-up, they rode the rails — and wound up recording not only a studio album, but a documentary and live album on the move and in venues from Sun Studio to Amtrak’s famed City of New Orleans train.
Their new long-player, the explosive and aptly named Glory Bound, was helmed by Grammy-nominated producer Wes Sharon (John Fullbright, Parker Millsap) at his 115 Recording studio in Norman, Okla., and will be released on May 19, 2015 on 12 South Records via RED Music (through Sony Music).
Here’s “Mama,” a track from this fantastic collection. An Americana, gospel-tinged plaintive tune with some great harmonies and a simple accompaniment.
The Grahams share, “Elvis’s, ‘That’s All Right Mama’ was cut in 1954 at the now legendary Sun Studio in Memphis, TN. Thanks to Cody Dickinson, we had the incredible opportunity to record our song, “Mama” live in the same space, standing in the same spot (marked by a piece of tape on the ground) as the King. Not only were all the ghosts of American music watching over us and cheering us on but we know beyond a doubt that Sweet Adeline (Mama) was beaming with pride from up above. If these walls could talk” takes on new meaning performing in this small magical space in the heart of Memphis.”
Recording in Oklahoma holds special significance for a couple raised as Dylan-loving New York City suburban kids who spent weekends strumming campfire songs in the Adirondacks. Like many Dylan fans, they traced their way back to his greatest inspiration.
Simultaneously, the band will release Rattle the Hocks, a musical documentary focusing on the live recording and the relationship between the railroad and American roots music. Both film and album (which will be released digitally on May 19) were directed and produced by Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars. The Grahams debuted the film at this winter’s Folk Alliance International conference in Kansas City.
“After we recorded Riverman’s Daughter, we were listening to a lot of Woody Guthrie,” Alyssa explains. “The song ‘Farmer Labor Train’ kept sticking in our minds, so we wanted to write a song about trains. We wrote ‘Glory Bound,’ then decided that we really wanted to ride the trains in honor of Guthrie, Lead Belly and other old folk legends who used the train system to bring voices together. We had to go to Oklahoma, obviously, because Woody was our mentor.”
Find out more at http://www.thegrahamsmusic.net/