On Episode 208, I'm joined by singer-songwriter Grady Spencer, who in January released Wait, his fourth full-length with his band Grady Spencer & The Work and sixth overall. During this interview, we talk about writing Wait, the sonic palette that was influenced by the mood and feel of the past few years, the significance of songs like "Therapy's Good," touring the country, growing up in West Texas, why Matchbox Twenty still holds up, and putting his own spin on '90s Country.
This episode's presenting partner is Desert Door Texas Sotol, The Blue Light Live, and Charlie Stout Photography.
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Thomas Mooney 0:03
Hey y'all welcome back by a music journalist Thomas Mooney. This is episode 208 of Newsline. And this go round I am joined by singer songwriter gray Spencer at Grady Spencer in the work. I've known Grady for a good long while now. Matter of fact, he was one of those very, very first interviews featured on Newsline, probably around 10 years ago or so. Since then, he has released five more albums. Along with that first album, the seminal Optimist Club, usually Sundays, ships sleep, the line between celebrate and most recently, wait, the latest for being with his long running band, the work they release wait just about a month ago, and it features songs that reflects really the past couple of years, as well as embracing a little bit more of that indie rock Sonic palette. In my estimation, I would say that Grady has long been a songwriter influenced and inspired a lot by friends and family and their impact on his life. You hear that in songs like things to do, Austin grant in green girl. You've heard him grow as a storyteller with songs like goats. And of course, you're never going to fully take that out O'Grady's writing. That's a huge part of why we love him. But in saying that, I think that wait, sees him move further into self reflection and has a lot more introspective detail with the likes of therapies good down but blessed and grown among others. As strong as ever. I encourage y'all to go and check out wait if you haven't just yet. We talked about those songs and much much more on this episode. Which we'll get all to that here in one second. But first a word from our presenting partners over at Desert door Texas. Today's presenting partner is our pals over at Desert door, Texas salt dog if you've been listening to new slang, I reckon you're more than familiar with desert door by now. In case you need a refresher or just aren't exactly sure what desert door or what a Sotol is. Well let me fill you in. Desert door is one of my all time favorite premium, high quality spirits harvested and distilled right here in the great state of Texas. Desert George is genuine and authentically West Texas. So tall comes from the desert plant it shares its name with as a reference point. It is an agave, so there is some semblance to tequila or Mezcal. And it does owe a lot of its heritage to the resilient natives. Although deserts of northern Mexico and West Texas, in my estimation, though, does adore Texas, although is more refined, smooth and fragrant than its Agave cousins. It intrigues the palate and offers these robust hints of vanilla and citrus. There's a rich earthiness that often sends me back to my own trains Paik is in Far West Texas roots. There's plenty to love about desert door. For me it starts with all those inherently West Texan routes, but a close second is just how versatile does a door can be. You can be down home in a denim jacket and a pair of work boots just something short and sweet like a ranch water or throw it in some Coca Cola protip though get yourself one of those Mexican cokes when doing so. Or if it's more of a blazer affair, maybe suit and tie does adore it hits the spot into you can be a little bit more highbrow and concoct a variety of cocktails that call for muddling fresh fruit in sprigs of thyme and sticks of cinnamon regardless of the occasion or your preferred style. Just follow your bliss when drinkin desert door. Right now you can find desert or all over Texas, Colorado and Tennessee with budding numbers in New Mexico, Arizona, California and expanding across to a liquor store near you for more on where checkout desert door comm there you can learn more about their process history and what cocktails may suit your style. Again, that's desert door.com Okay, let's get to it. Here is Grady Spencer. Yeah, I know like I think we should start this off by just addressing the fact that we did one of these here in person. One time. It was on some new equipment with Charlie stout. Yeah. And yeah, it just didn't get recorded. And that was like, Yeah, golden podcast that was just
Grady Spencer 4:33
and I still tell that story of like it it was hilarious. And like kind of perfect. Honestly. Yeah.
Thomas Mooney 4:41
Yeah, just a a car just like filled up. Yeah. First time ever using this thing. Charlie stout comes over and he's like, Yeah, you need to use this right here. It's gonna be easy. Yeah, yada yada. He does it and then like we talk for an hour. We go into some good stuff and then all of a sudden it's like, Man, I don't think That fucking record is the
Grady Spencer 5:02
worst. The best also the worst. Yeah, man is a hilarious. Yeah, yeah.
Thomas Mooney 5:08
So I bring that up just because I guess that was two or three years ago. Uh huh. You've had to record since Yeah, you just released one. Wait. This one it feels like it just a kind of a surprise record. Not necessarily a surprise record, but it feels like it just came out really, really quickly. Yeah. Maybe that's in part just me not keeping up on what what was going on part quarantine. It feels like a very much a record out of the quarantine though. In looking at it, just you know, do you feel like this, this record kind of is an imprint of the like, the last bit of life this strangeness that's that's been happening in the world. Do you feel like that's one of the biggest or one of the bigger takeaways?
Grady Spencer 5:55
Yeah, man. I mean, that's, it's, I mean, you hit the nail on the head of like, lyrically, you know, 80% of the songs were kind of based on either stuff that was happening in COVID, or are kind of the result of that, of having to wait, you know, quitting my day job, and then everything shutting down. And it's like, well, this thing I thought I was getting ready to, like, you know, this horse I was getting ready to jump on just died, you know? Like, it was a weird thing. And, yeah, dude, what's crazy is like, I purposefully didn't try to hype it up too much, because I wasn't sure with COVID. Like, if we were going to be able to have a release tour. So the album, it's been done for a really long time. And I just would never really hinted it and just kind of kept it pretty low key. Like, I gave some kind of hints back when we were recording that we were doing it, but it was it was definitely on purpose that like it kind of seemed to come quickly. Because, you know, literally week by week, it was like, well, we're going to get to play shows, we're not going to play shows or somebody's got code can't do it. And so yeah, it was definitely a timid release, because it's just like, Man, I don't know what's gonna happen. But they've actually been done for a really long time. And then just kind of waiting for the right time to put it out. So yeah, it was it was cool.
Thomas Mooney 7:21
Yeah, even sonically, I would say, like, it feels very much more obviously, he has recorded in the studio and all that stuff, but you're in comparison to like, celebrate. Yeah. Which, you know, I remember you. You know, at one point wanted like some some more horns on it more. It's more of that party crowd. This one is very, I mean, just in title alone, celebrate versus wait. Yeah, you know, this one feels a lot more reserved a little bit more of like a bedroom record. Yeah.
Grady Spencer 7:48
Yeah. That mean, that's, that's definitely valid. Yeah, was celebrate, you know, we were working with these guys called Miles City, which is like, who did Leon's first record. And it definitely felt like it should be this big. You know, over the top thing, because we're getting to work with these really incredible people. And, you know, it was fun, and it was big. I think admittedly, like where, what my expectations and even the studio people's expectations for that record. Like, I think we all had higher hopes than what happened with it, like, it was still great. And definitely, you know, like, push my career forward. But it wasn't like this big thing that we thought it was gonna be. And so with, with this last one with Wait, we're working with a buddy of mine and Rhys Murphy, they're in Fort Worth. And it wasn't like this big name studio. It's just this guy. I mean, he's well known in like the church music scene. But on a grand scale, like he's pretty under the radar and so nobody was looking at their watch. We're just in there jacking around with paddles, having fun and like exploring stuff because there wasn't any sort of timeline. And you know, we weren't on these big name schedules and so, um, yeah, dude, he's definitely pro but we like what I like to listen to we had the time to like try and take this like, quote unquote, Texas country thing that I've been lumped in and like put the bedroom pop type Phil on it, because that's the kind of stuff I like, that's what I like to listen to. And so it was it was definitely refreshing and and yet, we just had like, for better for worse. We had the time to do it, because nothing else was going on. This was like last February, so there weren't a lot of shows. We could just do it. And yeah, it felt good. For sure.
Thomas Mooney 9:52
Yeah. What it feels like there's this, you know, for better or worse, less experts. that you put on yourself sounds like yeah, like, I think like, we all can do that where you kind of get all your ducks in a row and you think, Okay, if that's gonna, you know, you start, like, I guess building up this dream in your head. And I think we all do that. And it sounds like what you what you did was since Star Wars and he shows it's not like you're gonna be like, added on to Yeah, a bunch of big shows or or you know, get a giant tour put together or, or whatever the case is, and you just kind of have to, you know, I think there's this, maybe this beauty of that happened in the quarantine of just kind of getting lost in the art itself again, without necessarily thinking of the the business strategy behind the meeting
Grady Spencer 10:48
for surety. I mean, I, I was watching a lot of interviews and listen to podcasts and like, I think a lot of artists, you know, they, they were like, Oh, we have all this time, like, we should really try and be as creative as possible. And like, the world was just such a dumpster fire that it was like really hard to like, be productive, I think for a lot of people. And so to come out of it with like a whole new album that I really love and like is something that I enjoy listening to. It was a win for sure. Because I have friends, you know, who tried to do stuff. And it's just, it's just too hard. Because it's like, the world is just too crazy to try to like rope your brain into like doing something productive. And so I felt really lucky that we actually pulled this
Thomas Mooney 11:35
off what I noticed, or what I've kind of been talking about when it comes to this has been so probably like the best thing you could ever if you just had a wish on like what what would make your career or your art better? You're just going oh, time. Yeah. And then all of a sudden, you know, oh, here's all this time all the time. Yep. And you kind of go, oh, I don't need to do this as large chunk. You should, like there's this to actually process through it like that. Yeah. And, you know, a lot of people started doing other things like as far as what I would just kind of lump into the arts, which is probably something that they weren't thinking about doing full time, but you know, as a secondary thing like yeah, painting or like writing or, you know, trying to do poetry or gardening or whatever the case and then I think you know, out of that, once you start at once we all started kind of, for lack of a better term get started getting used to in court being in quarantine being in the strange new world. From that point, they they realized, okay, this stuff has helped me out on the in the long run, or now I can figure out what I'm trying to say versus Yeah, you know, the, quote, unquote, I'm gonna make the quarantine record for sure of our generation definitely did.
Grady Spencer 12:55
Yeah. Yeah. What was crazy is like, you know, I was putting out I was trying to be semi productive. And so like, we did some like remote tract things and like people recording from their houses and just kind of like, we're emailing stuff back and forth. And so I released some things in the middle of it. And you know, it was so crazy of the service that I used to get all my music distributed in quarantine dude, the wait times were like five times what they were because accountants were making, you know, like electro pop records and like, you know, like, it was just because, like, what else are you gonna do? You know, and luckily, by the time I was ready to do this one, I think everybody is like, kind of going back to their normal life because it was back to like a week turnaround where it would have taken like, two months from when you submitted the like, get everything out, just because there's so many people doing so much stuff, which is like, it was frustrating in the moment for me, but it was also really cool to think about well, the world's kind of being creative right now.
Thomas Mooney 14:01
And that's yeah,
Grady Spencer 14:02
that's that's a good thing. Love that outlet, I guess.
Thomas Mooney 14:05
Yeah, yeah, I got this time. I'm gonna make the I'm gonna write my you know, my book of a lifetime or anything? Yeah.
This episode is brought to you by our partners over at the blue light live here in Lubbock, Texas. Blue light has long been the epicenter of the Lubbock songwriter scene, and has been a prestigious home away from home for some of Texas Americana, country and Rock and roll's finest over the decades. Talk with a songwriter who's come out of Lubbock, West Texas or the Panhandle the last few years, and 99.9% of them are going to tell you just how integral and necessary the blue light has been in there come up as a songwriter and a performer. With live original music just about every night of the week, head on over to blue light lubbock.com to check out their schedule. I know over these next few months you'll be seeing folks like Roger Klein and the peacemakers Grady Spencer in the work, Joshua leathers Troy Cartwright, David Beck's Ohana weekend, Tristan Morales and Braxton Keith graced the blue light stage. Again, that's blue light. lubbock.com. While there, check out their merch page, they have a wide range of hats, beanies, sweaters, hoodies, jackets, and koozies. You can get all your merch needs while you're seeing your favorite band. Take the stage by just asking your bartender and they'll get you set up as well. And of course, this should go without saying but make sure you tip your bartenders and buy some merch from the band while you're at it. That's 1806 Buddy Holly Avenue, Lubbock, Texas. Blue light lubbock.com. Pretty good chance. I'll see you there. Okay, let's get back to the show. I was gonna mention the song therapy's good. You know, you talked about how this this Texas country thing that you're lumped into I think when we talk about being introspective or being intimate writing something like that, with those kind of descriptions within the Texas country scene, it's it's like this your professing your love or like your heartbreak or Yeah, something like that, like something related to, to family work, you know, how many quote unquote like, grandpa's? Yeah, you know, whatever the Yeah, you know, that kind of stuff? Rarely, I think Do. Do. I mean, I'm sure there's plenty of songs that are looking at yourself, but, or examine mental health or everything related to that. But this one is very, very spot on as far as like taking it head on. Yeah. I guess like, my question is, how do you get to a place where you're comfortable? In, in being that as part of a song? Yeah, can always be part of you, for sure. But then, like, I think a lot of people have maybe a hard time putting it into a song. Yeah. Comfortable singing it to be no,
Grady Spencer 17:06
definitely. I mean, I think in general, Americans don't like thinking about mental health and things like that. And, um, you know, for a lot of years, like, in the first 10 years of my career, I probably would have been like, Man, this this is a Phil Riley says to either too much of me or too corny, or too on the nose or something. But in truth, you know, there was a guy, I was at a point in my life where, you know, with the construction stuff, 4060 hours a week on a job site, I had gotten signed to read 11 they were doing their job and booking me every weekend. So literally, there was no time to rest. I mean, we were either, we had Sundays, and then we were normally driving home. And so my wife and kids were kind of getting just the skeleton of what was left over the shell of me. And so it reached a point. So where Casey, my wife was, like, we got to, I think you need to talk to somebody because you're, you're kind of get on a path, it's not gonna go great. And, you know, long story short, I found this guy named Tim Watson. And he helped me kind of unpack like, this anxiety that I was dealing with, and the stress of like, constantly needing to be going and not, I mean, frankly, being out of gas, and he just kind of helped me unpack it and walk me through it. And that was kind of a little nudge that was like, you know, I think I should quit my day job and give this a shot. And that was something that was that one session was probably the one moment in my life that is kind of like, transition and take me off to somewhere that never would have happened if I hadn't gone and talked to somebody. And so from that time on, it was just something that, that I think everyone could benefit from going to talk to professional because, you know, it's it's just, we're all dealing with unprecedented stress and like madness, and like, craziness. And it's just super healthy to go and pack it. And so, pans, your question, like to get up there on a stage with people having a party time and like, be singing about therapy, it's a weird fit, for sure. But it's also something that like, I hope will connect with somebody who might be like, on the verge of like, a breakdown, or like dealing with dark stuff of like, I don't know what to do. But then here's this weird guy piercing in about a therapy session, like, my hope would be that they would, you know, be able to kind of pull it together and look into it, because it was super helpful for me and that's kind of what I'm hoping it would be for other people too. So yeah, have that answers the question?
Thomas Mooney 19:58
Yeah, no, I think the thing is is like You know, stress and anxiety and depression and all these things that are kind of like putting weight on someone's shoulders that like, every single not every but like, the vast majority of artists. Yeah, are dealing with that. Sure. But most of the time that manifests in an alcohol problem or drug problem being burnout. Yeah. Just finding various vices. Yeah, that, you know that. When we them that we go Oh, so and so what happened to that band? You know, because they disappeared or because they didn't have they couldn't maintain a certain level of balance. Sure. You know, and so I think there's, and it's also one of those things that I'm saying like multiple things here, but yeah, we often and it's the cliche of musics my therapy. Yeah, it's like, yeah, so you're not very, you're not. It's not a foreign thing to you in some respect. Yeah. But, you know, often whenever you're listening to music, you know, you're you're not able to unpack yourself, you're, you're maybe working some things out, because all that song gets you quote, unquote, or something. But, you know, it's a it's just something that there's obviously a stigma attached to, Oh, this guy has a therapist or this person, as in like, you're someone who's broken. Yeah. But I think like we we've, for the longest time have tried to find, I guess, long story short, what I'm trying to say is, we've always been trying to find these outlets. Yep. Of trying to get therapy without actually doing
Grady Spencer 21:41
definitely, man. Yeah, and I'm all for like, if it's therapeutic for you, well means do it. But frankly, like, that's just a one way thing of you outputting something, there's no input from like a good acoustic guitar, you know, and so, that could be helpful to like, help you calm down and like, you know, center yourself and lower the stress. But it's really helpful to have a professional from an outside perspective, say, I think it might be this, that's the problem. Yeah. Oh, man, I didn't think about like that. And it's super simple. And like, I think it's something you know, I'm not saying anything revolutionary, but like, I think there's some stigma about getting getting help, or going to see a counselor or psychologist or whatever, and like thinking that's, that makes you weaker. And it's like, it's not, it's the opposite, because it's super hard, but it's really helpful. Yeah, absolutely. I for a lot of years, you know, I didn't go to the dentist for a long time, you know, and then as I go to the dentist, like, oh, yeah, this makes me healthier. And like, I didn't go to therapy for 36 years. I go, and I'm like, Yeah, this is amazing. Do like, I'm going on Monday, you know, like, go and pack. I'm feeling pretty tired and stressed. And so yeah, dude, I can't recommend it enough. And that's that was my goal of like, putting it on the album, is to do my little part to say, Hey, this is this is good for you. If you if you can do it, you know?
Thomas Mooney 23:09
Yeah. Well, it's like, for the musician. analogy. It's like you did the album and then didn't take it to get it mixed and mastered. Yeah, no.
Grady Spencer 23:18
Yeah, dude. Exactly. To the professional. Yeah, yeah, that's exactly what it is. And honestly, I've got friends who always skip that part. I'm like, What are you doing? I just spent all this time recording this, like, just pay the $300 to get it done. Right. You know, but yeah,
Thomas Mooney 23:36
I can do it too. Yeah.
Grady Spencer 23:38
I always think that computer over there. I'm like, Ah, dude, I can mix it, but it always this sounds horrible.
Thomas Mooney 23:43
Yeah. Well, that's the thing, too, is like, well, you bet around that, like, you've heard that song. You know, 300 times. Yeah. I don't, you know, and then you then you think like, yeah, I have the, the fresh ears.
Grady Spencer 23:56
Yeah, you know, yeah, you have so many biases, that it's a perfect analogy of like, we all have our own biases with our own lives and like, we think we understand stuff, but we're probably lying to ourselves a lot, too. So
Thomas Mooney 24:09
yeah. This episode is in part brought to you by Charlie stout photography. I want y'all all to head over to Charlie stout.com. Right now to get a glimpse of his work. While you're at it. Go give him a follow on Instagram and Twitter at Charlie stout. Right now. He has more than 50 photographs for sale on Charlie stout.com with a diverse selection of landscapes and sky shots of West Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, open roads and windmills sunsets and start us, cotton rose and cacti. He captures a lot of what I love about West Texas and the great American Southwest. The depth the way and raw intensity is all there in his photography. He captures that struggle between man and the land. It's Mother Nature, reclaiming objects like rusting tracks. and abandoned homesteads, where it's man wrangling the wild and trying to put his impression on the land rows of cotton or colossal windmills or iron orchards pumping oil from the deep, dark below. And sometimes it's just the raw beauty of a mountain breaking up limitless sky, we're setting son leaving the day behind. At any rate, choice photographs move you, maybe there's a little bit of that ain't crying. That's just west Texas, in my eye, in all of Charlie's photos. Again, go visit Charlie stout.com. and order yourself a photograph or two. Also, a pro tip, keep an eye out on his Twitter, he's consistently posting one offs, and errors and randoms on there that are available in the flash sell variety. Again, that's at Charlie step, head on over to Charlie style.com, grab a signed print, buy a record, it's good for your soul. Alright, let's get back to the episode. One of the things that you've been doing over the years, that that I think is really cool. You have some moments on this record? Is like you're not like afraid of taking a song that you've done before. Yeah, and reinvent in reinventing it or, you know, going, Hey, maybe this is a new fresh spin on it. Does that come from? Or does that originate from thinking that you didn't necessarily do it the right way the first time? Or is it more of a, oh, this has morphed into this because we started playing it this way live or what's been kind of the the typical case,
Grady Spencer 26:35
it's been both the ones on the two that I read it on this last album, it was very much I think we could do it better. I just, I won't, I'll go back and listen to the old stuff. And just you know, where we were at musically, talent wise, and like experience. I thought the songs they deserved a better effort and like better quality. And then yeah, for other stuff. We just started playing it different. And it was kind of a new song. And we decided to redo it. And then things to do the Fort Worth song. The city of Fort Worth keeps wanting to use it for stuff. And so they keep asking me to like redo it a different way. And as many times as they want me to try, like I'll keep squeezing that juice out. Because it's like, I love having that relationship with them. And so, yeah, it's it's something that at times, I think, Man, this is kind of a crutch. You know, this is like, I should just write new stuff. But I think if we, if we do it right, then it's a whole new thing. And and it's kind of a, like a nod to the past. And so that's what I tried to do. For sure.
Thomas Mooney 27:51
Yeah. Yeah. You mentioned how, you know, like, during the quarantine, it was it could be difficult to create for for artists, was it difficult for you to, to actually, you know, be able to like, I guess carve out that space for you to sit down and write by yourself? Or? Or did you? Did you feel like it was a little bit easier?
Grady Spencer 28:13
No, it was harder, just because and I love them to death. And like, I'm so thankful that I got to spend a year and a half with him because it was the most time I've ever spent but to have two young kids. I think my wife and I would both agree that it's like, after the first couple months, it's just madness. And she her her job. They started going back a lot earlier than the kids started going back to school. And so there were months where it was just me and the kids for for three days of the week. And so yeah, dude, it was it was really hard to try to find any sort of juice to like, do anything creative. And I did do some stuff. But it was not. Because it was just I'm just so like, frazzled. And you know, I think any parent of young kids could identify with that chapter of like, you're being cooped up with two young kids who have no idea what's going on, and they just want to play you right. And I'm glad and that's, that's a vibe that Casey and I tried to have is like, okay, how can we minimize the need for them to go to therapy from this, like, we're just trying not to mentally scar them? And so like, we tried to insulate them as much as we could from, you know, the craziness that was going on, but yeah, short answer. No, it was it was super hard in it, just because, you know, it was my time was pretty, pretty taken up by being a dad, which was, I mean, it was cool. I think once I once I finally realized, like, I'm fighting an uphill battle and just like, this isn't the time to be writing a new album, like, it was great because I got to enjoy a time with them that I never, I never would have had normally.
Thomas Mooney 29:55
So yeah, well, it's I can imagine it being the There's so many there's only so many times you can say, hold on. Just give me five more minutes. Yeah. Because they they don't understand like the concept of five shirts. Yeah, yeah. And yeah, like, as you said, like just that uphill, but you're just battling yourself really definitely trying to say, Oh, let me carve out you because you know how much effort and time it takes to to write something. Yeah, to get in that headspace. Yep. And, you know, if you're not being able to give it 100% It's probably best to just let let the let the songwriting marinate in the background while you're doing other
Grady Spencer 30:36
100%. Man, that's it. And that's kind of the way I am. On the road. See, I mean, we've been traveling a lot, the past month and a half. And, you know, my impulse is like, Well, man, I need to be productive on the road. And like, get, get the social media stuff super tight, or be recording some videos, like posts or like be writing for the next album. And it's just like, at some point, you have to acknowledge, like, you don't have it in you right now. Like, just do your job of what you're out here doing. Do that as best as you can, and then rest when you can. And so that's something that's like, it's hard for me to do, because I like, I have all these things in my mind that I want to do. I want to do a podcast, I want to screen print posters. I want to make cool videos. And it's like, there will be a time for me to do that. But this is not that time. Yeah, you know, and so it's, it's, it's a bummer to have to finally come to that realization that like, Wait, so you're home. And you're not traveling five days a week, you know, and so that's kind of what I'm doing now. I was just trying to like find a healthy balance.
Thomas Mooney 31:49
Yeah. You mentioned being out on the road more you guys have been going out? In new new places. Yeah. Fresh places, places you guys have not been to. Hey, like, how has that been? Like, how have the those crowds been in these new markets? Yeah, actually,
Grady Spencer 32:09
dude, it's, it's been an incredible year and a half, you know, from 2020 to 2021. Not great. But pretty much from 2021 till now. You know, for the first 10 years of my career, it was just Texas, and like, to Oklahoma cities that we've ever played. And so that was the only place we've gone and now, in the past year and a half, we've literally gone almost, you know, 75% of the country, and it's been really incredible and, and super fun. There's been like, things that you would expect, you know, like the five person crowd and where were we at? San Francisco, we played a show, there's like five people. And then you know, we played Atlanta and there's over 200 And it's just, it's, it's really wild, and really exciting for like, the future of like, you know, to think that we could pull a crowd like that, you know, I see friends doing it all, you know, I see Flatland. Slann everywhere. I see, you know, BJ and American Aquarium, playing PAC rooms, all over the country. And I'm like, Man, that would be cool. And to actually pull it off in like Atlanta or Chicago. It's, it's incredible. And it's super exciting. And it feels like, man, we might be able to do this for a while. And so yeah, man, it's been it's been incredible.
Thomas Mooney 33:43
Yeah. Um, but you know, you mentioned it just two seconds ago about getting sleep. Yeah. Right. I guess like the way I'm gonna, what I'm thinking about it is, is the not that, like you wouldn't wanted to do this. 15 years ago? Yeah. Get out in these different markets. But obviously, you're you're a different person than you were 1520 years ago. Do you think like, maybe there's this this sense of because, you know, you're, you're married? Have kids. You know, your late 30s That, that maybe you kind of even though you haven't been a roadog all this time, that you kind of know, okay, you know, I can't drink every I can't drink at 18 I can't do I can't party every night. Yep. You know, you're gonna value that that sleep,
Grady Spencer 34:38
dude. I mean, you hit the nail on the head. I mean, if if we'd have gotten this opportunity when I was 25 I probably would be dead. You know, just because I'd probably just be going hard every night. Or you know, just trying to have the best time ever and I'm still having a blast, but it's it's something I'm different in that I'm getting to enjoy this job and like, enjoy as a career. And yeah, in my late 30s, like, I can't do more than two or three beers a night because, you know, driving home, you know, driving 10 hours the next day, because, you know, it's just the four of us in the van, we don't have like a crew. And so most times, I'm driving. So it's like, I don't want to be doing that just completely blasted from the night before. And I think you hit it on the head, like, I think this has been a perfect time to get this opportunity. Obviously, like being away from Casey and the kids is hard, because I feel like, you know, I'm kind of missing them super hard. And because they're such a big part of my life now. But also, I think I have the maturity to know that I'm doing this for them as well. And like, creating this balance of like a career that's going to give our family kind of stability is kind of gas in the tank and like something that Casey and I tell each other all the time, like, remind each other like, one night she's bummed that I'm having to go and I pep talk her up. And then the next night I'm like, I don't want I want to cancel the show. I don't want to go in she'll give me a pep talk of how this is helping, you know, our little unit and yeah, man, it's just incredible. And it really does feel like the perfect time and I'm just enjoying every bit of it. And but your I like trying to get as much sleep as I can when I can. So yeah, definitely have to be mindful of that.
Thomas Mooney 36:37
Yeah, well, it's the there's nothing wrong with I guess, like finding your boundaries, you know, pushing it to the limits. And yeah, and knowing where that line where your line is and going. Okay, yeah, that was a fun for then. But I can't do that every night. Sure. And I guess like what I was thinking about today is you know, there's probably or there's a reason why like truck drivers have logbooks Yeah, like bands, I guess don't have a logbook as far as how many hours you can drive, anything like that. But, you know, there's a reason why, if you're if you're long called trucking, you know, you can only be on the road so long and you're supposed to have so much time off and oh, yeah, sleep is a is important. Dude, I percent is it? Do you like the like the driving though? Or do you kind of like to be? Where's your like, preferred? Yeah,
Grady Spencer 37:29
I mean, I prefer to be in the driver's seat as much as I can. But yeah, I mean, like, for Halloween, we played party in Virginia. And then we all wanted to make it back or the night before Halloween. And so like, we played the show, got that around like 10pm in Virginia, and just started driving. And just right, take shifts. And like, of course, we were super glad to see our families when we got home. But I'm really trying to minimize that kind of mentality. Because yeah, like, dude, I'll take one wrong move, and then we're all dead or paralyzed or something. And that's not helpful to anybody. So like, trying to keep it to like, only when we absolutely have to do like overnight. 1015 hour drives. We'll do it. And you know, I got plenty of podcasts to listen to, but I tried to not do that and try and like plan it out and get an extra day or two to make sure that we have time to safely do it. Yeah, and off the side of the road.
Thomas Mooney 38:32
So it's also and maybe this is a problem that you have whenever because it's a problem for me whenever I'm driving and like mattered an hour and a half in I go gosh. Okay, my back is like kind of feeling a little stiff. Oh, I forgot to remove my remove my wall. Yeah. And now mike off balance. And that's the reason why Yeah, back. It's like killer dude.
Grady Spencer 38:53
How old are you?
Thomas Mooney 38:54
Grady Spencer 38:55
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yep. If Yeah, my wallet will murder me and like, my neck and shoulders start hurting and it's just man. Yeah, it's getting old mixed with like late night long driving is not good. But yeah, we figured out
Thomas Mooney 39:13
I always looked at my dad drove a whole bunch up and you know, we'd be on a road trip or something and I would always see him remove his wallet and be like, yeah, look at this. Yeah, over here. Yeah, week. Yeah, week man over here having to take his wallet out. Yep. And of course he had like a stanza was
Grady Spencer 39:30
packed full of shit hockey puck. Yeah. But still,
Thomas Mooney 39:33
you're kind of like, man. Now I understand.
Grady Spencer 39:37
I completely get it.
Thomas Mooney 39:41
I want to break in just one more time to mention the Lubbock way, a collection of wallflower vignettes. That's a book I wrote and released this past fall. As you probably guessed by the title. It's a collection of stories and thoughts about the Lubbock music scene circa 2015 to around 2017. I'd like to characterize it as an insightful peek into 35 nights, weekends and episodes about various songwriters and bands like red Shea Han flatland Calvary, Randall, King, William Clark, green, Brandon Adams, and many, many, many, many others. It's currently on sale in the Newsline merch store. That's new slang podcast dot big cartel.com. While there you can also find T shirts, koozies, coffee mugs, stickers and a bunch of other stuff. This first edition has been exclusively limited to only 806 copies, obviously, a nod to the panhandle area code and all the angels sisters out there. And thanks to the merch store, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. They'll also be in the show notes. Again, go buy a copy of the Lubbock way, a collection of wallflower vignettes by me, Thomas Mooney. All right, let's get back to the episode. One of the I was needed to bring this up. And one of the things you did between the records, EP IDs country Yeah. Four songs. What what was kind of like left on the, you know, the cutting room floor? What was kind of like that, like, yeah, you're like, Okay, we're only doing these four and yeah, fifth one.
Grady Spencer 41:14
Yeah, my buddy Reese, who did ended up doing our album, he kind of just hooked me up on like, because we did that all remote. And so like, it was a pretty big job of like compiling everybody's stuff and mixing it. And so I was trying to keep it pretty manageable for him because there wasn't, I don't even know if I paid him at all. Honestly, I think he might have just hooked me up fat. And so we tried to keep it pretty concise. But yeah. Grundy County auction was one an Alan Jackson song I want to I want to sink in either Chattahoochee or something like that. There were a couple that were like that. And we might go back and do it again. Now that we know we can. But now BJ has kind of done it. And like, mine came out first. And then he did it. And then I'm like, Well, if anybody ever hears mine, they're not gonna know that my, I'm just ripping off DJs. But the way that he's doing his is more tied closely to like, the original thing. And like what we're doing is like a, you know, kind of, I don't know, are you familiar? Like scary pockets? you've ever heard of them? No, I've not. So like, yeah, they're like a funk band in LA. And they just take all genres of songs, and they make them like funk songs. And that was my whole goal of like, taking these songs, I had such a huge role in my childhood growing up, and like doing them 180 degrees differently in a different way. And so I think that that is the only way way that like, we would do another one. And I wouldn't fear that somebody thinks I'm ripping off BJs idea. But yeah, dude, it's fun. It's just fun to play those songs. And yeah. And we still do at least one a night. And every time we do it, people just go bonkers. So yeah, man, it's been fun
Thomas Mooney 43:11
on the 90s country thing. Of course, like I feel. You know, within the last couple years, we've all kind of been beating around the bush, if you will, like, oh, you know what, like, let's just say the 90s were fucking good. Yeah, this country was good. Yep. And I think we all kind of been tiptoeing around it, and then all of a sudden, you know, people start talking about it more, and we just have embraced it a little bit more. Yeah. And maybe all this. It's all been in the zeitgeist. Yeah. Of finally addressing 90s country's great, and here are the reasons why and I'm talking about it now.
Grady Spencer 43:50
It's, it's crazy. It's almost the 90s in general, like just the aesthetics and the way like, the hipsters are dressing and like the 90s are back baby. And it's like, you know, it's it's incredible. But yeah, I think the 90s country thing is is its own monumental thing all in itself that like, it carved out something in music history, that obviously has been in us since then, you know, and like, everybody appreciates it and like, you're right, like, I think for many years, people are like, Oh, that's corny. That was like, you know, lame these huge mullets and perms and all this and now you get every frat guy and his brother have perm and a and a mullet. And like, you know, everybody loves Brooks and Dunn, so it's like Yeah, dude, it's it's, it's a good time to be alive, I guess.
Thomas Mooney 44:49
Yeah. Well, that's what also is. Just one of those things that we people of our age, always think of the 90s only been 10 years ago. Yeah. And it's not 10 years ago. Man, you know, it's it's one of those like, gosh, it does hurt. Yeah, the whole 90s thing. aesthetic. We still had music on MTV at the time. 90s radio, the CD, I think like the CD was so you know that I think about like all those CDs you bought? Yeah. And how? You just cherish them more because you actually had to like, you know, scrounge up $18 or $15? Yeah, buy one versus, you know, the, the, I don't know what Spotify is now or Apple Music is? Yeah, but, you know, you're, you had to like, pick and choose you had to? You had to decide on something. Do you know when you went to the store and you're wanting to buy a CD?
Grady Spencer 45:49
Yeah, yeah, dude. I mean, I remember hearing a song on the radio, thinking I remember the lyrics. Well enough going getting my mom to take me to Walmart and buying it with like allowance money only to find out that what I thought the name of the song was, was completely wrong. And I bought like this really explicit like rap CD and like popped in the CD players is I got out my mom was like, What is this and I realized that made a huge receiver there. You had no way of knowing like there's no internet like just thought you remembered some words in the song. You thought that was it? And that was not it.
Thomas Mooney 46:27
Yeah, that the Okay, I know the band. And I love this song. Yeah. And then thinking it's like actually a different title. Yeah, and going and then getting like the next record. Yep. And then it you realize it's not as like, yeah, no, that's not what you were wanting. Yeah. I always talk about with you know, with like the wallflowers not ever having which McCobb the big one was a break down the house or on the horse or Yeah. Not having that record, but having like verbal sweetheart. Oh, yeah. And just kind of like you had to fall in love with I had to fall in love with that record. Yeah, basically. Yeah, you know, and that's kind of the way way records where you you listen to him more. Obviously, it's not the same thing as vinyl as far as like, as far as being difficult to turn back a song. Yeah. But still, you had to, like decisions had to be made for sure. Buying a CD 100% Man, master the cliche question, but do you remember like the the first CD that you got?
Grady Spencer 47:37
Hmm. The thing that sticks out in my mind is it is a girl for my class. I don't even know if we were like, supposed to be boyfriend or girlfriend or what? But I think we're like in the fourth grade. So I hope not. Because my daughter is almost in the fourth grade and I don't want her. I don't want to think about her having a boyfriend. So I'm just gonna say it was a girl in my class. She bought me. matchbox. 20 The one with like the big dude with the camera and the name of the album, but don't want all the hits on it. Yeah. And yeah, that was that was probably the first one I ever got. Maybe. Now Yeah, that was it. Creed is stick out in my mind. But that was many years later in high school. So
Thomas Mooney 48:24
yourself or someone lights it? Yep, that's the one was. I remember my mom getting that one. And this. This was also during the time of Columbia House music. Yep. So we had a subscription. And I know I got plenty of stuff on there just via Okay, well, you know, at least let me pick one of the CDs that are a penny.
Grady Spencer 48:45
Definitely. Yeah, no, that's so crazy.
Thomas Mooney 48:49
But I feel like Matchbox 20 is getting their, their their flowers. Finally. Yeah. Did you know that that was another one of those bands that like people thought was kind of corny and cheeseball you know, maybe maybe lumped in a little too close to like Dave Matthews. Yep. But I think they're they're still fucking good.
Grady Spencer 49:08
Did it too, man. I mean, I think I should go back to that record tomorrow. I'm driving home, see if it holds up. But I mean, at the time it was for fourth grade Grady. I mean, that was some epic stuff. You know, and like, the I've only heard stuff on the radio. You know, country music on the radio. That was pretty epic, you know, revolutionary thing in my mind. Yeah. So
Thomas Mooney 49:33
I've talked about how going to summer camp. And, you know, seven, eight year old and hearing and this is like one of those things where it's like man, looking at the the bands I'm gonna name are, by all means they are like the tameness of white bands. Yeah. But like it was the first music that I remember. Hearing that was not my parents. Yeah. And that was a, you know, my counselors throwing on Dave Matthews. And he had a Counting Crows and thinking like, oh man, like, what is this? Yeah. And of course like that, then we're gonna go into the you can't remember what the hell they're called for sure, forever. You're just trying to search for. Yeah, for something similar and yeah. Yeah,
Grady Spencer 50:16
it was a beautiful time. And I mean, I love thinking about that. And yeah, I mean, Mapquest and CDs like that's that was life, you know, just ripping through ripping through some discs. So
Thomas Mooney 50:32
Mapquest. Yeah, that was for everyone who doesn't know what we're talking about. You'd have to pull up Mapquest and then print out the instructions. Yeah, directions on how to get somewhere.
Grady Spencer 50:41
I completely just ripped off a meme that I saw last week. It was like, it was like, you know, the top of it said, like, kids these days are too distracted driving and a video of a guy. He has like a book of CDs. He's like flipping through with one in his mouth. And he's like, has a huge stack of papers of Mapquest and like, that's how he that's how he did it. You know? Yeah. Yeah. Good times.
Thomas Mooney 51:08
Yeah, the I was gonna say, though, you know, my dad was really still proficient at using a map. Yeah. And we'd be driving and he'd be like, having me hold it up. Yeah. And then at like, point a finger where the tap we just left and the town were going. And let me like, see ya read. Visualize.
Grady Spencer 51:26
Yes. Little cartographer over there, dude, I love it.
Thomas Mooney 51:32
No idea how we got around. Yeah. But that's
Grady Spencer 51:35
the beauty of it, man. Like, we're in such a hurry these days, like so crunched for time that like, we need ways to tell us the most efficient way. Whereas back then maybe take a wrong turn. Who cares? You know, like, it's just part of life.
Thomas Mooney 51:49
Yeah. The, yeah, they left, wherever they're from, and they're coming to Fort Stockton, which is, of course, where I'm going where I lived. You just don't know when they're going to get there. Yeah. You know, they just show up for Christmas or Thanksgiving. Yeah. And they told you when they left because they said it on the landline? Yeah, do and that's it. Their back phone wasn't getting served. Yeah. It was
Grady Spencer 52:15
beautiful times fan. Wish Google back. Yeah.
Thomas Mooney 52:19
The, to go back on to the when the 90s country radio though. One thing I was going to ask is, I feel like that was a time when we've talked about all this style, you know, the, the style of the 90s. But that was a time when it felt there was still a whole lot of substance that was being sung. Now of course, you know, you know, 12 year old Grady's probably not picking up on, you know, the nuance of your storytelling of a blue collar person. And yeah, you know, John, Michael Montgomery or whoever, yeah, but, you know, looking back now, do you feel like that, that that's kind of seeped in, just by being around, you know, radio being around and being playing a lot of these blue collar songs. And,
Grady Spencer 53:05
dude, I mean, I definitely think so. I mean, my dad was married to, I remember a lot of the times of hearing, like the first time I heard George Strait carrying your love with me. My dad was married to this lady and she had stepsons. And they were her family. We were farmers out in Slayton. And, you know, on the weekends, I would come visit my dad and we would be out in the cotton field, you know, hauling cotton or whatever. And I would hear a lot of these songs as a young kid out there. And so like, Yeah, I think just the concept of like, working hard and like that music and the lyrical, like meat of it, and like how well they were done. Like, they sound incredible. There's a lot of weight to the lyrics that they were doing. catchy and it's just like, it was incredible chapter and, yeah, so for sure. Like, I think that that blue collar ethic definitely stuck, for sure. Musically 100%
Thomas Mooney 54:10
Yeah, it's always funny how, like, the way you processed love, or like, what hard work was as a kid. Yep. Cuz like I think like we all kind of maybe maybe 12 year old or 10 year old grade he did cuz I feel like now I say that I think we all kind of thought like, oh, you know what, like, the perfect world was, you know, Tracy Lawrence? Yeah. You know if the world had a front porch like we did back that's how I think like even in processing it then you kind of go and this was how like, this is how the future is gonna be for me even though he's talking about the past data. Love
Grady Spencer 54:48
it. Yeah, that's exactly it. Just like yeah, that's that's yeah, I'm sure he made a huge profit on that song. But it's that doesn't make it untrue. Right now a lot of the stuff that he's saying so, yeah, yeah, it's good stuff.
Thomas Mooney 55:05
Good stuff. Yeah. Good stuff. Tonight here the Allied Yeah, obviously like we're, you're playing at night routes here at the blue line. We'll get you out on this one right here. What's the what's kind of like your favorite show you've seen here?
Grady Spencer 55:22
Man I was thinking about that the other day. We were playing with Jonathan Tyler the other day. And I remember coming here I think I was still in tech. And he came in with the Northern Lights, and I was right over there behind you on the pew. And it was so packed. That like, people can even get to the bathroom like you literally could move on like and it was just like this incredible sweaty, just hide, like rock and roll show. And it felt like what I imagined like the, like a punk basement show would be like back in the day, you know, like, just amazing rock and roll music and like just a crapload of humans and they're all experiencing it all together. And like, yeah, did it was amazing. And then I think you suppose a picture about a while back the Jason is will show the the fact that Jason Hizbul the foreign unit plays right here on this stage is still mind blowing to me. Yeah, like that happened. You know, and I remember, I mean, it was crowded, but it wasn't packed, you know, and that's just like, it's insane. And, you know, for a guy like me, it's definitely fuel for the fire to like, see where he is. And where he was just, you know, 10 years ago or whatever that was and yeah, man, it's, it's, it's an incredible place. And I love coming here. So it's gonna be a blast.
Thomas Mooney 57:05
Yeah, the the physical show for people to understand is like, that was right after southeastern so like, people were familiar with elephant and they played elephant. And everyone shut up. Yeah, like that's kind of amazing. A note on the the Jonathan Tyler thing this is something that I think they they packed this place in a whole lot more back in the day. Yeah. Like,
Grady Spencer 57:29
we're probably against the rules honestly like that. There's different owners then so I'm not I don't feel like I'm putting Lancers in a tough spot. But like, dude, yeah, there's no way that was legal.
Thomas Mooney 57:39
But But what I would say though, is like this is what's maybe nice about it is like, even though you really couldn't get to the bathroom and you're crowded and like, you're probably getting less beer. Yeah, the night. Yeah. No one really complaining about about it, you know, like, it was not it's not a crowded, like you're waiting in line out, trying to check out at the grocery store. Kind of Yeah, dude. It's like, no one's complaining about not getting another beer. Yeah, or,
Grady Spencer 58:07
and those I was fighting, like, that's something that I see at crowded shows these days, like even our shows, which is mind blowing of like, I'm like the most boring old dad ever. And like people are getting hostile at our shows. But just like, people were in a great mood and just enjoying it. And like, I rarely remember. I mean, there were a couple fights I saw in here back in the day, but like, people didn't fight everybody just having fun and like enjoying amazing music and so yeah, dude, it was it was a different time, man. But I guess everybody's just more hostile. More testosterone just surging through the veins.
Thomas Mooney 58:46
But last time I asked Lance, all right, commented land to lands. I was like, man, you know, I have not seen a fight in here in forever. And then like the next week, there was like three in one night that yeah, I was here. Yeah, it's okay. We're not gonna jinx it anymore. Knock on wood. Yeah, this was years ago. But yeah, I digress. Man, we
Grady Spencer 59:05
were in Athens a couple of weeks ago. And do these two frat kids started going at it and I was like, Man, I have not seen a file like this a long time. And it was while we were playing and I'd never had to shut down a song because it had been right in the middle of a song like we had to stop and try and get peace gone and then fight it right back up. But it's it's wild man to see it from stage because you're in an elevated spot. You can see it all go down. And yeah, dude, it's it's really something
Thomas Mooney 59:39
pro tip to everyone in the band. If you're like the lead singer, and you see the there's no better way to get a crowd behind you than calling out the fights being like Don't fucking do that show. Yeah, right. Get these fuckers out of here. There's like the crowd loves that more than the fat. Yeah,
Grady Spencer 59:56
they love it. I don't I wasn't that abrasive but I definitely was like, Hey, dude, come on, man. Get this. Give it get it together. And yeah, I don't even know how it ended up but yeah, it was something
Thomas Mooney 1:00:09
they embraced in the Yang. The next verse exactly sold
Grady Spencer 1:00:15
Harmon together. Yeah, county auction. Yeah, dude. 100%
Thomas Mooney 1:00:20
That's what happened. Yeah. Well, Grady, it's been a hell of a time talking and let's do this again, Sam.
Grady Spencer 1:00:25
Thanks for having me, man. Hopefully this one recorded it looks like it. Did you watching the red lights? I think we're good.
Thomas Mooney 1:00:31
I think we're Artie. You had a red out in Austin to that. There we go. This is good. Alright, that's it for this one. Thanks for giving it a listen. Once again, be sure to check out wait. The latest album by Grady Spencer and the work stop on over and visit our presenting partners over at Desert door Texas a goal the blue light live in Charlie stout photography. Go order the Lubbock way if you haven't just yet, and yeah, I'll see you all soon for another episode of NewsLink
Transcribed by https://otter.ai