When Austin Lucas began thinking about the follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2013 album, Stay Reckless, he had a lot on his mind. The Indiana troubadour wanted to do something not only different from his own previous work, but unlike anything else happening in the realm of country and Americana. What emerged was Between The Moon & The Midwest which marries traditional and cosmic country sounds with sharp, vivid storytelling in a fully realized concept album.
Working with his good friend Joey Kneiser, guitarist and vocalist of Tennessee roots rockers Glossary, they crafted a sound that—while rooted in outlaw country—was dusted with ’60s psychedelic pop flourishes and recorded using modern indie production techniques. The result is an impeccably arranged record layered with guitar and vocal harmonies, centred around gritty yet hook-laden story songs, and wrapped in a gorgeous atmospheric halo of sound.
“Sonically, the seeds for this record were planted while I was on tour with Willie Nelson and Jamey Johnson,” Lucas says. “One night I ate a rather large pot brownie and ended up extremely high at night on a tour bus where everyone else was asleep. Traveling through the desert, with only my iPod and a Cormac McCarthy novel to keep me company, my playlist shuffled through songs—first Waylon Jennings, then The Zombies, Buck Owens, Os Mutantes, Slim Whitman, Willie Nelson, T. Rex, Roky Erikson, Songs: Ohia and George Jones. It was a thing of randomized beauty. As the songs played, it came to me that I could make an album that spoke to my obsession not only with all the classic eras of country music but also ’60s psych-pop, ’70s glam and the darker indie songwriters I’ve always adored.”
Between The Moon & The Midwest is truly unique in its mix of sounds, song-writing and influences.
Since the early 2016 release in both the U.S. and Europe, Lucas has been touring the record across both continents. Next on the agenda is a full-band tour – firstly across the Mid-West and then October sees him return to Europe for shows in the UK, Ireland, Belgium and Germany
“Between The Moon & The Midwest may slot in what looks to outsiders like a narrow gap between Sturgill Simpson’s cosmic choogle and the harder rock of Jason Isbell, but in country terms that’s a canyon – and it belongs to Austin Lucas” – Q Music
“A divine mixture of influences that trace a template for how to evolve country music while still respecting its roots.” – Saving Country Music
“Sometimes an artist just has a voice that’s so true and so clearly coming directly from the soul that you just can’t argue with it, and Austin Lucas is one of those guys” – BBC Radio