GIRLS ON GRASS
New York-based country songwriter Cliff Westfall writes songs about heartache, loss, addiction… you know, funny songs. Or he can turn on a dime and dive headlong into a sentimental weeper. The Kentucky native delivers with a mixture of wit and bravado that, for Westfall, is central to what country music is all about. On his new album, Baby You Win, to be released July 13, 2018, he’s assembled a crew of some of New York’s best musicians to explore a new idea of Americana, drawing inspiration from sources often forgotten by the current country scene.
“I feel like the humor of people like Roger Miller, Don Gibson, and Del Reeves is neglected nowadays,” Westfall says. “A lot of current country music makes you want to ask, ‘Hey, does anybody remember laughter?’ And you know, it’s not really anything against what anyone else is doing, it’s just that the ability to laugh at your troubles seems to have gotten lost.” The songs on Baby You Win are bitingly acerbic, dependent on the twisty puns, bittersweet humor, and turns of phrase that used to define country music. Westfall’s a true son of Kentucky and an honest student of the genre, but refuses to be constrained by its definitions. He cites Chuck Berry as his favorite lyricist, arguing that some of Berry’s songs were much closer to their country cousins than lines of race and genre might have suggested. This is Americana outside the box, made by an artist gleefully rifling through the dusty record bins of American roots music and converting them into something new.
Thursday, June 7th at Hank's Saloon
46 Third Avenue (at Atlantic), Brooklyn, U.S.A.
Doors at 8PM. $8 cover. 21+ with ID.