After a six-year break from the recording studio, Hellbound Glory makes its return this fall, firing twin barrels of swampy country-blues and roots-rock hedonism on the band’s upcoming fourth album, Pinball. Released Friday, October 13th, the record finds the group working with producer Shooter Jennings, another 21st-century outlaw with boots planted on either side of the country-rock divide.
On “Sun Valley Blues #3 (Bloodweiser),” frontman Leroy Virgil sings about the seedy underbelly of his adopted hometown, Reno. It’s a city of extremes, filled with “well whiskey and hell-raising women” on one end and “sweet cocaine and high-dollar ladies” on the other. Bowers’ narrator is half-lit and eager to explore it all, careening across town with “Bloodweiser running through [his] veins.” Set to a soundtrack of slide guitars and blues progressions, the song is both driving and dangerous. (Listen to the song below.)
“Sun valley is a place between hell and heaven, where you could go either way,” explains Virgil, who briefly toured under his own name before reviving the Hellbound Glory moniker for Pinball‘s release. “That’s where the blues comes from. And when he’s there, the only comfort a bluesman can find is in money, a woman, a bottle, or a song … but sometimes, all you got is pinball.”
Meanwhile, Jennings, whose label Black Country Rock is releasing Pinball, stars in a promotional video for the album’s pre-sale. In the clip below, he’s taken hostage by one of Bowers’ henchwomen, who tells him, “You have until October 13th to deliver the record.”
In reality, Jennings jumped at the chance to work with the band, telling Rolling Stone Country, “I’ve been a fan of Hellbound Glory from the minute I heard ’em. They’re about the most shit-kicking band with Bukowski-worthy lyrics country music has ever seen.” The band will play a special release show on October 4th at the Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles, with Jennings also on the bill.