Buzzed-about country singer Colter Wall releases his self-titled debut album today. Produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton), the record features 11 stripped-down songs that showcase the 21-year-old Wall as a disciple of songwriters like Townes Van Zandt, Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan.
Wall, a native of Canada, who splits his time between Saskatchewan and Kentucky, considers the album and its spare production more in line with folk. “I think it’s a folk record and I call myself a folksinger, so it should be stripped down and not a lot of production,” he says. “The mission statement going in was less is more. This is a record about stories and about songwriting.”
One of the highlights is “Motorcycle,” inspired by Arlo Guthrie’s own “Motorcycle Song.” One verse laments the state of country music, with Wall singing about buying a bottle of cheap Thunderbird wine and pouring it out on Music Row, as one would on a grave. But Wall stops short at claiming country music is dead.
“I wouldn’t say country music is dead because I know there are so many friends of mine, and people I’ve never met, making country music and doing it right,” he says. “You just have to dig to find them. I don’t know how much a lot of the people that are a part of the Music Row thing and the industry of it all are helping those people to be recognized, and it’s frustrating. And that’s where that line comes from. The Thunderbird on Music Row thing is a libation reference about what once was and is no longer.”
Wall is currently on the road and will perform tonight in Toronto, before hitting New York City on May 15th.