Hard Working Americans – the Todd Snider-fronted supergroup that includes Dave Schools (Widespread Panic), Neal Casal (Ryan Adams, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood), Chad Staehly (Great American Taxi) and Duane Trucks (Col. Bruce Hampton’s School of Music) – took to the studio and the streets in the video for this boogie-rocking rendition of “Stomp & Holler,” a song originally written by Texas singer/songwriter Hayes Carll. Featured on the group’s first album Hard Working Americans, due out on January 21st, the clip was directed by Justin Kreutzman – son of Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzman – and includes guest harmonica by Blues Traveler‘s John Popper.
Kreutzman filmed the “Stomp & Holler” video during the band’s album sessions at Bob Weir’s TRI Studios in San Rafael, California. “One of the main reasons I chose TRI for the session was that Justin had equipped the place from top to bottom for filming,” Schools tells Rolling Stone. “This is where we shot the Weir Here webcasts so I knew what the place was capable of getting. I knew that the cameras would never even be noticed and there were people filming the entire time. It wasn’t a long leap for Justin to find footage of the recording session and put together what seems like more of a mini-documentary of the song than a video. And I think that’s in the spirit of the entire Hard Working Americans ethos. I couldn’t be more proud of everyone involved.”
As for the song itself – which is one of 11 numbers by other artists like Randy Newman, the Bottle Rockets, Will Kimbrough and Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ – Schools says it came together quickly near the start of the two-week album session.
“The band was really clicking and gelling together in a way that shocked me because we had never really played as unit before,” he says. “We worked out the feel and arrangement of the song quickly and proceeded to cut the track. It wasn’t too far off the mark from where Hayes placed the feel of his version, although ours seemed a bit more in the garage/Stones kingdom than his.”
When Popper showed up to visit TRI without his harmonicas, Snider lent him his. “And so we were off to the races,” Schools says. “I had John play over the middle instrumental of the tune and then I had both him and Neal go to battle (trading fours) over the end segment. It all worked out so beautifully and efficiently. Session pros could not have done a better job – and in one take no less. They both played exactly what the song called for.”
Hard Working Americans will launch a U.S. tour at the Bowery Ballroom in New York on January 23rd. All of the group’s live dates are available here.