On episode 72 of the Americana Music Show, Lee Briante of The Far West talks about the importance of having video and internet media available for today’s audience; how it made him feel to move to Los Angeles; and how recording in an American Legion hall brought their debut self-titled CD to life.
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The Americana Music Show is copyright 2012 by Taproot Media. The music and interviews in this episode are used with permission of the artists. The Taproot Theme music is called “Meltdown Man” by Derek K. Miller of Penmachine.com.
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The Far West Band
Lee Briante, lead singer for the Far West Band, talks about how no one from the band is from Los Angeles. Everyone moved there from somewhere else. Everyone in the band is an experienced musician from other projects but this is the first CD issued from The Far West Band.
Lee Briante says some songs on the CD are written by him and some are written by the bass man Robert Black. Lee walks through the CD’s original line up and the band’s current line up.
Lee Briante introduces “Bitter, Drunk, and Cold,” saying it described how he felt when he first go to LA and had to deal with being alone at first.
[plays "Bitter, Drunk, and Cold"]
Lee Briante talks about how that song has a little bit of a Bakersfield sound to it.
Lee Briante talks about the documentary that was made while the Far West Band was recording the CD. They had been playing many of their gigs ate a local American Legion hall and he felt like many of the songs came alive in that hall. The American Legion Hall was a visually interesting place so they decided to have a documentary made of the recording. Lee works in video production and they knew the camera man, so they were comfortable with him being there. Lee says these days you have to have a whole collection of media to keep people interested.
Lee Briante introduces the song, “Bound To Lose.” He describes it as a moving song. It’s about packing up your duffle bag and heading out and not being sure where you’ll end up.
[plays "Bound To Lose"]
Lee Briante talks about how the Far West Band tried playing “Bound To Lose” a couple of different ways before they settled on the sound. He says that at first they were trying a more bluegrass approach to the song. But when Robert Black switched to electric bass, the song came together better. But they wanted to keep the banjo bits because it gave the song a rolling moving feel. Lee says he likes how the song has a road vibe to it.
Lee Briante describes Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, and John Prine as song writing influences. He talks about “St. James Infirmary” being the first song he ever played in public.
Lee Briante talks about hos there is a definite alt.country/americana scene in L.A. and there is a core set of bands that play together once or twice a week.
Lee Briante introduces “I’ll Never Drink Again.” He says he’s trying to boil things down and keep it simple. In this song he limits it to girls names, drinks, and promises that can never be kept.
[Plays "I'll Never Drink Again"]
Lee Briante notes that the band is getting ready to play South By Southwest and is working on putting together some more theatrical, staged videos.
Lee Briante advises independent artists to treat their music like a small business. He says an internet presence is crucial but there are so many online services for managing a band it’s hard to keep up with them all.