Here’s a great track from alt-country/bluegrass/punk outfit Old Man Markley — the plaintive “Rehearsal,” which hails from the seven-piece Cali band’s upcoming LP Downside Up (co-produced by Fat Mike of NOFX).
Fiddle-player Katie Weed sets the scene:
“‘Rehearal’ tells the tale of an immigrant who came to the U.S. at the turn of the last century and eventually found work at a funeral home. He worked as a musician at night also, and his band would drive to shows in his hearse since it was the only vehicle that could accommodate all the members and their gear.
“His story really struck me: the dedication to his family and his music, in spite of the dangers and travails of working both day and night. Life is short–and he saw death on a daily basis–yet (or maybe because of that) he really seems to have filled his to the brim. I learned his story while working with my dad Joe Weed on his documentary The Waltz to Westphalia, which adds another level of personal meaning to the song for me.
“The song wound up with kind of a different groove than usual for Old Man Markley, but the instruments are all there. I love what John does with the banjo, and Joey’s bass lines hold it together. Johnny sang beautifully, as did his spirit flute. A lot of our voices made the track. I hope people like this song even half as much as we enjoyed recording it.”