Colter Wall: The Holes Are All That’s Real

“Writing a song is sometimes not so much about how much information you can fit into one line, but rather what you choose to leave out."

Colter Wall, in Liberty, Kentucky. Photo by Melissa Stilwell

Colter Wall is sitting on a porch swing in Liberty, Kentucky, explaining the origins of “Me And Big Dave,” a harrowing song on his new self-titled debut album. “Some night me and Dave” — meaning David Lindsey, a singer-songwriter based in nearby Bowling Green — “would go out on a tear and terrorize people around town and make fools of ourselves, because that’s what you do with your buddies.” Very few buddies, however, commemorate such escapades in songs, however, and fewer still do it in dusty cowboy laments that sound like they’ve been haunting honky tonks for decades.

Wall, who was born in the wilds of Canada but is now based in the Bluegrass State, speaks in an affable tone that barely hints at the word-weary basso profondo that colors his songs. He’s clad head to toe in denim, his shirtsleeves rolled up to reveal a revolver tattoo on his forearms. He sports a CB-themed belt buckle as big as a dinner plate. His jeans look slept in, and his boots look like he’s walked every mile between the nonstop gigs he’s been playing for the year.

Today, just a few days after the Fourth of July, he’s taking a breather at the home of Allen and Rosemary Sparr, the parents of his manager. They treat Wall and his band like family. In the hallway of their home hang several photos of their daughter’s client, including one of him onstage at the Ryman Auditorium, from the night he opened for Lucinda Williams. Last night seemingly half the population of Liberty showed up for a vast potluck dinner of pulled pork, taco salad, baked beans, homemade sausage balls,... Sign In to Keep Reading

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