Songs the general public hear on new albums aren’t always conceived between an artist’s last album cycle and their current one. All the same, it’s not often that a song sits so long waiting for its time to shine that the release date for the tune falls in a new century!
“I am really happy to be finally releasing [“All Night Diner”],” says songwriter, Jon Patrick Walker.
“It was recorded in 2014 [as] the first song we did on the first day for [2016’s] “People Going Somewhere” record. And I wrote the damn song in the early 90s!”
Premiering today on American Songwriter, Jon Patrick Walker’s “All Night Diner” is the lead single from his upcoming June 12th album, The Rented Tuxedo and Other Songs. Still, despite the track’s extremely delayed reveal, Walker’s decision to at last include it on a record looks like an outcome that was always meant-to-be, rather than a revival of stale songwriting.
“I am so deeply proud and excited about [“All-Night Diner” and “Rented Tuxedo”], which somehow feels like a culmination or fruition, a ripening, if you will, of my journey as a recording artist,” Walker says.
It’s interesting to hear “All-Night Diner” as the first taste of what’s to come on The Rented Tuxedo and Other Songs, considering the tune is the album’s finale and is also a demanding 5:19 in length. “Diner” is comprised of pretty familiar instrumentation in its guitar, bass, drums, piano and organ arrangement. Even so, the music doesn’t unfold with a cliché form of song structure. Though the guitar provides a recurring melodic garnish of sorts – made quirky and memorable with a hefty amount of delay – and though some of Walker’s lyrics do repeat between verses of the song, “Diner” feels very freeform in its flow.
Take my advice,
Don’t be afraid
I tried to be nice,
you shouldn’t have strayed
“The production by Josh Kaufman, his playing [of] bass, guitars, organ; also the genius-level drumming of Ray Rizzo, made this a magical session,” says Walker. “I play piano, [which was] recorded live with the drums and bass, and am singing live as I play.”
Beyond the musical benefits of the chemistry the three gentlemen found in the studio, Walker’s singing voice, combined with his intermittent switch to a more spoken poetry style delivery, ushers in thoughts of the timeless, multi-faceted, and down-to-earth approach often taken by none other than Bob Dylan. Further similar to Dylan, the song’s melody seems to drift loosely – containing breaks for both an instrumental bridge and a lengthy instrumental outtro that occupies more than a minute of the track’s conclusion.
“All-Night Diner” is music meant to serve as an artistic statement, as well as a sign of Walker delighting in his present day life, more than a piece of work just rushing to be finished and acknowledged after waiting more than 20 years to be heard.
“As soon as I’d recorded the title track to [The Rented Tuxedo,] I knew that “Diner” would be a perfect bookend.” Walker says. “And indeed, it is the closer, the only position a song with such an epic fade-out could have, I might add.”