Posts Tagged ‘Aaron Lee Tasjan’

Aaron Lee Tasjan is set to release his new album Karma For Cheap on August 31st via New West Records. This will be Tasjan’s second solo venture and signals a different sound for the artist, a change he described  as “… a little more rough and ready, more raw than anything I’ve done before.”

The 31-year-old from New Albany, Ohio has already enjoyed a varied music career, having played with Semi Precious Weapons and the New York Dolls, in addition to his work as a solo artist.

Of the new record, Tasjan says: “I needed this album to have a sense of adventure and mystery, to feel a little shaky and dangerous at times — something that wasn’t the obvious choice in terms of what people already like about what I do.  I’ve come to realize that I’m a searcher, which means I’m going to be searching forever.”

Tasjan says the new project is influenced by his childhood favorites the Beatles, David Bowie, and Badfinger, to name a few.

Aaron Lee Tasjan, aka ALT, is a songwriter and guitarist and performer. I’d stay away from him if I were you.

Aaron Lee Tasjan fell over and broke his wrist. “It could have been much worse” he said. “I could have broken my guitar”.  This man is interested in his guitar and his music more than anything else.

I come not to tell you how incredible Aaron Lee Tasjan is but seeing this is his album I suppose I should make some sort of effort. After all, he’s made three cool albums and he came up with that great guitar riff that Jack White plays on I Believe In Elvis Presley record.  Aaron rides into town with his guitar and his little amp and a bag full of gizmos and a wild suit that would make Lefty Frizzell wince. He’s got the tunes, he’s got the verbal, he’s got the humour and the heartbreak and the hat. “There must be some way outta here” as Bob said. And there is. ALT by name and altitude by nature.
Like Dan Penn and Neil Young, this is white soul that is beyond colour and full of colour, heart to art and vice versa, the voice authentic with the dust of the road. Songs of pain and redemption, of loss and longing and toleration and elucidation and maybe elevation, which way is up? And d’you mind if we have a laugh along.


For Silver Tears, Tasjan decamped from Tennessee to Southern California, trading Nashville’s icy winter for Los Angeles’ eternal sunshine in February 2016. Like he did on In The Blazes, he enlisted producer and Father John Misty bassist Eli Thomson to helm the production and together they assembled a group of accomplished musicians that included solo artist David Vandervelde on guitar and lap steel, Max Hart on piano and organ, Charlie Peterson on cornet, trumpet and saxophone and drummers Frank Lenz and Dan Bailey on drums and other assorted percussion. Thomson also manned bass and synth. Splitting their time between several studios, the band laid down part of the album at New Monkey, the famed studio in the gritty LA enclave of Van Nuys where Smith recorded his final album, From A Basement On The Hill, and at Sonikwire Studios in Irvine and Club Casino in Huntington Beach. “Romantically, I had the idea of Tom Petty in the studio, jamming, trying to capture different feels and see where the day was,” Tasjan reveals. I wanted it to be live, to have that intensity that draws people in.”

Silver Tears is a collection of songs that offer a glimpse through the eyes of one gifted songwriter and versatile musician. Whether playing guitar in the late incarnation of riotous glam-rock innovators the New York Dolls, the gender-bending, envelope-pushing sleaze ‘n’ tease arena rock band Semi Precious Weapons, the Neil Young-signed alt-country act Everest, British roots rock band Alberta Cross, Southern rock stalwarts Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ or even as frontman of the devilishly cleverly-named Heartbreakers-meets-Replacements rockers Madison Square Gardeners, East Nashville-based musician Aaron Lee Tasjan has always considered himself a songwriter first and foremost, writing his own off-kilter folk-inflected songs since he picked up his first acoustic as a teen guitar prodigy. An inspired and confident set of songs, Silver Tears careens from woozy pot paeans to brooding, cinematic observations to laid back ‘70s country-rock and galloping anthems to introspective folk and rollicking honkytonk.

It takes unique talent to adapt to playing with artists as diverse as Pat Green, Kevn Kinney and the New York Dolls all before releasing your debut at 27. But such is the shaggy dog tale of East Nashville by way of Ohio and New York bohemian Aaron Lee Tasjan. He takes that experience and unleashes it in a 10-song set that showcases his wry, dryly humorous lyrics atop folk rock caught between the crawling swamp of J.J. Cale (“The Dangerous Kind”), the urban grit of Bruce Springsteen (“Lucinda’s Room”), the self-deprecation of Randy Newman (“E.N.S.A.A.T.”) and the poetic swagger of Elliott Murphy (“Made in America”). Tasjan exudes a scruffy, lovable charm that translates into Americana that’s as charming as it is chiming. Unfortunately, at only 35 minutes, the album is over just as it’s finding that elusive groove. Still, there is enough wily wordplay and effortlessly hummable melodies in these rootsy country folk-rockers to keep you satiated until he can produce the follow-up we’re already waiting for.