Some call it “country jazz.” Works for us – and we’d add, “kickass” to boot. A budding American classic. From the Tucson group’s new album, out this week.
By Blurt Staff
Regular BLURT readers will be familiar with our fondness for Arizona artists – and Tucson, in particular. So anytime we have a chance to showcase some of our Old Pueblo friends, old OR new, we are proud to do so. Welcome, then, our latest exclusive video premiere: it’s from Tucson-by-way-of-NYC Arthur Vint & Associates, the title track from Vint’s new Ropeadope Records album Through the Badlands, released tomorrow, Jan. 29. It’s pretty special, so check it out:
Some backstory: The title track of the album takes its name and inspiration from Marty Robbins’ epic western novella “El Paso.” The galloping drum groove and persistent accompaniment of the panting harmonica should paint a picture of a young Marty Robbins, riding for his life through the Bisti Badlands. (Fun fact: “El Paso” is also Vint’s karaoke song of choice when at the Blue Dog Saloon in Cowtown Keeylocko, Arizona.)
And the video for the track was shot and directed by none other than Matt Bauer – who, we do not hesitate to mention, is also a musical artist of no small note and in fact was recently premiered here at BLURT himself. Bauer and Vint are longtime friends (Vint’s roots are in Tucson, while he’s lived in NYC for the past 9 years, and he also plays in Bauer’s band in New York and appears on the most recent album). As he puts it, “Matt was in Tucson while on tour and shot a bunch of footage there, which he overlaid with shots Brooklyn and the NYC skyline, creating a narrative of my travel east, my involvement in the music scenes in both cities and the complex feelings of homesickness. Having been in New York for almost 9 years, I’ve never forgotten my southwestern roots – which is reflected in both the video and music.”
Indeed. Through The Badlands evokes visions of the western American landscape, with its vast open expanses and rocky terrain. Rooted in the great American traditions of jazz and rock ‘n’ roll, the album weaves contemporary influences with vintage country as well as traditional Native American spiritual music, drawing on the images and sounds of Vint’s childhood growing up in the Old Pueblo. Vint’s diverse influences on this album range from Neil Young to Thelonious Monk, Marty Robbins to John Coltrane and beyond.
On the web: http://arthurvint.bandcamp.com