A couple of Brennen Leigh albums ago, she penned a love letter to her Midwest roots called Prairie Love Letter (2020). Last year she gave into her obsession with Western Swing with Obsessed with the West. Both were critically-acclaimed albums featuring excellent songwriting and instrumentation, and were great contributions in what has now become the most prolific era in Brennen Leigh’s highly-regarded career.
But now it’s time to stop beating around the bush, and cut right down to the nitty gritty of By God country music. Brennen Leigh’s hauled off and written and recorded a full blown honky tonk album called Ain’t Through Honky Tonkin’ Yet, and assembled a pretty kick ass cast of characters to help her with it. It’ll hit stores on June 16th.
“I’m in love with this idea of the real Nashville,” says Brennen, “The idyllic golden age, which, to me, is around 1967, 1968, because of the alchemy, the explosion that occurred, with the best country music songwriters ever, the best singers in country music.”
It’s hard to disagree with Brennen Leigh, and if she wants to honky tonk, you better damn well let her. Helping her out is the the incomparable Chris Scruggs, who acted as producer on the album. Also performing are Marty Stuart, as well as Rodney Crowell, who calls Brennen Leigh “A story-telling poet, landscape painter, passionate observer of the human condition and a cultural preservationist.”
Ahead of the album, Brennen Leigh has released the song “Running Out of Hope, Arkansas,” which like so many of her songs, displays Leigh’s incisive storytelling and knack for character creation, putting you right in someone’s shoes in under three minutes.
“I wrote this with my close friend, Silas Lowe,” she says. “He’s a writer in Austin and a great musician. I made that trip a million times from Nashville to Austin, and you always pass the exit for Hope, Arkansas. It just hit me one time on that drive, I wondered if anyone had written that title. So we did it. Silas and I were both talking about what it’s like to feel stuck somewhere. So, that’s what that song’s about.”
Brennen Leigh is originally from Minnesota/North Dakota. She moved to Austin, TX at the beginning of her career, but now she has become a mainstay of Nashville’s honky tonk scene.
Ain’t Through Honky Tonkin’ Yet is now available for pre-order.
1. Running Out Of Hope, Arkansas
2. Somebody’s Drinking About You
3. The Red Flags You Were Waving
4. I Ain’t Through Honky Tonkin’ Yet
5. Mississippi Rendezvous
6. Carole With An E
7. The Bar Should Say Thanks
8. Every Time I Do
9. Throwing Away A Precious Jewel
10. I’m Still Looking For You
11. When Lonely Came To Town
12. You Turned Into A Dragon