Cover Art Courtesy of Big Machine Records
THE LAST RESORT (April 22, 2022) — Midland have always gone their own way when it comes to their free’n’easy take on progressive/classic Country music. Having come together at a friend’s wedding over shared influences and a love of a good honky tonk bar, they came out of the chute with two Grammy® nominations for their No. 1 hit “Drinkin’ Problem” and have gone on to sell-out the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, done an unprecedented five night stand at Billy Bob’s and reanimated North Hollywood’s Palomino Club for one night only.
It takes a pretty hardcore kind of honky tonk man to be loose enough to swing with Cam Duddy, Mark Wystrach and Jess Carson when they’re in full swing. But Jon Pardi, 2020 and 2017 ACM and 2020 CMA Album of the Year nominee, as well as 2017 CMA Single of the Year nominee for “Dirt On My Boots,” can lean in with the best of them.
“Longneck Way To Go” has the sweep and brio of the Eagles’ most freewheeling work, with a harmony-forward sense of euphoria. But where the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers celebrated freedom, “Longneck Way To Go” is a banjo-forward busted love song anchored by a bottomless tab, a lap steel ride and a heartache that just won’t drown.
With Midland’s signature harmonies, Pardi and Wystrach swap verses weighing the reality of being left and trying to numb the pain. Duddy explains, “Sometimes killin’ the pain is a team sport, so when we were listening to ‘Longneck Way To Go,’ we thought bringing in Jon Pardi would ramp up the drink-til-you-drop of it all, because he loves those drinking and heartbreak songs as much as we do.”
With a chorus that promises “If these tears keep falling, last call might just last all night long,” they mean business, as well as a good-timing bravado to hide the truth. Few bands can make this sort of sideswiped by love situation sound as engaging or fun; but Midland met their match with the Dixon, Californian.
“There aren’t many groups – or artists – who love the same real hard kind of country,” Pardi explains. “But Midland can go lick for lick, longneck for longneck or Haggard for Haggard – so when they asked if I wanted to come sing this with them, I was all in. This is the kind of country that not only honors the past but remembers that California kind of country I was raised on.”
Wystrach laughs when asked about their chemistry. “Jon knows his way around a rodeo and Bakersfield. He’s our kind of country. His voice cuts through a track like this; you know it’s him and you wanna sing along. He’s perfect for ‘Longneck Way To Go.’”
The power-shuffle from Midland’s forthcoming May 6 studio album THE LAST RESORT: GREETINGS FROM marks a rare collaboration for the band from Dripping Springs, Texas. Carson explains, “It’s hard to find people who land somewhere between ‘Urban Cowboy,’ Dwight Yoakam and Gary Stewart; anything less and you’re watering down what we do. We like hanging out, chasing the daylight as much as the next group – but we need to agree on the records!”
Without missing a beat, here’s to the healing… or hurting… one, or 12, ice cold beer at a time.