BLAME IT ON “THE BIG LEBOWSKI”
Photo Credit: Harper Smith
THE LAST RESORT (May 2, 2022) -- When it comes to good-time male-bonding, nobody does it better than Midland. Cam Duddy, Mark Wystrach and Jess Carson came together at Duddy’s wedding, so they know the power of songs, beers, guitars, jokes and keeping things loose in the moments that define life. And in the spirit of “The Dude Abides,” they harnessed the power of “bowling night” to make a video with Jon Pardi for their “Longneck Way To Go” collaboration. The rockin’ Country anthem appears on the trio’s third studio album out this Friday (5/6) titled THE LAST RESORT: GREETINGS FROM.
“What could be more retro progressive than bowling night?” asks Duddy, with a wry smile. “It’s a classic ‘50s, ’60s, ‘70s kind of deal. Cold beer, talking smack, a certain amount of brio and not too much exercise! When you think of ‘The Big Lebowski,’ who’s cooler than the Dude? Or more out there than Walter Sobchak, Jesus Quintana or Theodore Donald? But that’s bowling: all kinds, all equal in the process of chasing a 7-10 split.”
“Jon is a lot like us,” Wystrach adds. “He’s a road dog who lives to play, runs with his band, knows when to laugh. He likes his country hard, and his beer cold. He was the perfect choice for this song, and we knew we needed the video to capture all of that. And this isn’t a sad drinking song, even though the guy got left, this is a fun drinking to forget song – so we needed a place that busted the cliché of drunk in bar. Man, did Harper nail it!”
Directed by noted photographer/filmmaker Harper Smith, the “Longneck Way To Go” video was filmed in an old school alley outside Nashville. Merging vintage/contemporary time-stoppers “Swingers,” Kingpin” and “Lebowski,” she captured a world where men can be boys, prank, dance, drink and bowl. Almost a night out with the multiple GRAMMY® nominees and the 2020 Country Music Association Album of the Year nominee, plus their bands, what you see on the screen is not acting, nor is to be taken lightly.
“I hope people know not to try this stuff at home,” cautions Pardi, who masters a massive release and face first over the line near the video’s end. “We are trained professionals! This is part of what we do for a living, and it would be terrible to think anyone got caught up in chasing our good timing and got hurt. Though taking your friends to the bowling alley for a few frames, a couple pitchers and some smack talking might be a whole new take on nightlife.”
“I lost count after five or six, now it’s 2 a.m., and I’m still buyin” Pardi sings,“Got a tab...”
“Keep it open,” Wystrach responds, “’Cause I’m still drinkin and I’m still hopin to drink...”
Pardi continues on the wind-up for that last thick-harmony, banjo’n’lap steel soaked chorus, “...your memory, ah, but it’s got a pretty tight grip on me...”
“People have no idea the sacrifice we make for our art,” Carson explains, straight-faced. Then cracks, “I mean, to have to spend a day bowling with our bands, drinking beer and having fun, that’s really tough. But that’s what this music is grounded in: organic friendships, people who know how to have a good time off-the-beaten path and the idea this music takes you back to places that are pretty damn cool.”
THE LAST RESORT: GREETINGS FROM is its own kind of cool. But at 60 feet long and 42 inches wide, Midland and Jon Pardi may’ve just reset the dimensions of what a good time can contain.