When Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance of Jamestown Revival look at their respective family trees, they see something worth carrying on.
“If I become half the man my father is, I’ll be doing all right,” Clay told CMT Edge through an email exchange. “We both share a heavy respect for our fathers, as well as our families. Legacy in general is something we think often about. Not just in the music we create but the actions we take and the way we spend our time. I think our music is an important but small part of a much bigger picture.”
On “Fur Coat Blues,” focusing on the bigger picture helped the duo overcome life’s obstacles.
“That song is about gaining perspective,” says Clay. “As a society, we seem to stay so wrapped up in all of the little problems that continually plague us. The thing that inspired this song was the fact that so many of these little problems don’t even matter in the grand scheme of things. When you can put the day-to-day grind in perspective, I think it’s unavoidable that you’ll gain a little optimism.”
With its jaunty rhythm and live, back-porch feel, “Fur Coat Blues” rises into a triumphant chorus of tight harmonies and can-do spirit. And it all comes in at under three minutes long.
“It’s actually pretty tough to write a song that is short and concise, yet still feels complete,” says Chance. “When you feel like you may have done it, you might as well leave it be. Plus, it’s an ode to guys like Roger Miller who could pull it off with ease.”
Clay and Chance are childhood friends who grew up in Magnolia, Texas, then moved to Austin when they were 22. Looking for a change of pace, the band is now based in Los Angeles.
“Fur Coat Blues” appears on the band’s latest project, The California EP, and will also be included on Utah, a full-length album planned for Feb. 11. The upcoming album was recorded in a cabin in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains.
“To us, the wilderness is an awe-inspiring place, and we wanted to take influence from that when we recorded this album. We used no headphones and no metronome. We let the tape machine roll, and we just played the songs until we got them right,” says Clay.
“We felt like recording live to tape just had so much more character and honesty,” Chance adds. “We wanted to capture that energy even if it meant foregoing some of the modern conveniences of the era in which we live. There was something about the whole process that really made everything feel more connected and personal.”
Check out Jamestown Revival and their optimistic tune, “Fur Coat Blues.”