"Loaded All Day" by Loaded with the help of the relatively new local celeb Jane Wiedlin.
"We spent about a month recording in Jane's basement during the dead of winter," says Vandygriff about the Maple Bluff home of the Go-Go. "It turned out to be a great place to record."
Though Vandygriff sings about being drunk for hours on end in "Loaded All Day," he's also recalling how his fear of death has been erased and memories of "doing what [he] could to survive," topics that cut deeper than a track solely about partying is likely to do.
The message is embedded in layers of guitar that are hard and electric one moment and jamboree-style the next. In other words, it's clear why the band has earned the label of "country punk" -- it's the kind of thing that works well for both fist-pumping and do-si-doing, even if the latter is done ironically.
Perhaps the song stirs up a strong sense of conviction because it was conceived with one. Vandygriff says it was written at home in Texas -- a rarity for the constantly touring band -- and is quite personal.
The Von Ehrics toured in support of its previous album The Whiskey Sessions for about two years before spending the final months of 2008 recovering and writing the follow-up. Vandygriff also had his first child. "This gave me an opportunity to be a little more reflective about coming off of the road, and the damage the road and that lifestyle does to your body," he says.
"Loaded All Day" addresses what life on the road can do to your mind and spirit, especially if you've struggled with addiction. Taking narcotics to cope with chronic shoulder pain spiraled out of control at times, explains Vandygriff, which inspired him to think a lot about pain and dependence, as well as the lyrics to the song. This process led to more than just one introspective song, though, as the whole album turns the band's usual subject matter -- whiskey, women, and the road -- on its head.
An MP3 of "Loaded All Day" is available in the related files. More songs by the band can be found on its MySpace page. The Von Ehrics will play a happy hour release party for Loaded with Crustacean labelmates The Skintones and The Gusto at The Frequency on Saturday, April 18, and will return to stage later that evening for an afterparty at the Wisco.
MadTracks highlights and provides MP3s of songs performed by local musicians. All tracks here are provided with permission of the artist. If you are a musician based in the Madison metro area and are interested in sharing your work as a MadTrack, please send a message.