One of Australia’s best-known performers, Henry Wagons, makes his first full-length solo album debut with After What I Did Last Night… which will be released on February 12th via Goldview/Metropolitan Groove Merchants. Wagons, best known as front man for outlaw country-rock band Wagons, left his native Australia to record the album in Nashville with producer Skylar Wilson (Justin Townes Earle, Andrew Combs) with assistance from guitarist Richie Kirkpatrick (Jessica Lea Mayfield, Bobby Bare Jr.), drummer Jerry Pentecost (Jonny Fritz), fiddler Josh Hedley (Justin Townes Earle) and harmonica player Cory Younts (Old Crow Medicine Show) with singer-songwriter Rayland Baxter on backing vocals.
After What I Did Last Night… traces Wagons’ life from youth to traveling troubadour to family man. From the remorseful opener, “Cold Burger Cold Fries” to the good times and misadventures on the road in the rousing “Only Sane Mother F*****” and debaucherous “Cowboy in Krakow,” Wagons’ songs are filled with drama, humor, wit, and heart. The lurid vibe of “King Hit” vividly tells the story of life, (near) death and a bar fight with Wagons’ rich baritone conveying a darkness and cocky swagger that oozes cool. The throwback honky-tonk “Head Or Heart” (devil or angel) details the decision to cheat or not, finally declaring “I’m going to the doctor and get you both removed.” Bluesy and sexy, “Anything You Want”’s inventive lyrics would win many a woman over, “You want a snake, girl, I’ll charm it/If you need weed I’ll farm it.” Wagons also pays homage to his daughter in the sweet and tender, “As Long As I Breathe,” and “the best mate he could ever have” in the rollicking “Tomboy.”
That album closes with “Only Child” and “Melbourne.” The former is a sorrowful tale of being an only child, alone and lonely, that quietly fades into the latter, which is not just an ode to his city where he finds peace, but to the woman that provides it as well.
After What I Did Last Night… recounts a life filled with good times, dark times, mistakes, new life and most importantly, love. It’s oft-times dark, yet utterly original, and wicked cool.