After lengthy legal issues, The Damn Quails, via a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign, released their latest album, Out Of The Birdcage on September 4th. The twelve tracks were all written by co-front men Bryon White and Gabe Marshall sans for two that were penned with (“Rattlesnakes Through the Cotton”), and by (“Oklahoma Blue”), Buffalo Rogers. Produced by Dave Abeyta (of Reckless Kelly, who also brings his incredible guitar skills to the record), the album finds the band moving forward with the same insightful lyrics and unique sound you would expect, but sharpened to a fine point. Pedal steel (courtesy of Lloyd Maines), fiddle, mandolin, organ, dobro and lap steel aren’t relegated to supporting players, they share the stage right alongside the songwriting and vocal delivery. And speaking of vocals, both Marshall and White sing with an honesty and believability while White’s vocals have become softer, restrained--making them even more effective.
The album kicks off with the anthemic title track followed by “Tough Luck & Cryin’ Shame” which finds him stating “If you ever wondered how a man goes wrong/Watch and wait baby well it won’t take long.” Marshall takes lead on “Tightrope Walker” a bluesy jam about being caught between saint and sinner, “Song of Home” a story song that’s just perfect with its cadence and a sing along ready “la la la” and the groovy, funky “Give It Some Time.” White is back on “Oklahoma Blue” which features harmonies and harmonica in a bar ready sing along and the emotional “The Man In The Mirror” (The Girl On The Plane). The rootsy “Just A Little While” and “Vastness” close out the record.
Out Of The Birdcage makes an impact both lyrically and sonically. It’s vivid, mature story-telling and musicianship brought to life in an album that you should definitely give a listen.
I for one cannot wait to hear these tracks live. And lucky for us, they play Hill Country on Saturday 9/19. It’s a late show, but I promise it will be worth it.