Crisscrossing the country in their 32-foot Winnebago armed with their blues-drenched Americana, The Wide Open (Allen Rayfield and Season Ammons) has discovered their calling––and fans of honest music are grateful for it. The pair’s sophomore release Long Road Home, out January 12th, pulses with raw immediacy; a tight collection of confident, original songs that is driven by Ammons’ and Rayfield’s undeniable chemistry. In advance of the album's release, the duo answer their Essential 8 and give you the story behind the album's title, list their must-have tunes for the road, and much more!
What’s the story behind your album’s title?
Long Road Home is the musical story of love, life, hardship, joy, passion, beauty and misery. It's a collection of songs that cover the emotional spectrum that make up the human experience. When we met unexpectedly and fell in love over 4 years ago, it was at pivotal moments in our life. We didn't know where the journey would take us, but we forged a romance, followed our hearts and became musical partners. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to listen to your heart and endure the constant struggle to go against the grain and follow you dreams. Home is where the heart is...and our hearts lie in the music we make together along with the hundreds of thousands of miles that make up the Long Road Home.
What’s the best advice you have ever gotten from another musician?
S: Work your ass off, nobody is more invested in your career than you are!
A: Don't look back or you'll be trampled to death!
Do you write about personal experience, the experience of others, observations, made-up stories, something else or a combination?
Writing comes from many different sources. We write together and separately and each process id different. For Allen, writing is insanely honest and almost to a point of being biographical. I walk a line between writing, living and purging tragedy or happiness so that I can find some comfort somewhere in the middle. I really feel things very deeply so I use music to medicate myself.
For Season, writing comes in spurts. Lyrics, phrases and hooks will just "fall out of the sky" and I stop what I'm doing and write it down, record the melody or pick up an instrument and feel it out. If the song "stocks" me and won't "leave me alone" for days then I know it's a good one and I have to finish it. Sometimes, I'm going through something personal and will use a song to deal with my emotions. Other times, I imagine I am somebody else and pretend to put myself in certain situations to try and write a song that's relatable to a wide audience.
What’s your favorite food on the road?
We Love Mexican Food! We could live everyday on chips and salsa and rice and beans! It's cheap too!
What are your “must have” albums for the road?
Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats
JJ Grey and Mofro The River
Nikki Lane Highway Queen
Jason Isbell South Eastern
Tedeschi Trucks Band Revelator
Marc Broussard A Life Worth Living
Alabama Shakes Sound and Color
What has been your biggest struggle so far?
Time away from family and financial uncertainty
What’s the most frustrating thing about being on the road?
We live full time in our RV on the road so we don't really have a home, so that can sometimes feel lonely. We coast from one gig to another, floating in between cities and parking lots with no real ground to call our own so when we run into problems with our RV it can feel like we are really stuck and it can be uncomfortable.
Favorite thing to do on a day off?
We love going and finding a good Mexican Restaurant, then scouting out thrift stores and vintage clothing boutiques. I collect belt buckles, pendents and jewelry. We also love finding beautiful parks to walk in and ride bikes.