New Album: Til Willis & Erratic Cowboy - Dirtflowers

Til Willis is one of the most prolific and consistent Lawrence songwriters and he is putting out a new album early next month with his band Erratic Cowboy. Til's music is good old fashioned rock n roll with a healthy mix of blues, country, punk, and folk thrown in the mix. Til & Erratic Cowboy's new album, Dirtflowers, is his 13th studio album and his fourth with Erratic Cowboy. Dirtflowers spans 11 tracks and is out digitally and physically (CD & Vinyl!) on December 6th.

I tend to latch on to opening tracks of albums for a few different reasons. The first being the obvious that it's usually the first song you hear from the record unless you've been checking out pre-released singles. I have a sneaking feeling that most bands purposely put strong songs to kick off the album. I also tend to gravitate towards them also as a intro into what story an album is going to try and tell. All that noted my early favorite song on Dirtflowers is definitely the opening track 'A Better Depression'. It's got a fantastic baseline and acoustic guitar to start the song. Add in Til's low growl and the horns that kick in about a minute into the track and I was sold.

I believe Dirtflowers is without a doubt Til's best work that I've heard. Songs like the Replacements-esque rocker 'American Questions' and 'I Bring the Rain' are also highlights of the first half of the record. The second half is just as good though and that is one of the most impressive things about Til's new album...the whole thing is really solid from front to back. 'Outlast the Moon' has some really strong lyrics and the chorus is an earworm while the track 'When It Happens' has my favorite guitar riff on the record. There is just a ton to enjoy and dig into on Dirtflowers.

The album closes with another great song in 'Paper Cranes'. It opens with the lyric "I'll never live up to all the love that's been heaped on me unless I pass it on to you" which I assume (possibly incorrectly) is referencing being a father. This kind of stuff hits me hard and when it's coupled with some awesome guitar playing you have a really standout album closer.

Til Willis & Erratic Cowboy will be celebrating the release of Dirtflowers at the Kaw Valley Public House in Lawrence this Saturday, December 7th at 9PM. Don't miss it.


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