Personnel: Douglas Graham (vocals, guitar, dobro); Alyssa Graham (vocals, guitar); John Fullbright (guitar, harmonica, piano); Ryan Engleman (electric guitar); Byron Berline (mandolin, fiddle); Dan Walker (accordion, piano, electric organ); Gabe Pearson (drums, percussion); Wes Sharon (percussion); Camille Harp (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Wes Sharon.
Recording information: 115 Recording, Norman, OK.
Photographer: David Johnson .
The Grahams are New York-based husband-and-wife duo Doug and Alyssa Graham, who made their debut in 2013 with Riverman's Daughter, a thematic collection of country and roots rock songs inspired by a trip down the Mississippi River's historic Great River Road. On their 2015 follow-up Glory Bound, they've taken a similar conceptual tack, focusing their artistic efforts this time on the great American railways. As with their previous venture down the Mississippi, they sought an authentic, hands-on experience and, following in the footsteps of heroes like Woody Guthrie and Lead Belly, took several of their own train trips for inspiration, meeting up with potential producers along the way. After connecting with producer Wes Sharon (John Fullbright, Parker Millsap), the Grahams set up camp at his studio in Norman, Oklahoma, and with the prairie as their backdrop they recorded 12 tracks that attempt to capture the spirit of the railroad's heyday. Behind Alyssa's powerhouse voice, the songs run the gamut from old-time country and folk to barroom blues and gospel, all with an appropriately Western feel. Blending themed tracks like the fast-pickin' hoedown "Kansas City" and the country-gospel "Promised Land" with more autobiographical songs like "The Wild One" and the soaring title cut, the Grahams present a thoughtful and often theatrical Americana opus that evokes the heyday of the country's railways. ~ Timothy Monger