Colorado has a lot of truly hard working bands these days, as it has become a mecca for many musicians from various genres to live and be inspired to create. The Drunken Hearts are certainly one of those bands. With an increasingly heavy tour schedule, and the ongoing preparations to release new music, the band has a whole lot going on.
We had the chance to catch up with lead singer and guitarist Andrew McConathy, who also is the force behind CO’s YarmonyGrass Festival, to discuss new music and direction for the Hearts in 2017, the band’s upcoming tour schedule, including a show with Victor Wooten and members of Leftover Salmon at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom on March 24th (more info), and the 12th annual edition of YarmonyGrass.
Live For Live Music: YarmonyGrass just announced its initial lineup, with headliners yet to be announced. Can you tell us what we can expect this year?
Andrew McConathy: 2017 marks twelve years of YarmonyGrass and we have all sorts of surprises planned as far as the lineup goes. Announced already is Todd Snider backed by Great American Taxi, Head for the Hills, The Drunken Hearts, The Grant Farm featuring Andy Thorn from Leftover Salmon, Kitchen Dwellers, Coral Creek, Bonfire Dub, Jay Roemer Band featuring Dave Carroll from Trampled by Turtles, and many more. We have another act being announced on June 22 followed by our Headliners Announcement on Friday, July 14. While I can’t say who they are at this point, I can say they are all Yarmony favorites and our fans will not be disappointed.
L4LM: The Drunken Hearts are heading to New York City this week with Brothers Roy (tonight – 3/16 at American Beauty). How often do you make it out to the east coast? Any interesting NYC experiences that you have had in the past?
AM: This is our 3rd time playing in New York City since May. We are currently in the midst of a 5 week tour that started in Bellingham, WA and took us to Oregon, California, Nevada, an amazing WinterWonderGrass Festival in Steamboat, CO, Key West, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania. We played in Albany, NY last night and hit NYC, VT, and Connecticut next week before heading home for the big blowout show at Cervantes on March 24 with a stellar lineup of acts.
A lot of interesting things have happened to us in NYC but one experience that comes to mind is our drummer, Alex Johnson, riding a carousel horse outside a bar after playing the Brooklyn Bowl. But like most things The Drunken Hearts find amusing, you probably had to be there.
L4LM: You came out with Love & Thirst this past year, tell us a little about the album. Any new music coming out in 2017?
AM: Love & Thirst took almost 3 years to record so we’re very happy that one is out and we’re all very proud of the sounds on that record. It was produced by Grammy winner Rob Eaton from Dark Star Orchestra who recorded Jimmy Buffett, Madonna, Pat Metheny, etc. so we were really lucky to get to work with him in the studio.
We do have a new EP that we are putting the final touches on at Silo Sound in Denver with the talented Todd Divel. It’s called The Prize. All of the songs have a really unique feel to them and it’s a nice change of pace from Love & Thirst. While Love & Thirst was more of a step towards Southern Rock ‘n Roll, the songs on The Prize fall closer to an Americana vein, in that they all have their own identity and emotion. As a result, we are really trying to make those differences shine and stand out – even if it means not having full band instrumentation represented on each track, which I find very cool. We released the first single, “Tear My Heart Out” a few weeks ago and the rest will be out in a few months or so.
L4LM: Soooo….The Drunken Hearted Medicine Show w/ Victor Wooten Trio, Drew & Andy Duo, Band of Heathens, Brad Parsons Band, Coral Creek at Cervantes on Friday, March 24th. That’s a killer lineup!
AM: To say we were excited to help curate such a cool event is a huge understatement. I definitely have to hand it to Scott Morrill of Cervantes for connecting all the dots and having the faith in The Drunken Hearts to host such legends like Victor Wooten and Dennis Chambers, plus The Band of Heathens and our friends Drew Emmitt & Andy Thorn from Leftover Salmon. It’s going to be a heater, that’s for sure.
L4LM: What are your thoughts about the rest of 2017 for the band?
AM: The Drunken Hearts are really hitting our stride, evidenced by our crazy touring schedule. Like most good things in this life it doesn’t come easy – it’s taken a very long time and a lot of patience with each other as well as dedication to the art. We love what we’re doing and we’re doing what we love. That feels pretty good to say.
Chris K from The Colorado Sound radio station recently dubbed us “the hardest working band in Colorado.” I’m not sure if that’s true or not because I know a lot of really hardworking and amazing bands from Colorado that deserve that title. But hell, we’ll take it.
L4LM: Thanks for the time Andrew! Good luck with everything coming up in the near future.
The Drunken Hearted Medicine Show with The Drunken Hearts, Victor Wooten Trio, Drew Emmitt & Andy Thorn Duo, Band of Heathens, and more is at Denver’s Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom on Friday, March 24th (purchase tickets here). YarmonyGrass will take place from August 10th-13th at Rancho Del Rio, CO with headliners still to be announced. For more information on that, check out the festival website.
The Drunken Hearts Tour Dates:
Mar 16 / American Beauty / New York, NY
Mar 17 / Nectar’s / Burlington, VT
Mar 18 / Bryac / Bridgeport, CT
Mar 19 / Bryac / Bridgeport, CT
Mar 24 / Cervantes’ Ballroom / Denver, CO *w/ Victor Wooten, BoH
Mar 25 / Hodi’s Half Note / Ft. Collins, CO *w/ Band of Heathens
Apr 13 / Founder’s Brewing / Grand Rapids, MI
Apr 14 / Tonic Room / Chicago, IL
Apr 15 / Scarlet & Grey / Columbus, OH
Apr 18 / ACME / Nashville, TN
Apr 21 / Last Concert Cafe / Houston, TX
Apr 22 / Lambert’s / Austin, TX
Apr 28 / Boulder Theater / Boulder, CO *w/ Bros. Comatose
May 26 / Gold Room / Colorado Springs, CO
May 27 / Paddlefest / Buena Vista, CO
May 28 / Wind Rider Festival / Alto, NM
May 29 / Taos Mesa Brewing Co. / Taos, NM
Jul 20-23 / Floyd Fest / Floyd, VA
Aug 11-12 / YarmonyGrass / Rancho del Rio, CO
Sept 1 / Four Corners Folk Festival / Pagosa Springs, CO