Sometimes, out of tragedy comes something beautiful. In the winter of 2017, songwriter Jeff Whitehead’s father in law went into the hospital for throat cancer. The doctors anticipated a week stay, maybe two; what followed was a three month ordeal that ultimately ended in his passing in late February. Throughout the stay, Whitehead witnessed the family rally around him, riding the highs and lows, and practically living at St. David hospital in Austin. As in all situations, Whitehead turned to songwriting to help sort out the details of life. Little fragments, a scene here or there, something to make sense of it all.
Shortly after his passing, Whitehead was introduced to songwriter and Band of Heathens frontman, Gordy Quist. They met for a writing session at the Austin recording studio, The Finishing School. They soon discovered they had grown up within an hour of each other- Whitehead from College Station, Quist from north Houston. Immediately, this sense of place started to make it’s way into their songwriting- from the bottomland of the Brazos River valley, to the East Texas pines, to the streets of Houston. Says Whitehead, “they say, write what you know, so we just wrote what we both knew about- humidity.”
After months of writing, the two started working in the studio with Quist taking the helm on producing. Sonically, the songs were finding themselves in a similar situation. Though coming from different background’s musically, Whitehead’s upbringing steeped in a country music and gospel, Quist getting his footing with rock and roll, they both found a commonality in their love for roots music. What came from this combination was a sound that is unmistakably southern, with a nod to Texas roots. It sounds like the New Wildcatters.
These songs would become the New Wildcatters debut record, “Junebug Parade”. From the opening lines of Long Lost Son, “Forgive me , I lost my way, I wandered far and wide, I come back to the post oak trees and tangled mustang vines” - it’s clear this is a coming home moment musically. From the foot stomping Heaven Help Me to the fat groove of Junebug Parade, the album holds the listeners attention from start to finish. Sex , death, true love- it’s all there. So raise a glass and take a ride on the highs and lows with the New Wildcatters.
Shows being added for early 2019.