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Friday, 26 May 2023

HIGHWAY 61, STRANGER

I recently had a change to catch up with Frank Meyer and preview an acoustic version of "Stranger" off Highway 61's debut album, Driving South.  After giving this one an initial spin, I was intrigued.  After a few more spins, I was hooked and wanted more.  It's just what the doctored ordered in a world full of copy cat releases that are typically dull and uninspired.  I think these cats are on to something, and look forward to digging in more to their amazing sound & music!

Read more below from Frank on the songs origins as it provides some killer insight into how "Stranger" came to be, enjoy!  - Matthew Belter

 

“Stranger” is the first single off our Highway 61 debut album, Driving South. Highway 61 started when I was in high school in the late ‘89s. Most of the material was written back in the day, but the band broke up in the ‘90s and we all went on to other adventures. Since then, I’ve been playing in the Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs and with musicians like James Williamson of Iggy and the Stooges, Eddie Spaghetti of the Supersuckers, and my hard rock band Trading Aces. But a few years back, during the pandemic, our guitarist Andy Medway got leukemia. He had his surgeries and transfusions during Covid, so he had to sequester himself in a hotel room while he was recuperating since his immune system was essentially nonexistent. I suggested he pick up the ol’ guitar and start writing some songs to keep himself entertained. Eventually, he wrote some new material that inspired the band get back together and go to the studio. We picked the best of the old material, plus the new stuff, and made our long-awaited album, over 30 years after we started. The whole process was so fun and easy, and the record came out so great, that we shopped it around and got a deal with Rum Bar Records. But the really amazing part is in this last year since all that happened, Andy completely beat the cancer, is doing great, and playing guitar like a beast again! Music really does save lives.

Originally I wrote “Stranger” on an acoustic guitar originally and I played it live in my solo acoustic act many times, so one day when I was bored, I decided to record a version. My wife, Sarah, filmed it, and I  sang it to our dog Mojo. As you can see, Mojo is only mildly amused by my musical antics. But regardless, the song works great on acoustic guitar, and I like showing that side of the band’s songwriting off. The way I see it is there any good song should work as an acoustic number. If it doesn’t, it’s probably because it’s not that strong of a song.

 

Written by  Matthew Belter
Last modified on Friday, 26 May 2023
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