When we released our Bay Area twang mixtape, we KNEW there would be some omissions. When there’s so much going on around the Bay, it’s inevitable when you try to provide a complete overview of a scene in an hour-long mixtape. In the comments, someone brought one such omission to our attention that I’m going to share with you right now: San Francisco’s Midnight Sons.
Midnight Sons got their start in what some might think would be the last place in the world for a country band to originate: San Francisco’s Tenderloin. However, when you listen to primary songwriter Nick Stockton explain it, it kind of makes sense: “Writing country songs was kind of a balm for the feelings of alienation and, frankly, despair I absorbed from the streets around me at that time.” He wrote an album’s worth of material, formed a band, recorded with Ryan Wong of Cool Ghouls (who has a bit of twang influence themselves), moved to Nashville, broke up the band, moved back to SF, and got to band back together over the span of a couple years. Heck, there may be another album’s worth of material just in that experience.
Now, for the music. Midnight Sons definitely pay homage to both the Bakersfield and cosmic country styles, and I love the heavy doses of pedal steel. Their original recording sessions with Wong were wittled down to a 4-song EP that is a mostly upbeat affair, full of classic country themes such as kicking someone out, living high on the hog, and getting a bus driver to turn around. Listen below:
You can catch Midnight Sons a few times over the next month: this Saturday afternoon they’ll perform on the El Rio patio, while June 14 they’ll be at Brick and Mortar opening for Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires. May 22, Nick Stockton performs at Thee Parkside’s all ages Twang Sunday event.
Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, Midnight Sons
Brick and Mortar Music Hall
June 14, 2016