The official bluegrass band of the SF Giants, Hot Buttered Rum returns with a brand new album of all-original material. Recorded at Panoramic Studios in Stinson Beach, Lonesome Panoramic features several Bay Area favorites as guests, including The Coffis Brothers, Rainbow Girls, and ALO.
In conjunction with today’s release of Lonesome Panoramic, the group’s sixth studio effort, we’re pleased to premiere the track “Treasure Island Blues.” Listen to it on Soundcloud below.
Penned by vocalist and banjo player Erik Yates, “Treasure Island Blues” was born of the Bay. According to Yates, the track was “written on the man-made island halfway between San Francisco and Oakland, looking east at the darkened, hulking remnants of the old Bay Bridge as the new span bustled with traffic.”
Although Yates typically plays banjo, on “Treasure Island Blues” he opted for the wider, more looming sound of a dobro.
“I’ve used dobro on a number of Butter albums in the past, starting with 2009’s Limbs Akimbo on forward. Resophonics and and lap steels are natural pairings with the banjo,” Yates added. “Since both use open tunings and fingerpicks, and they speak well on slower tunes where a banjo might not. The sound of this particular instrument, a vintage axe I borrowed from Bay Area dobro maestro Bruce Sudownick, was the perfect fit for this song. Big thanks to Bruce.”
The track opens with a slinky bass line and complimentary dobro and violin timbres weaving in and out of harmony. Yates’ lyrics resonate not only lonesomeness throughout, but especially the idea of being left behind. His lyric, “You don’t know what lonesome is until the lonesome goes away” is a dark twist on the notion of not recognizing your blessings until they’ve gone.
HBR hasn’t got much lined up for the end of the summer. In August, they head East for a string of shows in Colorado. Shortly after, the band embarks on an annual river rafting adventure planned in Boise, ID. Joining HBR on the excursion will be Bill Nershi of the String Cheese Incident. There are still a small selection of tickets available for this intimate camping experience.
The band will spend three nights in Navarro at the end of September for the third installment of Camp Deep End. A lone Halloween weekend date in Sebastopol also indicates a fall tour announcement may be on the way.