Date(s) - Wed. Oct. 25, 2023
All Bad, the latest album from Nick Shoulders, ultimately encapsulates everything that makes Shoulders’ inimitable form of country music so vital: a heady balance of dazzling musicianship and punk defiance, coupled with gritty eccentricity and a generational connection to the roots of the genre. The album emerged from the chaos of the post-pandemic world, and manages to be a plea for patience as much as a call to action.
With a singing style deeply rooted in his family’s musical lineage and a heartfelt reverence for his lifelong home of mountainous Arkansas, the incisive yet wildly jubilant All Bad vocally objects to the reckless destruction of the natural landscape and ever- eroding line between church and state, while still offering plenty of joy and dance-ready rhythms. Having recently experienced their first years of rapid growth and relentless touring, Nick and his longtime band, the Okay Crawdad, wrote and recorded All Bad while confronting a nation profoundly changed by development and industrialization run rampant.
Spanning a variety of early country styles, the album’s infectious rallying cry “Won’t Fence Us In” shines alongside everything from jangling cajun waltzes to surf-rock infused bluesy ballads–all tied together by a voice seemingly out of place in this century, yet ever ready to speak up about its problems.