Hailing from Portland, OR, alt-country purveyors The Stubborn Lovers aim to inject a little bit of country-rock electricity into your life. Their forthcoming record, "Mother Road" (due out Aug. 17), takes it name from John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" and references US Route 66, the cross-country road that carried the Joad's and so many other families toward an unknown future. Incorporating aspects of Americana, outlaw country and classic rock 'n' roll, the record finds the band taking inspiration from the past while carving out a space for themselves in our own turbulent times. Through their music, the band holds family, love and hope close to their hearts and uses these things to hold the encroaching darkness of reality at bay for just a little while longer.
On recent single, "Drivin' 22," the band inhabits an ecstatic country atmosphere where guitar strings stretch and slide and the open road calls out for all openhearted individuals. A bluesy romp, the song injects a ferocious swagger into its rural landscapes. Lifted by Mandy Allan's fierce and compelling vocals, it creates a momentum that never recedes and always has its eye on the horizon. Slyly dipping into some sepia-toned memories, the band brings an earnest sense of nostalgia to the music. But isn't some simple idea of the past -- it's a complicated view of past experiences and emotions tangled up in our desire to keep one foot in the past while the other is bearing down on the gas pedal.