Born in raised in North Carolina, Geoff Union got to Austin as quick as he could –right after graduating with a degree in music from Wesleyan University – and has been playing, writing, traveling and singing in bluegrass and acoustic bands ever since. For the last five of those years, he has been the flatpick lead guitarist and one of the singers and songwriters in the bluegrass group Two High String Band, which has made appearances at festivals and clubs all over the country, including Rocky Grass, Merlefest, and High Sierra, to name a few.
While Union continues to work with THSB, which has its own new CD on the way, this “country project” is a collection of music that has been on the back burner for many years, waiting for the right time to come to life, and that time is now. It is music about traveling, about Texas, about tough times and getting through them; part country, part alt., with a dash of rock and roll for good measure,
The album was recorded in Austin in the winter of 2007/2008, utilizing some of Austin’s finest in the studio, including Andrew Nafziger (electric guitars), Eleanor Whitmore (fiddle), Kim Deschamps (steel/ dobro), Eddie Cantu (drums), and Lyndsay Greene (bass). The nine song collection includes the upbeat, yet lonesome highway title track, “Big Sky Tonight”, “Econoline Song”, an ode to the Great American Band Vehicle, and “Texas, (Solid Heat)”, a lyrical collaboration with Union’s longtime friend and songwriting partner, Jim Harris. While these three lean decidedly in a classic country direction, the album explores other facets of the country genre, with the heavier hitting “Giving up the Coffee” and “Moonshine Boogie” (an electrified version of the title cut of the last Two High String Band record), while “Let the Medicine Do Its Thing” gets the shuffle rocks off. “Chances” is almost a full blown blues/rock number, “Come Back to Texas” services the waltz spot nicely, and the album is rounded out by the spooky tale of a lonesome guy who’s only at peace under the neon lights, “Sorrow and Spite”.
While this is a project that’s just getting off the ground in terms of live performance, Union’s unique approach to country music is sure to get the crowd out of its seats and onto the dance floor. Geoff Union’s bringing the Big Sky to wherever you are Tonight.