Whisperado's New York City roots-rock fuses good-time music with literate lyrics, all filtered through an artful urban sensibility.
"We've been playing together for a long time, and we wanted to make this CD the best it could possibly be," says singer, songwriter, bassist and co-producer Jon Sobel. "I'm Not the Road," Whisperado's long-awaited first full-length disc, is sure to please the band's devoted fans who've followed the roots-rock outfit from its snowbound beginnings a decade ago. (Their first gig coincided with a blizzard.)
After performing for years as a trio, Whisperado wanted an additional shot of country to sweeten its roots-rock sound. Joining guitarist Patrick Nielsen Hayden, bassist Jon Sobel, and drummer David Mills is pedal steel whiz Jeff Lampert, who hooked up with the band after finding them online and seeking them out. Lampert's pedal steel stylings, sometimes countrified, sometimes avant-garde, perfectly rounded out the group's longtime Telecaster-trio sound and Americana-rock songcraft.
To go with the 14-track CD, the band tapped Telly Award-winning director Dan Azarian to direct the video for the single "Teenage Popstar Girl," a punchy and clever skewering of the modern pop music business' fleeting tastes. Says Azarian, "As soon as I heard an early mix of “Teenage Popstar Girl,” I immediately thought, 'This would make an amazing music video and I have to do it.' The song is a cautionary tale, which inspired me to develop the storyline – a young girl who is manipulated and seduced by corporate marketing. I also visually played with the video having a retro feel – which was in part motivated by the song’s Americana sound, as well as the fact that when advertising from days gone by is seen, its machinations are usually more apparent."
The pop music business may have fleeting tastes, but the band believes there's staying power in these 12 originals and two well-chosen covers. After years of fine-tuning their sound, Whisperado has captured in "I'm Not the Road" their unusual combination of roots-rock/Americana sounds and literary influences.