”This is for all of you that feel the way I do. The game’s not over, the people are gone. I don’t mind getting older, it’s just the timing’s all wrong. Dreams don’t change, they adjust with the times.”
Folks don’t slow down a lot these days, pausing to listen to what’s whispering in the wind or murmuring within. It’s valuable to take a breath and open up to what’s being said instead of drowning these subtle messages out with our pre-scripted responses and chatter – there’s tiny truths and tenderness waiting in the slipstream. Will Courtney puts his perceptive ears to work in this realm on his shimmering, ever-so-pleasing solo debut, A Century Behind (released April 22). Feelings about love, God and all sorts of things are held up to a soft light, coaxed gently to a low light glow, the stuff most don’t discuss given a comfortable space to move around.
A Century Behind both builds on and moves away from Courtney’s quality work with Brothers and Sisters – the uninitiated are pointed to 2007’s boffo Fortunately album to get schooled – by consciously courting intimacy. This is still rock ‘n’ roll but in the vein of the more hushed corners of Neil Young, The Jayhawks, Ryan Adams, and Chris Bell, whose I Am The Cosmos comes to mind several times during A Century Behind. Courtney’s voice is a pleasing open wound, scars starting to form but the healing still in process, his quivering tone making each brave step into honesty that much more effective. The arrangements are spare but nicely decorated by choice elements, just enough of everything to feel fleshed out but never bulky. This album is a lovely, compact opening salvo from one of the strongest contemporary Americana artists out there, a slow burn that lingers
Will applied his inquisitive mind to DI’s philosophical roundtable, and here’s what he had to say.
What’s the first thing that springs to mind when you see the word “God”?
First image that pops into my head is some Hubble telescope image of deep space.
Which has the better cosmology, Star Wars or Star Trek? Why?
I’d probably have to say Star Wars because I just like the original trilogy so much. Also, I believe Joseph Campbell is the wisest man when it comes to myth and religion and I know that George Lucas was very inspired by his studies when he created Star Wars. It is a story that has been told and will be told until the end of time. Plus, when it is all said and done, the rebels always win.
Name one album that has spiritual resonance for you.
Glen Campbell’s Reunion: Songs of Jimmy Webb
Woody Allen once said, “I don’t know the question but sex is definitely the answer.” So, what’s the question?
What’s the only thing better than most Woody Allen films made between 1970-1999?
You can have a dinner party with any three people throughout human history. Who do you invite, what’s on the menu and what intoxicant do you share for dessert?
It is a tie between Albert Brooks and Billy the Kid. The other two would have to be Jesus Christ and John Lennon. We’d have amazing sashimi and spicy tuna hand rolls. We’d end the night with stories over glasses of Maker’s Mark.