Lambchop's Wagner Scales Back With 'Oh (ohio)'
For Lambchop mainman Kurt Wagner, the group's 10th album, "Oh (ohio)," marks a big change for the Nashville country-soul outfit.For Lambchop mainman Kurt Wagner, the group's 10th album, "Oh (ohio)," marks a big change for the Nashville country-soul outfit.
"I had an idea that I would write songs that could be performed solo, so I could go out on the road," Wagner tells Billboard.com. "I've always heard that's a way of working, but I've never tried it." After a few tours last fall, Wagner had laid the groundwork for what would become the 11 tracks on "Oh," due Oct. 7 via Merge.
"It wasn't like I wanted to solidify them, but I wanted to get them to a point that was different from where they usually are, when I bring them to the band," he explains.
At times, Lambchop has been comprised of 20 or more members contributing at once, but this time, the core group was limited to eight, including Wagner himself. "The process was just to back away and let the guys do what they do, and in the end, it just sort of balanced its way out," he says.
"I didn't do solo work before, because I wanted to keep the emphasis on Lambchop 'the band' as much as I could," he continues. "I think just because I was looking for a different approach to writing it, to making music, I said, 'Well, I just gotta go ahead and allow it.'"
The singular approach Wagner invokes manifests itself with the album's mellower vibe, but the material is still chock full of his trademark idiosyncratic lyrical twists.
Wagner will showcase the "Oh (ohio)" tunes on a brief solo tour this fall, with dates scheduled for Los Angles (Oct. 2), Toronto (Oct. 6) and New York (Oct. 8).
Here is the track listing for "Oh (ohio)":
"Slipped Dissolved and Loosed"
"I'm Thinking of a Number (between 1 and 2)
"National Talk Like a Pirate Day"
"A Hold of you"
"Sharing a Gibson With Martin Luther King, Jr."
"I Believe in You"