Midland Lets it Roll On Sophomore Album

Rolling Stone references Midland as having a “Retro Country Eloquence,” and that’s an accurate description and one that was evident with their debut album. But there’s more to them than their 90’s country throwback look, and their just-released sophomore album Let it Roll proves it. The band, formed in Dripping Springs, Texas and consisting of Mark Wystrach, Jess Carson, and Cameron Duddy, have got a unique style and sound with harmonies that have been compared to bands like The Eagles and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.

The ACM Award-winning and Grammy-nominated band found plenty of success with their 2017 debut album On The Rocks. The album scored them a Platinum-certified Number One song with “Drinkin’ Problem,” a Top 3 hit with “Burn Out” and a Top 15 with “Make a Little.”

Let it Roll builds on the success of On The Rocks and shows the evolution of their music, who they are, and where they’ve come.  The album continues to incorporate classic country themes such as heartbreak, boozing, cheatin’, nostalgia, and, of course, its good time songs, but does so in a more mature and fluid way. Lead singer Mark Wystrach says, “This album is written by and about a band on the road, one that knows who we are and where we’re going.”

“We want to make music that is going to last, that someone will discover after we’re gone and get excited about,” says guitarist/vocalist Jess Carson. “When you set out to do that, you tend to write songs that are more mature and more soul searching. We’re not interested in being a derivative throwback band,” Wystrach explains.

 Take a look inside the story behind the new album in the video below:

The band worked with country music heavy hitters Liz Rose, Rhett Atkins, and Bob DiPiero, and was produced by Dann Huff, Shane McAnally, and Josh Osborne.  Each of its 14 tracks was strategically placed with a theme in mind, beginning with the feel-good love song (and title track) and ending with “Roll Away,” a more serious story song.

Stand out tracks

“Fourteen Gears,” a classic trucker’s road anthem, describing the urge to get home to someone you’re missing. It was “Fourteen Gears” that secured their record deal with Big Machine Records. “Hear the Peterbilt whine / Down the solid white line / Don’t make no money if I don’t make it there on time / Houston, Dallas, San Antone / Wind it up until I’m home / I’ve got fourteen gears to get you back in my arms / But if I know that you’ll be waitin’ there / Then you know that’s a wait girl that I can bare / I can see your face in the headlights lonely glare / But with a big ol’ moon steady on the rise / And the hammer down across the great divide / I’ll be pushin’ through ’til I’m back where I belong.”

“Cheatin’ By The Rules” is a how-to guide for anyone looking for an affair and having no regrets. “Don’t call me after 5 o’clock / Change my name in your phone / Pay cash for all our drinks /We don’t need those receipts / Followin’ us home /We both got somebody / We lost the fire for / That ain’t no reason to treat ‘em cruel / We’re gonna keep on leadin’ / Keep this secret that we’re keepin’ / We’re cheatin’ by the rules.”
“Lost In The Night” is a bluesy tune fronted by a smooth, sultry Cameron Duddy. It’s a nostalgic look back and yearning for what once was. “Is there a melody to keep your heart beatin’ / And takes you back to the time / We were lost in the night / Oh darlin’ / Do you ever go there / Holdin’ you tight / Oh baby /When the sun came up you whispered goodbye / You were lost in the night.”
The band knows what they’ve got is special and aren’t taking their success for granted. “We’ve been blessed that there’s been an audience for our music because not everybody gets to make the music that they want to make and also have people listen,” says Carson. Wystrach explains, “We’ve taken the path of most resistance. Midland always has to go 12 rounds with whatever we do, because we’re chasing something pure, but Let It Roll reminds us exactly why we go against the grain and live such a hectic, scattered lifestyle it’s about the music.”

Midland’s “Let it Roll Tour” begins on September 17th in New York.  For Midland updates follow their socials and visit their website.  Let it Roll is available here.