Kirk Kiefer of Yardsale enters the sanctum and finds … softball questions.
LEO: Name of the album.
Kirk Kiefer: Knock Alley West.
LEO: Who did you all record with?
KK: We recorded at Downtown Studios with Billy Bartley engineering, with some additional overdubs engineered by Jordan Forst.
LEO: How has the band evolved?
KK: Yardsale’s gone through a number of lineup changes, and each of those lineups might as well be a different band. This lineup, which we’ve had for a couple years, is definitely the tightest and most creative that we’ve had. We’ve become much more democratic — everyone offering ideas and having say-so — and there’s a much greater emphasis on finding the best arrangement for a song, rather than just playing it however it comes out initially. We’ve managed to weed out the weak links and become a well-oiled, twang-rock machine. Stylistically, I think there’s a more rockin’ edge this time out, though there’s still plenty of twang as well.
LEO: Any curveballs we should be aware of?
KK: The album has a horn section on a number of tracks, as well as backing vocals by the Sandpaper Dolls on a big chunk of the album. Not sure if that’s really a curveball, but it’s something.
LEO: Any lineup changes?
KK: We’ve managed to retain the same lineup (Jacob Lee: rhythm guitar, harmonica, vocals; Kirk Kiefer: bass, vocals; Colin Garcia: drums, backing vocals; Chris Scott: lead guitar, backing vocals; Andrew Rhinehart: keyboards, guitar, mandolin, backing vocals) since our last release, a live EP (Yardsale This Week) that came out last year. Knock Alley West has the aforementioned horns and Sandpaper Dolls, with a couple other guests, like Freakwater’s Catherine Irwin, Neil Hulsewede on pedal steel, and Jordan Forst of Adventure, but the band is the same.
Adrianne Archie joins us on the LEO Music Cast for lengthy musings on her new album, HSMS. Listen at Bluegrass Catastrophe, bluecat.leoweekly.com.