"The latest offering from our JAC World imprint comes by way of Boulder Junction, Wisconsin. Boulder Junction is a northern woodland town of 958 city residents and 194 lakes within 9 miles of town; originally a logging settlement at the turn of the 20th century before the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps replanted its forests into a lush sylvan setting in the 1930’s. Known as the Musky Capitol Of The World, it’s a region which fosters rustic, pastoral living. On its waterways and under its wide open skies, many live simply and by the rod and reel. On High Country Skyway, R Boyd has managed to take these themes and both sing about them plainly and tie them into more ambitious ideas.
Not unlike The Beach Boys of the early 1970’s, Boyd weaves nostalgia into anecdotes about industry, technology, poisonous political discourse, and societal escapism. He does so with a particular midwestern twang; not a boogie joint twang and not a honky tonk one either. It’s a musical vernacular of innocent wonder; a reflection of the rural barnyards and verdant pastures of the geographic region. Some might recognize Boyd from his time spent in Green Bay garage rock group The Jukeboyds in the early 2000’s, or as singer and vocalist in the early incarnation of The Midwest Beat, or in a short lived position as guitarist in Milwaukee rock group Jaill, or as drummer of The Goodnight Loving: a jangly rock n roll band with a through-line to early organic American music like bluegrass and country folk. His musical past is evident on High Country Skyway, and it’s complimented by his backing group Dusk- a group that for all intents and purposes often sculpts the very sound of our label as frequent session stand-ins, collaborators, and creative minds. They lend a sound to this album that flows loose and strikes hard where it needs to. It’s a quality that’s become a well-known trademark of their certain acoustic.
High Country Skyway was produced at our studio facility- all of the basic tracking done with the players and amplifiers in one room; bleed be damned. It features two extra special guest appearances by Boyd’s former bandmates in The Goodnight Loving and The Midwest Beat (respectively): Andy Harris and Matt Joyce. As this record finds its way into the world beyond our live tracking room, it’s still hanging in the air here; permanently a piece of our history and one day a relic of this place and time: an unpretentious haven in an era of looming uncertainty and desperate personal retreat."
released July 31, 2020
R Boyd - lead vocal, electric & acoustic guitar, drums, shaker, harmonica, jaw harp, finger cymbals, glass dongers, tambourine
Amos Pitsch - bass guitar, lead guitar, drums, piano, Hammond M3, vocals, sandpaper, tambourine
Julia Blair - electric & acoustic piano, accordion, vocals, shaker
Ryley Crowe - electric guitar, pedal steel guitar, mandolin, drums, vocals
Tyler Ditter - electric guitar
Colin Wilde - drums, shaker, Hammond M3, electric guitar
Andy Harris - bass guitar, electric guitar, electric piano, organ
Matt Joyce - organ, shaker, vocals
Produced by Amos Pitsch and R Boyd at Crutch Of Memory Studios in Appleton, Wisconsin. Mastered by Justin Perkins at Mystery Room in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
All songs written by R Boyd; Arranged by R Boyd & Dusk.
Artwork and layout by Amos Pitsch with additional direction from R Boyd, Julia Blair, and Andy Harris. Front cover road photo by R Boyd. Front cover portrait photo by Amos Pitsch. Rear cover portrait photos by Amos Pitsch and Julia Blair. Cloud drawings by Andy Harris.
Album bio by Amos Pitsch
Released via JAC World; A Division Of Crutch Of Memory Enterprises, 2020
Buy the vinyl: