Savannah singer-songwriter Jason Bible has a remedy for writer’s block.
It’s a Johnny Cash poster on the wall of his home studio.
In the poster, the deceased country legend says, “I love songs about horses, railroads, land, judgment day, family, hard times, whiskey, courtship, marriage, adultery…”
And it goes on and on.
Bible, one-fourth of the hard-working Savannah band The Train Wrecks, is prone to pick a word and go with it.
“What I like to do when I get home late is just turn on the computer, hit ‘Record’ with a couple of mics and sit on that stool and just play,” Bible says. “Stream of consciousness is how I write now.”
Bible approaches songwriting from this kind of story-filled country music background.
But it’s not the only style that he and his band mates have floating around in their heads.
Lately, The Train Wrecks intentionally have been moving away from the Americana and roots music influences that defined their earlier albums.
It seems that train to Folsom Prison really does keep a movin’.
“We don’t have to be boxed into playing just freight train beat or just big rock songs,” Bible says. “It’s nice to be able to mix it up a bit.”
“We Roll On” is the band’s third album.
It’ll be released at a party at The Jinx on November 22nd.
Once you get it, expect references from a much wider variety of inspirations, including The Beatles, Motorhead and even Ravi Shankar.
The songwriting, however, remains water-tight and memorable.
“As songwriters, we try to cut back all the fat that we can, tell the story and get out of there,” Bible says.
The title track, a barn-burning anthem of independence, is perhaps the catchiest.
It’s also taken, in part, from “The” Bible:
Forty days and 40 nights
Our legs our sore, our bellies tight
We burn our feet on desert sand
Lead us to that promised last
Passed them tablets all around
They lined us up and they cut us down
We roll on, we roll on, we roll on
And the band has rolled on to new production models, too.
We Roll On” has more of a live and “on-stage” feel than their previous efforts.
Some extra time at Savannah’s Elevated Basement studio made that possible.
We did a lot of harmony vocals on this album that we haven’t done on previous albums as much,” Bible says.
The track “Soft Landing” features that beautiful chorus.
In it, you can just imagine the guys singing around a microphone to you.
Another well-executed ballad is “What Gets Left Behind.”
Bible describes that last one as the band’s first recorded break-up song.
(And I’m not going to psychoanalyze that. That topic is on the Johnny Cash poster, after all.)
Total rockers and party songs round out the album.
In short, the twelve tracks simultaneously remind us of everything we love about this nine-year-old band while also giving us a fresh new face to stare at.
And speaking of a fresh new face, the band has a new drummer, Jeremy Hammons.
He joins Bible, bassist Eric Dunn and guitarist Stuart Harmening on the album.
And speaking of staring, don’t look too hard at that Johnny Cash poster.
Here’s a man who said “Johnny was the nice one. Cash caused all the trouble. And they fought.”
Today, you just might pick the wrong word and get yourself a bloody nose.