The Wide Open Release ‘Long Road Home’
TEXAS-BASED DUO THE WIDE OPEN RELEASES LONG ROAD HOME
ON JAN. 12, JUST IN TIME FOR 30A SONGWRITERS FEST APPEARANCE
13-Track Collection Follows Flurry of Accolades for Bluesy Americana Purveyors
Including Independent Music Awards Nomination for Debut Album
LA GRANGE, Texas — Combining bluesy soul with hints of country and jazz, The Wide Open crafts a sound they like to call “soulful Americana.” The term perfectly describes the dynamic merger of songwriting skill, vocal power and instrumental chops displayed by the duo of Season Ammons and Allen Rayfield on their new album, Long Road Home, releasing Jan. 12 on their own Two Moon Records label.
The RV-traveling pair, now based in La Grange, Texas, are looking forward to revisiting their former stomping grounds on the sugar-sand beaches of Florida’s Gulf Coast. They’re among nearly 200 acts performing at the ninth annual 30A Songwriters Festival, which attracts roots music’s most esteemed and up-and-coming artists to South Walton, Florida, for four song-filled days.
Following their return to the 30A festival, they’ll perform at Panama City, Florida’s Ghetto Palace and Milton, Florida’s Imogene Theatre before returning to Texas for a swing through several Lone Star locales (see tour schedule below).
The album, recorded at producer Dave Percefull’s Yellow Dog Studio in Wimberley, Texas, follows The Wide Open’s lauded 2015 debut, We’ll Get By. That one earned a 2016 Best Americana Album nomination from the Independent Music Awards, bestowed annually at New York’s Lincoln Center. In 2017, the pair won Best Duo honors at Destin, Florida’s Beachcomber Music Awards, where Ammons also was named Best Songwriter and, for the third year in a row, Rayfield earned the Best Harmonica Player award. Before they teamed up on- and offstage, Ammons had won recognition as a regional finalist on the USA Network’s “Nashville Star” series — the same show that launched Miranda Lambert’s career.
Long Road Home’s first single is its title track, a gospel-funk blues with banjo, Wurlitzer organ and a Shovels & Rope vibe. The ballad “Raining in Memphis” is even bluesier and more soulful, with Ammons’ voice climbing from her low alto to a high, dramatic wail. “Rye Whiskey Blues” churns their harmonies together with fiddle, banjo, organ, harmonica, guitar and syncopated clog-dancing rhythms till they blend into countrified back-porch blues. Elsewhere, elements of southern rock, torchy jazz-blues, soulful swagger and gentle balladry emerge, making this an album of continuous surprises — and delights.
Yes, it’s soulful Americana, all right. Roots music at its finest, from a pair of pros with a future that’s undeniably wide open.
Upcoming Tour dates
Jan. 12-14 – 30A Songwriters Festival, South Walton, Florida
Jan. 19 – The Ghetto Palace, Panama City, Florida
Jan. 20 – Imogene Theatre, Milton, Florida
Feb. 1 – The Prelude, Harlingen, Texas
Feb. 2 – Medina Highpoint Resort, Medina, Texas
Feb. 3 – The Bugle Boy, La Grange, Texas
Feb. 5 – KORA-FM Parking Lot Series, Bryan, Texas
Feb. 7 – Sam’s Burger Joint, San Antonio, Texas
Feb. 8 – The Firehouse Saloon, Houston, Texas
Feb. 9 – Lola’s, Fort Worth, Texas