Markus Cuff
Markus Cuff

PREMIERE: The Romanticization of Americana On Its ‘Railroad’

When people think of Americana, they often think of blues, country, and even jazzy soundscapes. What it really is, and what this new compilation drives home, is the importance of genuine storytelling.

Today, The Aquarian is honored to premiere a song and video off of Americana Railroad. This record is a clear passion project and an intricate, harmony-laden tale of how to use music to tell a story, as well as connect generations, inspire one another, and find a home in sounds. There is practically relentless musicianship through the album with standouts and moments for every listener. Deborah Poppink’s number, “People Get Ready,” we are certain is going to be a fan favorite. The singer twinkles and croons over acoustics that are ready for a backwoods club or Carnegie Hall – no in-between. She’s an elegant songstress and someone whose roots and in roots… music that is. You feel her homegrown musicality and passion for the creative in everything she does. Her spot on Americana Railroad, an album that tells of the inner-workings and experiences of the U.S., is no different and we are proud to showcase that here.

The Aquarian also had the pleasure of chatting with someone else who had a hand in building out this layered piece of art and clever celebration of song: Carla Olson. A multi-talented singer-songwriter for decades and a dedicated producer whose care for her craft shines on this record. She took some time to tell us about Americana Railroad, her work within it, and the impassioned roads that overlap but got her here.

Having worked with such notable people, and such a wide variety of such, we wanted to know if the way you approach music changes as you work alongside each artist and album?

Absolutely – there are changes with every project/artist. I always defer to the artist’s wishes and perceptions and find that gets the best results.  If a calibration is required to get a better sound or arrangement you’ll find the artist is more receptive.  I want them with a finished record that they want to hear time and time again.

What about this record, this overarching Americana project, mean to you as a songstress and as a music lover?

Because the idea of a train album has been with me for so many years, the pieces just fell into place once the songs and artists were decided upon.  Musicians are always going to be playing songs about trains; so much romanticism and metaphors attached to train travel and freight trains.

This record has just as much of a pure heart as it does consciousness. If you could describe it, though, the collection of songs as a whole, how would you do so? Can you sum up these songs, artists, and renditions in just a few words or is that too daunting for such narrative-based tracks?

I would say that each is a unique story that describes loneliness, intrigue, romance, vulnerability, vice, and (of course) movement.

Speaking of, what is your favorite number off of Americana Railroad? Whether it be to listen to or be behind-the-scenes of perfecting?

Dave Alvin wrote the perfect lyric for what he saw of America through the windows of “The Southwest Chief.” I am brought to tears when I hear this song.