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Exclusive: Hear The New Track From Jack McKeon – ‘Paler Shade of Blue’

jtpao 06/06/2024

Folk N Rock
Exclusive: Hear The New Track From Jack McKeon – ‘Paler Shade of Blue’

Brooke Stevens

When it comes to traditional folk, Americana, bluegrass, and the like, there’s perhaps no greater demand from readers here than for artists who embody authenticity and unvarnished talent. These genres just hit folks with the hunger for something real, something that speaks to the heart and soul. And what I can say about today’s premiere is, here you go.

We have here an exclusive first listen: “Paler Shade of Blue,” the latest single from Nashville-based bluegrass and Americana artist, Jack McKeon. The track is featured on his upcoming debut album, “Talking to Strangers,” releasing in just over two weeks on June 21st. You can pre-save the album at the following link, and for more information, visit his official website.

About the track, he comments:

Though I combed through roughly five years of songs to make this record, ‘Paler Shade of Blue’ was the oldest song to make the cut. I brought a loose melody and the opening riff to my co-writer Jacob Lineberry on a bitter cold winter day in late 2021. At the time, we had been working at a golf course together, and hadn’t had much work because of the weather.

This problem gave us a lot of time to write, and we sat around the house for the better part of a day, chipping away at this song until the concept became clearer to us. It was a day that, in retrospect, felt out of place in the general hustle of Nashville life – a writing session with no set end time, no gigs to run off to or part time jobs to clock in for.

We tossed around ideas until the evening, then I drove Jacob to Nashville Palace and went home. It wasn’t until a few days later I reflected on the song and pieced it together. ‘Paler Shade of Blue’ was a song I always believed in but never quite understood, and never felt like it got the appreciation it deserved. Once I heard the studio band bring it to life, I knew it was worth keeping around.

It’s kind of a reminder that sometimes, the best things happen when we least expect them. Those ideas we put aside, they might just surprise us later on down the line. Maybe they’ve been waiting for the right moment, the right circumstances, to blossom into something great. And this song is truly great.

“Paler Shade of Blue” creates a unique atmosphere. The lyrics may speak of sorrow, but the beautiful melodies and arrangements evoke a warmth that’s characteristic of the best bluegrass music. It’s reminiscent of the bittersweet joy found in the work of bands like Hot Rize, and Jack and the band pull this off so well.

The song seems to be a bit about soul-searching and some disappointment. It’s about dealing with all the complexities of life. There is this need for more carefree times as there is some reflection on fading youth and the bittersweet passage of time. The title of the track is a great metaphor that perfectly encapsulates the song’s themes. It captures the fading vibrancy of life, symbolizing both a loss of innocence and the growing distance between the present and the past.

Jack brings an aching beauty to this song, a kind of gentle melancholy that doesn’t drag you down, but rather makes you feel content in a way. With the warmth of his vocals, it helps convey and deal with passage of time, the inevitability of change.

So, again, you can check out your first listen right here. But as the sun falls from the sky, and a new day breaks, the official release will be out tomorrow on various streaming platforms. Be sure to check it out and save it to your playlist.

The post Exclusive: Hear The New Track From Jack McKeon – ‘Paler Shade of Blue’ appeared first on Folk N Rock.

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