Hackensaw Boys - Oval Room (Single)
On the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump's presidential inauguration, roots music stalwarts Hackensaw Boys speak to America's political unrest in a new single "Oval Room" (out Jan. 19). Written and recorded by Blaze Foley in the 1980s, the song recalls his list of grievances with the Reagan presidency: "Everywhere he goes, make the people mad / Makes the poor man beg, and the rich man glad." The band was excited to resurrect this protest gem—which was recorded by their friend Thomas Olivier at Studio Americain in Amsterdam—as the words seem more timely than ever. Hear the story in their own words:
Ferd showed us "Oval Room" while we were on tour in Europe and the lyrics were spot on with how some of us were feeling about the negative political climate in our country, and, for that matter, around the world. We immediately knew we wanted to record our interpretation of this timeless song. It’s worth noting that Blaze Foley had Ronald Reagan in mind when he wrote this song in the early 80s, yet we feel the words fit just as well with Trump and other dangerous heads of state around the globe. It’s ironic that Blaze’s melody feels fun and light-hearted. One can’t help but sing along happily to his words—words that, in truth, are so dark and shamefully still relevant today.
The photograph used on the cover was taken by Jason Lappa - an amazing photographer from our hometown of Charlottesville, VA. Jason isn't at all a fan of the type of music we play, but it felt totally right to put our work side-by-side; it feels like a symbol for the need to join forces as artists and humans in these troubled times. Jason captured this image on Trump's inauguration day in DC. Dangerous leadership can create an extremely polarized divide amongst citizens - a divide designed to tear people apart and thus give more power to the state. When a country's leadership doesn't take care of the needs of the majority of its people, undermines our health and well-being and fills the public forum with hate, violence can erupt. We're at the brink in America, and this image really gets to the heart of that.
"It's a wonder that this song is still as relevant as it is today as when Foley first recorded it, and in this case, that wonder isn't such a blessing. What the Hackensaw Boys are doing here are taking on the torch from Foley and respecting his work by embodying every bit of the passion that he had for justice in their performance." - Jonathan Frahm, PopMatters
Catalog Number: DIRT-EE-0088