J Roddy Walston and The Business
j roddy walston is not soft like someone born into privilege, but he does bear the hesitant scars of a man who fought his way out of a pedigree.
yoked from day one to a musical lineage that included “both kinds of music – country and gospel.”
he was told with regularity that it was close to sin to play either for any reason but God and Family.
and that when the city comes courting with contracts and such he was expected to follow tradition…and walk away.
“a weight is kindly put upon you with a heritage, and a choice comes to you in time, at that point you can just become an extension or you can get born and grow legs of you own.”
it is a stranger south that j roddy walston lived in, a place where radio gave equal ear to classic rock, hell-fire evangelists, and the elephant six.
powered and inspired by this mixture of art, spirit, and temptation he left home, in as much an attempt to bring his kin due credit as to rebel against the very things they had stood for.
he followed a girl north enough, and landed in baltimore with a low budget sense of manifest destiny and a handful of high dollar songs.
an undecided magnet started to draw to him a group of players. first came the challenge and compliment of billy gordon a musical mirror-image of j roddy and then steve colmus a sportly southpaw with a heavy snare hand. in them raw power met story and neither would compromise.
they felt a city squeeze. they formed an intangible thumb, and they them turned into a fist.
knowing good and well that you can predict a purebred, j roddy walston and the business opted to create a monster of the unknown, they threw what seed and egg they had into an american grab bag and hit the road. bending highways and rearranging maps to their fancy, making a different america for itself.
vision casting a strange view of the states to all who would listen, their agenda seems to be some sort of anti-secession, a growing over, rather than a breaking away.
a ceaseless expansion of the world where the rust belt and bible belt have been grown together to form a rock and roll quilt that knows no end.
i have seen their world. they perform in a place where the hedonists and believers are cut from the same cloth.
well-educated blue collars from busted boom towns forced to school when the factory option was taken away.
blue bloods working for a dime instead of taking the family money. renters and owners, evangelicals and recovering Catholics, nine to fivers and the service industry.
they all touch there.
i stumbled through a one way door. i now have a knowledge of these beatnik/honkey tonks and i can’t seem to unknow it.
in these places j roddy walston and the business is the hometown band.