Texan roots-rocker TOMMY HALE returns this month with his new album in eight years. And he’s sharing a track with Vive Le Rock!

‘Backburner’ is the first track to be released from the album Magnificent Bastard, which is released by the brilliantly-named Holiday Disaster label on 30 September. It’s available to buy on CD here and to download from iTunes.

Starting out more than 20 years ago as frontman of raucous Dallas rockers SWANK DELUXE, Hale has gone on the become a regular and reliable force on the Dallas-Fort Worth music scene. More recently he’s visited the U.K where he’s played dates with members of London bands THE SNAKES, MARK & THE CLOUDS and LIMOZINE. It’s this connection that led him to write and record Magnificent Bastard with them at Mooncalf Studio in rural Wiltshire.

Central to the album is the anthemic ‘Save Me (The Ballad of Odell Barnes, Jr)’, which finds him pondering the path and plight of a high-school friend who was accused of murder and ended up on Death Row. Hale describes this song, which he started to write eight years ago, as “the most important story of the record.”

“It really affected me,” he says of the moment he found out that Barnes, who Tommy hadn’t seen since his late teenage years, had been killed by lethal injection in 2001. “I don’t know if he did the murder or not, or anything like that, but I want people to know what it is and to know the story. I don’t know how popular that’ll be in Texas, because most people are a little bit more pro death penalty than I am, I guess.”

Hale is currently planning a series of UK dates for Spring 2017.


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