Dragland is Adam Dragland, Michael Carney, and John Hollis.
by Walter Price (w/ Adam Dragland)
The inviting new single from San Francisco’s ‘folk/rock born high up in the hills’ outfit Dragland, is a peaceful easy feeling. Soft earthy vocals riding a smooth folk-rock bed reminiscent of a stripped-down Big Star as the Flying Burrito Brothers by a campfire. The accompanying Alex Hendriks directed video is an escape into nature with friends, memories, sounds, and a trusty bottle of whiskey. What more do you need…I asked Dragland’s Adam to tell me what more, and he kindly obliged in expanded detail.
“My first solo backpacking trip was an experience I’ll never forget, but not for the reasons I expected. I thought I’d be five miles out in a dark valley by myself, wrestling with the sounds of the forest and the voices in my head.
“The summer of 2015 had been crazy and I was a wreck. Michael, Jesse, James and I pulled the first “Gold Rush” together in three weeks time and left some pieces of our minds, bodies, and souls out there on the river banks in the process. The heat, the workload, and the moonshine all took their toll and Mark Lujan’s beautiful dog (and best friend), Coco, was also still missing out on the river.
“As I rolled away from San Francisco through the usual maze of highways that drop me off in my beloved Sierra, I got a call from Jaime informing me that Chickenhead had found Coco’s body under a pile of brush near the stage where 15 bands had played the weekend before. The consensus was that she dug herself in there to die, but was likely alive to hear all of the music. This brought a tear to my eye as I recalled having the whole crowd call her name, howling up and down the canyon during the Gold Minor set.
“As I rolled out 120 towards the big hills, my mind had just returned to my own troubles when I saw a wisp of black smoke against that blue California sky. As I got closer to the smoke, I saw that it was more of a pillar than a wisp and my heart began to race.
“I pulled off to the side of the road and jumped out of the car to see two cars engulfed in black flames in the roadway. I heard someone shout “There are kids in there!” as I scrambled for the Gold Rush fire extinguisher I’d had in the car….only to remember I had taken it out the night before. Three other men and I tried desperately to get to the cars to free whoever was trapped inside, but you couldn’t get closer than 50 feet without feeling your skin melt off. There were no fire trucks in sight, no ambulances, not even a bucket of water….we stood there together and watched three women we did not know burn.
“I drove on towards the mountains, delayed but no longer concerned with any troubles of mine. I cried. I called my dad. I marched my pack out to a beautiful corner of the Emigrant Wilderness with my guitar strung around my neck and built a fire as night fell. The whole time I’d been driving walking it felt like the Sierras were comforting me with the beautiful sky, welcoming me home and putting on a 21-gun salute sunset as a tribute to the three ladies whose faces I never saw.
“My fire started to glow after the sun went down and I raised my whiskey bottle in a tribute to the fallen, pouring a big gulp onto the fire. The resulting blue flash pushed my guitar and me back from the fire and it forced me to look up….the stars were paralyzing. My fingers instantly began to play a little riff on the guitar and before I knew it a song had just come out of me. It’s an anthem for coping and perspective in a world full of love and loss, I hope you find some meaning in it.
“The video features the land owner who donates his land every year for Gold Rush, Gulch Alley (my studio) puts a backwoods festival on in the Sierra every year. Since Coco the dog passed out there, the video is us younger folk going out there to pay tribute to the fallen dog by pouring whiskey on the fire, but the bottle accidentally changes hands a few times. It’s all shot on the land the festival takes place on….240 Acres in Gold Country. Alex Hendriks directed and edited it, and he has done all of the Gold Minor videos to date as well”
Thank you, Adam, for that backstory. And folks have a look at the new video for “Movin’ On” from Dragland.
Video produced, directed and edited by Alex Hendriks near Placerville, CA in the spring of 2017. Dedicated to the memory of Coco the dog.
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