PREMIERE: Allison de Groot and Tatiana Hargreaves Ask Why ‘Each Season Changes You’
For Allison de Groot and Tatiana Hargreaves, traditional stringband music isn't about breaking boundaries, but using the music to resonate with the aspects of the past worth holding onto: community, solidarity, and family. On the duo's upcoming album Hurricane Clarice, out March 25 on Free Dirt Records, they search for hope in a dying world, summoning the ghosts of the past to brace us for the challenges of the future.
"Each Season Changes You," premiering exclusively today on The Boot, exemplifies de Groot and Hargreaves' mining the past for contemporary pleasure. While the song is associated with the original King of Country Music, Roy Acuff, the duo learned it through Rose Maddox.
"Rose Maddox (1925-1998) was a fixture in the West Coast country music scene but as she got older, she struggled finding country music gigs," the duo explain. "She eventually found herself more accepted in the bluegrass community, who revered her as an elder." de Groot and Hargreaves cheekily refer to it as a song about seasonal depression.
In the song, the narrator compares how their lover's behavior has changed throughout the course of their relationship. The pair use their chemistry to create tension in the song's sunny melody, calling into question the lover's true intentions. de Groot's omnipresent clawhammer banjo anchors the song, setting the pace for the number as a boot-stomper rather than a ballad to an unstable lover. Hargreaves' fiddle cuts through the backdrop, as if confronting the lover in spite of their excuses.
"We worked this song up on a West Coast tour probably back in 2019," the pair told The Boot. "It was interesting arranging a more straight-ahead country song for the duo format. In the past a lot of our songs have come from brother duet singing or ballads, which translates a little more easily to the pared down format. With this one, we started by just playing through the melody, trying to make it feel like a tune we would play."
"Allison experimented with different tunings in the key of F, eventually settling on the Last Chance tuning which leaves a lot of beautiful ambiguity. This ambiguity allows our version to not really follow a chord structure, highlighting the melancholic theme of the song. Alice Gerrard told me that one time when she was watching Rose Maddox perform, Rose announced a song by saying “this one’s in the key of F, the key of love”. So, this one is in F, the key of love… and moody melancholic seasonal changes."
Hurricane Clarice will be available on March 25 from Free Dirt Records. You can pre-save or pre-order the album here.