Chicago, Ill., native Brian Johannesen describes his music as “Midwestern, rustic, road-worn, introspective and restless.” He’s got reason to feel that way: As Johannesen worked on his second full-length album, Holster Your Silver, he closed on his first home in Iowa City, Iowa -- and just as that happened, his mother-in-law began a lengthy decline.

Cycles of endings, rebirth and that long phase of hunkering down and weathering the change characterize the album, which is due out on Jan. 31. But while Johannesen experienced a number of transitions this past year, he actually wrote the album’s title track in 2016.

“This is actually the oldest song on the album,” he tells The Boot. “I wrote it while I was still living in Nashville. It was right after the Iowa Caucus in 2016, and Bernie Sanders surprised Hillary Clinton with a virtual tie. While I was happy with this result, I couldn't help think about how devastating that must have felt for Hillary. I wondered if she understood where she had gone wrong, and how she would recover.

"That's where the idea came from," Johannesen adds. "It ended up being, in general, about asking for forgiveness and moving forward.”

In spite of its geopolitical origins, “Holster Your Silver” is an intimate, wind-swept ballad about resilience and healing. The pedal steel guitar and gradual crescendo of strings vividly illustrates the Midwestern plains Johannesen evokes in his lyrics. His plaintive singing puts us square in the middle -- of the country, his emotions and the devastating changes in his life. Yet the friendly rasp in the singer’s voice suggests that all things pass in time.

“After the couple of years I have had,” Johannesen observes, “I feel I need a good thaw.”

Holster Your Silver was produced by Ryan Joseph Anderson and recorded by Luke Tweedy at Flat Black Studios. Fans can learn more about the project, and keep up with Johannesen at

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