Raelyn Nelson Band Flaunt Country, Punk Influences on New Album ‘Don’t’
The Raelyn Nelson Band further the country storytelling of their namesake's grandfather, Willie Nelson, and honor the rock lineage referenced by their cover art choices on their new album -- their first full-length project -- Don't. Nelson and her bandmates released their brand-new album on Friday (Nov. 8).
"It's basically a journal of the last few years of my life," Nelson shares of the record with The Boot. Until now, the band has chosen to release singles only; they'll probably continue with that plan, the singer says, but they wanted a complete album out in the world as well.
For a taste of the Raelyn Nelson Band's twangy take on rock 'n' roll, look no further than the music video for the album cut "Weed and Whiskey," a pop-accessible punk take on a cause near and dear to the Nelson family: the legalization of marijuana.
"Every one of us has been affected by [the opioid crisis] in some way or another," Nelson shares. "It's been scientifically proven that weed can help people get off opioid addictions, and it's also just a safer alternative to even alcohol, and it has many health benefits ... It's a way to have fun and sing about things we like to do, but also have a little message in there."
The "Weed and Whiskey" video and other clips from the band's creative endeavors or busy tour schedule show Nelson as the ukulele-slinging leader of a band often summed up as Loretta Lynn meets Cheap Trick. Nelson certainly mirrors Lynn's take-no-prisoners attitude, while her right-hand man, guitarist Jonathan Bright, brings the showmanship of Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen.
Don't continues the Raelyn Nelson Band's trend of celebrating its rock influences through its record covers. The color scheme and lettering mirror Elvis Presley's self-titled 1956 debut.
Punk-rock pioneers the Clash's 1979 album London Calling recycled that aesthetic with a photo of bassist Paul Simonon smashing his instrument onstage. That gets copied, too, with Nelson shown in the process of smashing her uke. Prior RNB releases have paid homage to iconic images of the Ramones and the Who.
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