Interview: The Lawsuits
Brian Dale Allen Strouse Is Not Settling
Words by Audra Tracy
The Lawsuits are certainly making headlines this month. The Philly-based folk rockers just dropped a new record, Cool Cool Cool on October 1st, and they’ve been spreading the love all over the Northeast with a series of shows including a stop at the CMJ Music Marathon in New York City.
We find guitarist/vocalist Brian Dale Allen Strouse day-drinking on Orchard Street, gearing up to play Tammany Hall with his band later in the afternoon. For now, as Strouse awaits his 4:30 set that will kick off Big Picture Media’s stacked CMJ showcase, he took a few moments to chat with us about Cool Cool Cool, and the virtues of not settling.
“We were open-minded to making an album that all had different kinds of songs on it”, he says of the new LP. “It’s certainly a very eclectic mix that includes a wide range of genres. I think it’s the best thing we’ve done to date.”
Like other revivalist acts such as Dr. Dog or J. Roddy Walston & The Business, The Lawsuits have dipped their collective pen in the ink of some iconic musical forefathers. At times, the album sounds like these kids were jamming out in Levon Helm’s big wooden barn in Woodstock – especially on the feel-good track ‘Odd Like a Hymn’. Or having a late-night sing-along with Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, like on ’10 Cent Piece’. Or scribbling away in Bob Dylan’s notebook, as you’ll hear throughout ‘Dreaming #26’.
Cool Cool Cool was recorded in the Strouse’s home-state of Pennsylvania along with band-mates Vanessa Winters (vocals), Brendan Cunningham (bass), and Josh Friedman (drums). And while for past releases, Strouse sat in the producer’s chair, this time around The Lawsuits enlisted Bill Moriarty (Dr. Dog, Man Man) to back them up.
“Bill’s an incredibly talented individual, there’s no denying his skill or ability”, Strouse shares. “I think more so than anything, he really kind of gave us this confidence. With all the previous releases, it was just me doing every one, so we would, you know, settle. And we didn’t settle on this one necessarily…we were confident with everything we did, so were always pleased with the end result.”
10/24 – Rockwood Music Hall – New York, NY
10/31 – T.T. The Bear’s – Cambridge, MA
11/2 – Tavern On Broadway – Newport, RI
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