Gunboat Diplomats isn’t your typical band. As we reported in 2017, this band focuses on recording and distribution across various media instead of relying on group gigs to survive.
Our Christmas mail brought news of two songs Gunboat is releasing from the new album titled “Manifest Destiny.”
As is the case with the rest of this band’s music, the two songs are different in style and lyrical approach.
“I’m not Going Back to Jacksonville” is a meditation framed in country lyrics and rock, but this song digs deeply beneath the surface of emotional failure. Thankfully, it doesn’t have a pickup truck. Every country song these days with a lead male vocalist seems to have a pickup. The songwriter curves lyrics into a nice poetic meditation with lines like these:
“So what’s the use, what’s done is done
I cut ’em loose then cut and run
And once that line is crossed
Just figure up the cost
Maybe I lost more than I won”
The second song, “Beneath a Solemn Sky”, reaches for redemption with an approach often found in formal poetry. I like redemption songs, and songs about faith, and the final line comes close to the turn in a sonnet:
“A sad lament for the penitent who are damn well sanctified”
As I listened, I thought of a new song Rebecca wrote—it’s one of my favorites. “Living Room Blues and Faith” is an assessment of organized faith and the value of the individual. Maybe it’s the times that have indie musicians tackling themes cookie cutter musicians shy away from.
The music of Gunboat Diplomats aside, the band’s website is also a great source of information for indie musicians and fans. Musings on musical styles, developments in the industry, and news about the band’s success create great sticky content for the website. If you’re looking for a place to listen to good music and read, check out Gunboat Diplomats’ website or Facebook page.
Meanwhile we can look forward to the full album. The Gunboat Diplomats band comprises musicians who have lots of talent and experience, so we can expect more of the best to continue to come.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Jan. 2, 2018)