Stacie Hestand – Raised Rowdy Contributor
We’ve already talked about John Baumann as part of Texas supergroup The Panhandlers (profiling all the members here) and his contributions to their debut album in our review, but a handful of lines from the track “This Is My Life” off that album probably say it best: “John’s an eloquent and pensive writer/turns a simple phrase into something brighter/pens it with the ease of an old dance hall savant”. If you listen to any of his music, it’s immediately clear how apt this description is; most of Baumann’s songwriting has a philosophical feel to it, but he keeps the sound and stories in his songs firmly rooted in the realm of down-to-earth, everyday experience. In other words, he can dive deep into tackling a heavy subject in a song, but puts it out there in a relatable way that doesn’t make a listener feel weighed down.
One of the main themes of his upcoming album Country Shade is one of those potentially heavy subjects: change. Ahead of the album’s June release date, Baumann is kicking things off with lead single “Next Ride Around the Sun”, which carries a message that’s especially timely to the pandemic-plagued world we’re all living in.
After a series of dancing opening notes, Baumann reminds listeners to make time for what’s really important in life: sitting down to drink a beer with your dad, letting your spouse know just how much they mean to you, and forgiving people while you still can. Focusing in on the fact that there’s no way of knowing what changes will come, and that “nobody’s got a day guaranteed”, Baumann’s vocals slide through the track’s laid back instrumentation to offer some sage advice:
“you should know as you age time is gathering speed
you can’t slow it down, you can’t turn it ‘round
nobody gonna get a rerun
make it count on the next ride around the sun”
Written solely by Baumann, the tune’s gentle melody and genuine delivery strike a balance that sparks reflection while finding a way to bring light to what’s undoubtedly a dark time for most people by focusing on the good things that we still have. “Next Ride Around the Sun” was recorded with the rest of the album at Modern Electric in Dallas, TX and is available for purchase on iTunes and for streaming on Apple Music/Spotify. You can also pre-order the album here if you like what you hear. For more on John Baumann, or to keep an eye out for news regarding the upcoming album, you can check out his Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or website.