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THE WARDEN RELEASES DEBUT, SELF-TITLED SOLO ALBUM OCTOBER 9TH VIA IDOL RECORDS

THE WARDEN RELEASES DEBUT, SELF-TITLED SOLO ALBUM OCTOBER 9TH VIA IDOL RECORDS


“There
is a gag order, so I can’t tell you no more,” sings The Warden on
“Salvation,” one of the twelve tracks on his debut solo album, set for
release on October 9, 2015 via Dallas, Texas indie label, Idol Records. 
“Salvation” is a story of touring the country in a struggling band,
drinking way too much, and the glory of youth.  One of the many honest,
intriguing stories of The Warden’s adventurous life, documented on his
debut record.
“[The
song ‘Salvation’] allows me to relive my 20s,” says The Warden, at a
ripe 37 years of age.  “I marvel about going on the road now, like I
used to, when I was a teenager.  That being said, when I was actually on
the road, sleeping in a van, in January in a Home Depot parking lot, in
Ypsilanti, Michigan, it wasn’t necessarily living up to my
expectations.  ‘Salvation’ is a nice slice of nostalgia mixed with a
little bit of a warning message.”
Now,
you’re probably asking yourself, “who is The Warden?”  He is East
Dallas, Texas resident musician Ward Richmond, a fixture on the local
scene who has toured internationally with projects such as Slick 57 and
Boys Named Sue, among others, where he’s held down the bass,
songwriting, management duties, and sometimes vocals of these local
music legends.  This time, though, he’s picking up the guitar and making
all of the decisions by himself.
While
still an active member of Dallas’ country outfit Boys Named Sue (voted
“Best Country Band” in Dallas, Texas – 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010), he ended
up writing a handful of songs on his own, inspired by the birth of his
daughter, Betty Sue, and recorded them with just his acoustic guitar on
his iPhone.  Eventually, he handed his tunes over to his longtime
friend, and musical cohort, Robert Jason Vandygriff (from notable Dallas
bands The Von Ehrics and RJV & Hell County Revival), and Jason
talked him in to making a solo record.
“These
songs are all pretty personal so I didn’t really want to create an
opportunity for three other dudes to modify songs that I was already
perfectly content with,” he says of his decision to make a solo record. 
“Boys Named Sue is a very collaborative effort and these weren’t the
right tunes for that project.”
After
about a week and a half of recording, at the legendary Echo Lab in
Argyle, Texas (where Old 97’s, Centromatic, Polyphonic Spree, and
Slobberbone have worked), magic happened.
“It turned out better than I expected,” he says with joy.  “Jason had the vision and executed above all expectations.”
Self-described
as “East Dallas honky tonk,” the record mixes foot-stompin’ honky tonk
and authentic, Texas-style storytelling with a slight dash of Southern
punk rock, resulting in a countrified memoir looking back over the past
fifteen years of The Warden’s life, presenting tales of lifelong
friendships, falling in and out of love, and the wild-ass adventure that
happened along the way.
“It’s
pretty much lyric-driven,” he comments.  “Our goal was to up the
quality of the music in order to kick a little extra ass, and add some
excitement to the lyrics.  Basically, it is a tonked up autobiography
with a little fiction thrown in for good measure.  It’s much easier for
me to approach it this way, as a tonk album – and probably more
entertaining for others – than attempting to write an actual book.”
He didn’t do it by himself, though, which is something he wants to point out.
In
addition to Vandygriff producing the record, and Echo Lab’s Dave
Willingham behind the boards, he enlisted the help of a blistering honky
tonk orchestra made up of his friends (not to mention, some of the best
damned talent the State of Texas has to offer), including Chad
Stockslager (The Drams, The King Bucks, Hard Nights Day), Bruce Alford
(Jack Ingram, 1100 Springs, Stoney LaRue), Dan Phillips (True Widow,
Slowride, Reverend Horton Heat), and Burton Lee (1100 Springs, Mike
& The Moonpies).  He also convinced local stalwarts Madison King,
Leslie McDonel (American Idiot), and John Pedigo (Slick 57, Boys Named
Sue, The O’s) to join him in the studio.
McDonel’s
gospel vocals make “County Line” come alive.  A love song about new
beginnings, it’s rollicking rhythm section melds perfectly with The
Warden and McDonel’s hard-charging vocals.  Meanwhile, the old Slick 57
punk tune, “Bullets,” gets re-worked into a country duet, with The
Warden and Madison King’s voices melding into a warm, though still
ragged, hungover, regretful number.
The
album isn’t all honky tonk, though.  The Southern rock of “Little
Darlin'” and the piano-filled, hometown anthem “Livin’ In The EDT,”
gives you a taste of rock from the eyes of the South.
One
thing is for sure; after listening to The Warden, you will want to live
vicariously through the album again and give it another spin.  Sit down
and have a beer with The Warden and you’ll likely hear tales about
opening for Waylon Jennings, sneaking onto Willie Nelson’s tour bus, and
joining Billy Joe Shaver onstage to sing “Honky Tonk Heroes.”
A
true Texan, proudly born and raised in East Dallas (The EDT), this
debut album is a testament to the fact that The Warden works hard each
day at the art of livin’ life properly.
Famed
tattoo artist, and friend, Oliver Peck even designed the logo for the
cover art.  Originally, this album was not self-titled; yet, after
seeing Peck’s logo design for him, The Warden decided to just make the
record self-titled.
“Oliver came up with a sweet logo, and I felt like it was good looking enough to ditch the album title,” laughs The Warden.
As
he sings in “High Life,” “Miller High Life is the cure for when we are
not sure of if we’ll get some money in the bank,” this record is the
cure for anyone that doesn’t feel like they’re living life to the
fullest.  Put this on, get inspired, or just laugh and drink, and
experience The Warden.
Remember, he’s just an East Dallas boy that woke up one day and wrote a handful of songs to put a smile on your sweet mouth.

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