Representing the small but mighty country music scene of the Seattle
region and the Pacific Northwest, Western Centuries is one of the most
well-beloved and well-regarded bands of the region, with a listenership
that extends well beyond the rainy West Coast from their reputation for
releasing excellent country music songs and albums that have helped set
the pace for honky tonk for the last few years.
With the title of their new album Call The Captain calling attention to how they’re a band with no real frontman, Western Centuries features Cahalen Morrison, who has quite a following all his own from his various country projects as both a frontman and collaborator, Ethan Lawton who is known for his earlier work in Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers, and Jim Miller
who became known through his efforts with Donna the Buffalo. Swapping
time on respective instruments and getting their fair share of
opportunities at center stage singing their self-penned songs, Western
Centuries is more a country music songwriting commune than a
conventional country band.
These boys have always had a bit of a
feel that reminds you of The Band, built in part from the timbre of the
voices of both Ethan Lawton and Jim Miller, and how they draw upon
Cajun and Arcadian traditions. Call The Captain seems to
embrace this characteristic even more than previous works, with songs
like “Heart Broke Syndrome” and “The Sentinel” feeling like they could
be lost tracks of Music from Big Pink. Where their last record Songs From The Deluge
was a strong and dedicated move towards traditional honky tonk, this
one gives you a bit more variety and an Americana vibe, while still
serving the traditional country listener.