Sunday, May 3, 2015

Song Of The Week: 5/3/15

Song: "Cross Tie"

Artist: Avail

Album: "Over The James"

Year: 1998

"Cross Tie", to me, appears to be a song about a drifter. Someone who hitches rides on cargo trains to new destinations to basically experience life or the atmosphere of somewhere new. He stays long enough to get a feel for the place then hops the train again to the next random destination. Not sure he's searching for something particular, it seems he's just not content with staying in one place for too long. The themes of railroad tracks, drifting from town to town and being a loner are themes that Avail vocalist Tim Barry would really capture as a solo performer later on. Avail formed as a band back in 1987, hailing from Richmond, Virginia. Originally, the band consisted of Joe Banks, Doug Crosby, Brian Stewart and Mikey Warstler and they recorded two demos. Eventually, only guitarist Joe Banks would remain but he hooked up with LDK's Tim Barry to continue on with Avail. Barry actually played drums on the band's first EP, but shortly moved to lead vocals. In 1992, Avail signed on with Lookout! Records and released their debut album "Satiate". In 1994, "Dixie" was released featuring a cover of John Mellencamp's "Pink Houses". 1996 saw the band release "4AM Friday" which featured one of the band's signature songs, "Simple Song". In 1998, Avail released the album "Over The James". In 2000, Avail hooked on with infamous punk label Fat Wreck Chords who released and distributed the band's 5th album, "One Wrench". Fat Wreck would also release Avail's next album, "Front Porch Step" in 2002. This album featured a music video for the song "West Wye". During the course of 11 years, Avail released 6 full length albums, several EP's and three live albums. The band's catalogue with Lookout! Records was later re-released through Jade Tree Records, featuring bonus content. Currently, although Avail never officially disbanded, their last release was in 2002 and the last time the band performed live was in 2007. Vocalist Tim Barry has focused most of his time on his solo career which is basically acoustic, folksy, roots music and he's released several solo albums. Guitarist Joe Banks has played in a band called The Ghost Run since 2009. Avail is a well respected hardcore punk band and in their hometown of Richmond, Virginia, the band is iconic. They are as blue collar as blue collar can get and they represent the hard workers and the physical laborers of their close knit community.

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