Reno, Nev. country-rock band Hellbound Glory take an earnest stab at capturing the wages of drinking, long after the pain subsides, with new single “Empty Bottles.” It pairs Leroy Virgil (vocals, lead guitar), John Schreffler Jr. (guitar), Jon Graboff (pedal steel), Eric “Rico” Peterson (lap steel), Aubrey Richmond (fiddle, background vocals), Ted Russell Kamp (bass) and Jamie Douglass (drums) with outlaw son Shooter Jennings’ production skills.
Virgil sings from the viewpoint of someone who’s lost the proverbial battle with the bottle. Although certain pain is purposefully wiped away, new issues arise. As Virgil puts it in song, “I don’t drink from the bottle. The bottle drinks from me.”
“I read that alcohol doesn’t make you forget, it actually shuts down the part of the brain that makes memories,” Virgil tells Wide Open Country. “So if you drink enough it’s like a part of your life never happened. You still have the memories you drink to forget but you don’t have to remember the pain those memories cause you. This song was rough to live through but writing it was easy. It just poured out of me.”
Virgil’s heartfelt lyrics and vocals match well with Jennings’ studio magic. After all, it’s the lush, pedal and lap steel-heavy soundscape that really ties the song together.
The song is a sneak peek at the band’s forthcoming album Pinball, out Oct. 13 via Jennings’ Black Country Rock.