Singer-Songwriter Colter Wall has announced Songs of the Plains, his highly anticipated sophomore album, will be released on Young Mary’s Record Co. via Thirty Tigers on October 12. In addition, he’s shared the second new song from the album, “Plain to See Plainsman,” a yearning ode for his rolling plains of Canadian homeland. In similar fashion, it follows “Calgary Round-Up” originally by Wilf Carter, the legendary Canadian traditionalist.
On “Plain to See Plainsman,” Wall is accompanied by the strums of a road-weary acoustic guitar, the faint patters of percussion and the high & lonesome warbles of acclaimed harmonica player Mickey Raphael. They quiver right along Wall’s deep and rich baritone adding an overcast of blue hues. While “Plain to See Plainsman” isn’t outright sad or downhearted, it does find Wall longing to return home.
Wall, whose breakthrough self-titled album was one of 2017’s shining moments, has naturally been pounding the pavement since his rise. Wall’s homesick blues is only matched by his ardent affection of his native Saskatchewan. “Plain to See Plainsman” is filled with a familiar romanticism seen in his young career.
Lines such as “wherever I wander, wherever I stray, the rustle of wheat fields start calling my name,” echo the sentiments. Throughout, he blends plainspoken truths with a specific vernacular that’s innately rooted in Wall’s upbringing and heritage.
“One thing I’ve noticed over the last few years, in the United States and playing in Europe, is that people all over the world really don’t know much about Canada at all,” Wall said in a press release. “When you talk about Saskatchewan, people really have no idea. Part of it is because there are so few people there. It’s an empty place—it makes sense that people don’t know much about it. But that’s my home, so naturally I’m passionate about it. With this record, I really wanted people to look at our Western heritage and our culture.”
Songs of the Plains features seven newly written Wall songs. In addition to “Calgary Round-Up” by Carter, the new album also features Billy Don Burns’ “Wild Dogs” and two traditionals, “Night Herding Song” and “Tying Knots in the Devil’s Tail.” As expected, Wall’s Songs of the Plains is deeply vested in time-honored and ancestral storytelling and folk songs.
Once again, Wall recorded with esteemed producer Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell) at Nashville’s RCA Studio A. Wall, who in addition to vocals, played acoustic guitar, was joined by fellow musicians Lloyd Green (pedal steel), Chris Powell (drums, spoons), Jason Simpson (bass), Raphael (harmonica), Blake Berglund (vocals) and Corb Lund (vocals).
Much of the remainder of the year sees Wall crisscrossing North America as well as a short run of European shows in September. For more information on Wall’s touring schedule, click here.
Songs of the Plains Track List:
1. “Plain to See Plainsman” (Wall)
2. “Saskatchewan In 1881” (Wall)
3. “John Beyers (Camaro Song)” (Wall)
4. “Wild Dogs” (Billy Don Burns)
5. “Calgary Round-Up” (Wilf Carter)
6. “Night Herding Song” (Traditional)
7. “Wild Bill Hickok” (Wall)
8. “The Trains are Gone” (Wall)
9. “Thinkin’ on a Woman” (Wall)
10. “Manitoba Man” (Wall)
11. “Tying Knots in the Devil’s Tail” (Traditional)