Austin-based singer-songwriter Paul Nipper has spent the last several years hitting all the honky-tonks in the Lone Star State, delivering his gritty, whiskey-soaked country to the masses. The Texas troubadour is gearing up to release his sophomore album, Kamikaze Heart (out on May 19). Co-produced by Nick Jay and Mike Harmeier (of Mike and the Moonpies), the record promises a mix of stone cold country gold and progressive outlaw country ala Waylon Jennings.
Today, we're premiering the album's rambunctious opening track, "Asphalt and Heartaches." The song, an ode to the ramblin' life, is an anthem for road warriors and anyone with a dream.
"It's asphalt and heartaches out on these heartworn highways, nobody wants to go home," Nipper sings, referencing the iconic 1976 documentary that chronicled a band of Texas and Tennessee songwriters, such as Guy Glark and Townes Van Zandt, instrumental in forming the Outlaw Country movement.
It's on those heartworn highways that Nipper has gained his inspiration. He sings of searching for "devil women to break our hearts so we can write good songs."
Much like Van Zandt and the artists of Heartworn Highways, Nipper sings of living for the sake of the song. And he damn sure does it well.
Steel guitar-driven with a rolling honky-tonk rhythm, the song sounds like a night spent closing down a Texas roadhouse. Or a night spent sitting around Guy Clark's kitchen table.
If "Asphalt and Heartaches" is any indication, Paul Nipper is taking his place among a new generation keeping authentic country music alive.
Kamikaze Heart drops on May 19. You can pre-order the album now via iTunes or Bandcamp.