All songs written by Grant Langston.
Grant Langston – vocal, electric and acoustic guitar, organ and piano
Tonky Horkins – drums and percussion
John Ramey – bass on 4, 5, 6 , 8, 9, 10, 12
Josh Fleeger – bass on 1, 2, 3
Darice Bailey – piano, organ, vocals, and glockenspiel
Rich McCulley – guitar on 2
Craig Ferguson – pedal steel on 1 and 3
Johnny Hawthorn – electric guitar and lap steel on 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12
Chris Lawrence – pedal steel on 4
Jennifer Gibbons – backing vocal on 10
Arranged by Grant Langston, Darice Bailey, Tony Horkins, John Ramey and Johnny Hawthorn. Recorded at Station Studio House, Echo Park, California by Mark Rains, and Red Hill Studios, North Hollywood, California by Rich McCulley. Mixed by Mark Rains. Mastered by Reuben Cohen at Lurssen Mastering.
Honky Tonker Grant Langston’s newest album, Hope You’re Happy Now, is a step away from hard-edged Telecaster country that has been his stock and trade over the last decade.
Oh it’s still country music. It’s sad, and chocked full of booze, broken dreams and busted marriages. But this new record is dark, quiet and even somber. “I write a lot of ballads, and because of the places I play and the kinds of records I make it’s hard to use those songs. I wanted to just slow down and make an album that’s mostly about softer, darker material.”
A major source of inspiration for Hope You’re Happy Now turned out to be one of Willie Nelson’s darkest records, Phases and Stages. “I put together a large band and did a show where we played all of Willie’s Phases and Stages record in order. I got very familiar with the material and fell in love with his simplicity and subtlety. I decided that I should just follow my gut and make an old-school record that’s about quiet stories and steel guitars.”
In an interesting side note, Hope You’re Happy Now is the first album release for new label and music promotion company, California Roots Union, which was founded by Langston and fellow Americana artist David Serby. The organization was created to help bring national and international awareness to the rich history of California Country Music, as well as to promote real country music in Los Angeles. “There’s an entire generation of roots and country artists who have turned their back on the Nashville sound. That music certainly isn’t all bad, but it’s taken on a polish and posture that feels like 80′s rock. We think that when people hear real American roots music, they’ll fall in love with it.”
Thanks to Ethan Dempsey, Elizabeth Pearl and Catie who are the inspiration behind all this music. Thanks to Tony Horkins, who has been my partner for 15 years of performing and recording. Much thanks to all the people who labored to make this record happen. We did it the old fashioned way, with a group of musicians in a room together staring each other in the eye. Thanks to my friend and California Roots Union co-founder, David Serby. Finally, thanks to the venues, radio stations, writers, bloggers, and fans who keep buying the music and sharing the news.