Songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Joel Hofmann plays at Riley’s Tavern in Hunter.
Joel Hofmann Band releases
On Sept. 1, the Joel Hofmann Band released its fourth studio album, “Gold Rush Town.” These 10 honkytonk-tested songs resonate like personal dispatches sent straight from the heart of Texas. Helmed by songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Joel Hofmann, who’s become a musical stalwart throughout Central Texas’s honkytonk belt, the Joel Hofmann Band has produced another of its signature country music albums that’s equal parts relatability and time-tested talent.
“Gold Rush Town” opens with its title track and debut single, a western- throated story Hofmann co-wrote with songwriter and bassist Ted Russell Kamp. Hofmann’s baritone vocals reveal the hopes of an untried gold prospector searching for the answer to a prayer — gold that’s always “deep in the ground.” (I will stay and stake my claim/’til the day Fate calls my name. /Oh, how it’s gonna glisten/Oh, how it’s gonna shine/ when I finally see the gold I’m bound to find.) The lyrics also reflect how we strive for whatever we find in life that is worth every effort. “It’s doesn’t have to be about panning for gold in 1890,” Hofmann’s quick to point out. “What is your life dream? Money, love, family, career…? Where you end up with your happiness, that’s your gold rush town.”
Another original, “Daughters,” pulls no punches while expressing the aching kind of love that comes with fatherhood. Layered with rootsy backroads guitar work, “The Day After” is a jumpy heartache song. The dark but true ballad “Pecos Jane” remembers a cruel victim of fate in West Texas. Lyrically lighthearted “Sweet Like Wine” was co-written (with clear intentions) by Hofmann and Mike Ethan Messick: “We thought, ‘Let’s write a song that’ll score some brownie points at home.’” There’s also a faithful and earnest take on Merle Haggard’s “The Longer You Wait.” For Townes van Zandt’s meditative “Loretta,” Hofmann explains, “I always liked the way Jesse Dayton did that song, so we stayed with that idea and picked up the rock energy.”
Recorded at the historic Riley’s Tavern near New Braunfels and Headwater Audio in San Marcos, “Gold Rush Town” features the seasoned musical craftsmanship of Western Swing Hall of Famer William “Billy Dee” Donahue (bass, songwriter), Texas Music Artist of the Year “Big” John Mills (guitar), Clay Rheinlander (drums), Ted Russell Kamp (bass, songwriter), Ace Pepper (guitar) and Tommy Detamore (pedal steel).
“Gold Rush Town” Track Listing 1. Gold Rush Town 2. The Longer You Wait 3. Daughters 4. The Love You Give 5. Pecos Jane 6. Loretta 7. When the Vow Breaks 8. The Day After 9. Sweet Like Wine 10. Writing on the Wall Available on CD and at iTunes, Spotify and all Streaming platforms.
For more information go to JoelHofmannBand.com and Facebook.com/joelhofmannband.