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The Stubborn Lovers Announce Single, “Drivin’ 22”

The new single from Portland band The Stubborn Lovers is a carefree ride down an open stretch of highway. “Drivin’ 22” is a 12-bar blues rave-up that captures the warm current of summer with a dip into childhood nostalgia. With an energetic drumbeat and amped up chorus, the melody revisits the local landmarks of yesterday. Korvette’s department store, the Leaning Tower of Pizza, and Channel Lumber, with its glowing neon sign, are all stops along the way on the afternoon ride. “Drivin’ 22” is off the upcoming album Mother Road, due out August 17. 

“Drivin’ 22” is an upbeat, foot-stomping and hand-clapping good time. Like a shot of energy, the electric guitars and infectious hooks leave a spark in the atmosphere. Although most of it was written a few years ago, many of the images in the lyrics, and specifically the phrase out on US 22, had been bouncing around for the past 30 years. Bassist and songwriter Jenny Taylor explains, “Ever since I started writing songs, I’d wanted to write a song about Route 22. It was the main east-west corridor through central New Jersey, where I grew up, and was like a little sister to the Mother Road, old Route 66. If 66 was the Main Street of America, 22 was, at the very least, the Main Street of New Jersey. It was a wonderland of stores and restaurants. It was where you went if you needed...well, pretty much anything. And, like Route 66, it had its share of roadside kitsch. At one point I probably could have written a suite of songs about Route 22, but I settled for combining them all into one.”

The new album, Mother Road, is steeped in the themes of family love and the ties that bind, and especially familial bonds among women. Taken from John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath, the title phrase refers to US Route 66, which carries the Joad family from Oklahoma to California. While that journey is mirrored in the album’s title track, for the band the phrase alludes to a greater sense of “The Road”, representing both the unbridled freedom of self-discovery and the nostalgic yearning to return home. Mother Road includes elements of ‘70s heartland rock, outlaw country, and desert Americana. It features songs like “Whiskey Sisters”, an anthem of female empowerment set to a boot-stomping country beat, and “Flowers of the Vine”, a spare and haunting tune inspired by the tattoos that helped spark the album’s themes.

About The Stubborn Lovers

Portland Americana band The Stubborn Lovers consists of Mandy Allan (lead vocals, acoustic guitar), Todd Melton (electric guitar, vocals), Michael “Pearl” Nelson (drums), Jeff Porter (pedal steel, resonator guitar), and Jenny Taylor (bass, vocals). They have opened for Robert Earl Keen, Lydia Loveless, and Lindi Ortega, and have performed at Doug Fir Lounge and The Aladdin Theater. Their upcoming album, Mother Road, is due out August 17.

Tour Dates

08.20 Mississippi Studios (Album Release Show), Portland, OR
09.14 Pengilly’s Saloon, Boise, ID
09.20 White Eagle Saloon, Portland, OR
09.21 Boon's Treasury, Salem, OR
09.22 Sam Bond's Garage, Eugene, OR

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Paul Corsi

When he’s not playing a show or practicing with his band Go Tiger, Go! he can be found at one of Detroit’s best new restaurants or taking in the sights and sounds that the area has to offer. He loves running, coffee houses, playing with puppies, and the occasional vortex of video games.

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