Bourbon Rain

The Train Wreck Endings

Taking to the road, chasing the winds of change, The Train Wreck Endings wind (and rock) their way through a journey where home is the place you're headed, though you never quite get there, and that's OK.

The melodies flirt with different genres and the lyrics explore a wide swath of topics, but a central theme is never far from the surface with Andy Hawk and the Train Wreck Endings.

The band’s sixth full-length album, Bourbon Rain, once again exudes the wanderlust of a troubadour, a soul that yearns to be anywhere but here, but still finds solace - and something special - in being nowhere at all.

This collection of originals walks down Beacon Street and recalls Hyannis, but it also celebrates the sweet melancholy of quiet introspection: sipping Old Styles “with the wigs and cigarettes,” a liquor store parking lot on a Sunday morning, and the colorful view from the back seat of a city bus.

Hawk, the frontman and primary songwriter, has honed his craft across nearly 30 years of music-making. The Train Wreck Endings have never sounded better or more secure in the kind of music they want to make, from the swaying harmonies of “Beacon Street” to the jangling toe-tap of “Who Knew.”

In “Once or Twice,” Hawk sits in a diner, listening to a “broken, lonely radio” that sings “broken, lonely songs,” and you know he wouldn’t have it any other way. - Aaron Portzline, May 2018

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Live at the Bitter End

The Train Wreck Endings

Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/168aeQBzP1K0qgaoBZz2Je?lt%3Bbr=&gt%3B=

Recorded live on December 18, 2017, at the legendary Bitter End in New York City.

"This album captures the Train Wreck Endings in their best environment, the live stage. This is a great live band, and these tracks deliver the experience of being at a show. It's rough and ready, 45 minutes bursting with energy and great original songs - plus, there's a tasty cover of the Who's 'The Kids Are Alright' sprinkled in for good measure. The best live album I've heard in a few years." - Darren Simmons Music Blog

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Once or Twice (Sun Studio Sessions)

Andy Hawk & The Train Wreck Endings

"Once or Twice" is a rollicking rock-n-roll song recorded at the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis.

The Train Wreck Endings traveled in late March 2016 to Memphis, Tenn., the birthplace of rock-n-roll, to record at the legendary Sun Studio. They walked and sang among the ghosts of Elvis Presley, Howlin' Wolf, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison. They played Jerry Lee Lewis' piano, sat at Larry Mullen, Jr.'s drumset (U2) and soaked in the atmosphere of giants. What the band produced is a single that chugs along a road filled with diners and bars and bowling alleys and blondes and Old Style beer. It's a fun journey, a rough and ready tune that captures the essence of a truly humbling place.

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American Vertigo

Andy Hawk & the Train Wreck Endings

Ride along with Sal Paradise & Dean Moriarty through truly American landscapes, road trips, characters, dreams, sadness, and joy. A song set about what it's like to be alive in the here and now, all the while paying tribute to all that got you this far.

FYI about American Vertigo

• Recorded in Austin, Texas, with Merel Bregante, one-time drummer for Loggins & Messina, The Dirt Band, and (most-impressive to me) Steve Martin on his hit “King Tut”…

• Mastered by the legendary Jerry Tubb in Austin @ Terra Nova Digital Mastering. • Cody Braun of Reckless Kelly played fiddle, harmonica, and mandolin on this album • Austin-based country singer Sarah Pierce (and her husband Merel Bregante) helped out on backing vocals. Merel played percussion on it. • Adam Marsland, formerly of ‘90s California band Cockeyed Ghost, played the lovely piano on “Chasing the Sun”.

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Shhh!!!

The Train Wreck Endings

A bluesy Americana album recorded live in the Potomac Falls High School library in November 2013.

NOTE: Debuted in the iTunes Top 20 downloads!

This album was recorded live in the library of Potomac Falls High School in Sterling, Va., on November 4, 2013, by Chris Murphy of RHL Audio. It leans heavily toward the blues, but includes some rock and Americana sounds, and it features the funky "Rum Talking" (written by Andy Hawk and guitarist Paul Bordelon), which opens the album.

The band set up amps among the bookshelves and managed to finish the entire 8-song session in just under four hours.

"Mason-Dixon Line" is a slice of dirty minor-key blues that moves along seductively and finds our narrator - who describes himself as "a sweaty carpetbagger with a bellyful of wine" - longing for the north but drawn to the south: "Lord, I miss the snow in Pittsburgh / and the Massachusetts fall / and the moon in old Ohio / Lake Michigan, it calls / but they'll never match the sweetness / in her honeysuckle sighs / down below the Mason-Dixon line."

Following that is the lighthearted and lively "Lipstick & Dynamite", a song about - yep - female wrestling. Characters like the Fabulous Moolah and Killem Gillem are real names, and the title was inspired by a documentary of the same name.

Next is the lovely ballad "Letting Go", written by Hawk and bass player Chuck Bordelon. Its spare arrangement allows the lyric to shine through: "Ever get the feeling you're driving away from all you know / the rear-view tears at you, the pull of the undertow..." It's about the bittersweet debt you have to pay for the privilege of being alive.

"Another Roadside Attraction" is the title track from the band's 2010 album, and this live rendition does justice to the original, as does "Midnight Run" (another by Hawk and Chuck Bordelon), a track from last year's "Sorta Kinda Maybe" CD. The live vibe brings it to life with a burst of energy.

A new song by Hawk and Paul Bordelon, "Gone Hollywood", feels like a sunny Southern California day, with tongue-in-cheek lyrics that illustrate the narcissism of many an aspiring (and delusional) star: "If I can't find the news I'll bite a dog / I'll get a plastic face and attitude / and change my name to Andy Hollywood..." Great stuff, delivered through a '60s Beachblanket Bingo surf sound.

Last, but not least, is "Think Too Much", a terrific Old 97s-like tune that opened the band's 2009 lo-fi "Tin Can Town". Here, it's given proper treatment, and it eclipses the original in feel, tempo, and authenticity. It's top-notch Americana music with great barroom lyrics: "It's 3 a.m. and I can't help but wonder what went wrong / though I fill my glass, it looks half-empty to me / I'm misty eyed, true and tried / alone with all I fear / I can't go back or forward while I'm here..."

Overall, this tight package of tunes maintains a high-energy live feel with a sound that's clean and clear. A wonderful example of the group's live act.

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Sorta Kinda Maybe

Andy Hawk & the Train Wreck Endings

The band’s fourth album is a happy-sounding mish-mash of rock, pop, blues, and roots music, but it’s held together with a string of lyrics that evoke the heaviness and desperation of striking out on a new path, and the longing, randomness, and freedom of the road. The ambitious 12-song album – which includes an 8-song bonus disc – ultimately depicts the pain and beauty of being alive. It’s joyous and sad and everything between – a perfect road album.

An album of leaving and staying, of coming and going, of loving and longing, and the wonderful happenstances of life… Sorta Kinda Maybe – The band’s fourth album is a happy-sounding mish-mash of rock, pop, blues, and roots music, but it’s held together with a string of lyrics that evoke the heaviness and desperation of striking out on a new path, and the longing, randomness, and freedom of the road. The ambitious 12-song album – which includes an 8-song bonus disc – ultimately depicts the pain and beauty of being alive. It’s joyous and sad and everything between – a perfect road album. The road is a potent myth in America, and much of this album reflects a Kerouac-like yearning for what’s ahead, with the knowledge that what’s left behind will be sorely missed. Hawk’s lyrics are playful and earnest at the same time, and his characters inhabit a world in constant flux where movement is the only certainty. The road isn’t easy, but it offers something that fills a great American need for someplace else. John Steinbeck wrote in his road story “Travels with Charlie”: I saw in their eyes something I was to see over and over in every part of the nation – a burning desire to go, to move, to get under way, anyplace, away from any here. They spoke quietly of how they wanted to go someday, to move about, free and unanchored, not toward something, but away from something. I saw this look and heard this yearning everywhere in every state I visited. The title track reflects the scattered wonder of life’s many perspectives: “Masquerades / a twisted phrase / the strangest things turn into facts / a story true but not exact.” Truth, indeed, is not always an absolute. It is in the eye of the beholder. Jesse Black provides soaring harmonies around a track that sounds like vintage R.E.M. with a little psychedelic ‘60s thrown in for good measure, thanks to Pascal Nasta’s groovy drums. “Strawberry Smile”, the first single from the album, changes the narrator’s life with a chance meeting in the California desert: “She rolled her window down with elegant fingers / let out a laugh like bubble gum / she asked directions, I set the course / then I forgot where I came from…” He sees his chance and figures, why not? Fate gets a nudge from his opportunistic ideas: “She said, ‘ I thought I’d take a drive out to the Salton Sea / I don’t fit in here in Palm Springs’ / I claimed coincidence, ‘I’m headed there myself / I heard it looks like bathtub ring’…” Our hero essentially altered the course of his life with one “what the hell” moment. The fact that the Salton Sea is a dying, stinking, man-made, ex-resort probably piqued his interest as much as our strawberry-smiled girl did. Told to a two-chord toe-tapping rhythm, this story puts you in the car to witness an instant connection and a tale that’ll last a lifetime, even if this is their only day together. There’s an interesting outro as well, that shifts into a gear reminiscent of the end of The Beatles’ “Hello, Goodbye”. Birds and butterflies reinforce the floaty road show, as they appear more than once in the thread of the songs. “Blackbird on a lonely wire was waiting, but my mind was gone,” Hawk writes on “Letting Go”, a tune co-written with bassist Chuck Bordelon. The leaving is difficult but necessary, although he asks, “ever get the feeling you’re driving away / from all you know? / the rear-view tears at you / the pull of the undertow / and the people recede into the too huge world in calico / and you know it’s time for letting go…” The Sunday-morning leaving is the hardest - you know you’re on your way, but you linger in the awkward space between staying and going. “Letting Go” has beautiful harmonies and piano, courtesy of California musician Adam Marsland – ex of Cockeyed Ghost – who captured the song’s melancholy perfectly. Bordelon adds a surprisingly bubbly bass line to the ballad, which suggests that although it’s sad to be going, it’s also exciting to be on your way. Later, the dreamy song “Thoughts While Driving Home” talks of “butterflies and gravestones,” and album closer, the quirky “Painted Sky” asks a girl to “give me a sign, a butterfly / oh my / drifting through my painted sky.” More randomness and the beauty of going where the wind (or the girl) takes you. Marsland’s piano work on “Painted Sky” is spot-on, capturing the vaudevillian, circus-like atmosphere of a down-on-his-luck man at a horse track who lets a free-spirited woman – again – change the course of his life by closing her eyes and placing a finger on the next race’s ultimate winner. He wins by letting go of his black-and-white worldview. It’s a terrific track to end the album, as it brings the Sorta Kinda Maybe theme back into the loop on the way out of the old town and on the way into a new one. There’s humor in all this dice-rolling, too. “Next Best Man” is a break-up story told with a smirk. “She pulled outside the house / in a brand-new moving van / driven by some caveman / she said, ‘baby, meet my next best man / I’ll take the bank accounts / you keep the ’88 sedan / I’ll be out in Spokane / so, bye, bye, baby, you’re the next best man.’” Well, by the time the song ends, he’s already chatting up someone else: “I might not be name-brand / I might be Peter Pan / might be second-hand / but you might like the next best man…” This bluesy tune features funky percussion tracks, including someone banging on an empty gas tank that emits a caveman-like grunting sound, and a smoking lead guitar solo by Paul Bordelon that seems inspired by the Georgia Satellites. Bordelon also adds a terrifically weird intro to the song that sounds like a UFO landing. And why not, since this album darts all over the country like a bunch of aliens eavesdropping into the lives of everyday Americans. Next is Paul Bordelon and Hawk’s collaboration on “Rum Talking”, a boozy bit of funk that pokes fun at “weekend hippies” who seem to have littered trash cans all over the world with failed novels and tie-dye dreams, only to punch back in the next work week in their “clip-on Monday tie / a novel in a trash bin / crumbled up with sighs…” Lisa Fiorilli’s beautifully rendered sax accompaniment spices “Written on the Road” with a perfect splash of longing. Another song about heading out of town, the narrator says, “I breathe the beaten air, and leave for anywhere but here…” The ballad lets us reflect for a moment before we take off on another wild ride… “Stories That We Tell” follows our guy waking up “drunk and early / in the Chalk-Outline Motel,” not sure exactly who his companion is or where they ended up. He apparently told some whoppers along the way, too: “I asked her, ‘Am I still in New York City?’ / she asked me when I joined the NFL / I said I had a game that day in Cleveland / oh, the stories that we tell…” This chunky, guitar-driven piece of rock-n-roll has a seedy feel and complements the lyrics nicely. Our drunken lad also told his girl that he was once in The Beatles, and she doesn’t call him on it: “She said I looked too young to be a Beatle / I thanked her for the compliment / I told her Rubber Soul was mostly my songs / she never asked for any evidence.” That line ends with a clever, “beep, beep, n, beep, beep,” a reference to “Drive My Car”, which opens Rubber Soul. “Never out of Place” follows and captures the exhilaration and earnestness of being young. Based on Stephen Chbosky’s novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower, this song was written in 2001 when Hawk spent a month alone in Nashville, playing when he could and writing for his sanity. It’s a slice of ‘70s rock at its best, with wonderful backing vocals from Nancy Griffith-Cochran, whose singing blends well with Hawk’s gravel-road voice. She – along with Black – gives the album an extra bit of intricacy that strengthens the entire collection. Chuck Bordelon’s lovely bass line solo helps us wave the couple into the future. Chuck wrote a catchy, frantic tune with an ‘80s feel and Hawk penned words that turned it into “Midnight Run”, which picks up where its predecessor left us and encapsulates the classic youthful, summertime love affair – a vacation spark that explodes in intensity partly over the time constraints real life puts on most getaways. “I saw you in the neon night / shining brightly / it was June and 17 / who could fight it?” This song is every stolen kiss under the boardwalk or on top of the Ferris wheel – intense, memorable, and over way too quickly. Song number 11 of the 12 is the one that actually seems to sum up the entire package. Musically, “Everywhere & Everything” sounds like it came from the Johnny Cash songbook – although, I’d suggest also checking out the Ramones-inspired version of the same song on the bonus disc (courtesy of the Bordelon brothers’ love of all things Cheap Trick), which proves a great song sounds good in more than one genre – and its words again speak of life’s strange twists and of wanting to experience all of it. “You ask me where I want to go / you ask me what I want to know / you ask me what I want to sing / everywhere and everything…” The bonus disc is full of songs that might well have fit on the CD proper, but for one reason or another, they end up here, which makes it a nice 8-song disc of its own. Highlights include the bluesy “From the Word Go”; another driven by Marsland’s piano, called “Afterthoughts”; the Dylanesque “The Speakeasy (in Revere)”, a ballad about a real bar in Revere, Mass., that depicts the devastation of spinning your wheels; and “Watercolor in the Rain”, a great tune that builds from Chris Stoudt’s naked piano to a full-blown band rock out. There’s also a wisp of old Train Wreck Ending Steve DeVries, who left the band in 2011 with a move to Texas. DeVries – who now lives in Southern California - was a versatile performer, and “Lovely Light” – left off last year’s Another Storyline - showcases his diversity, as he plays mandolin, banjo, harmonica, acoustic guitar, and adds backing vocals for good measure. A good note to leave on at any rate. Partially funded by fan sponsorships, this album is professionally done but loses none of the band’s live energy. Mixed partly by Hawk at his home studio, the album also features mixing from Pat Schneider of Stairway East Recording Studio. He has a nice feel for the band’s style. The album was mastered by the legendary Jerry Tubb at Terra Nova Digital Audio in Austin, and that’s the icing on the cake. This is the best album I’ve heard in quite a few years. How are these guys not famous?!?! Regardless, you should get this one and appreciate the terrific songwriting and performances. Say what you will, but this band has the songs. That’s one thing in this whole package that doesn’t live in the gray areas; it’s a fact. - Jason Miller

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Another Storyline

Andy Hawk & the Train Wreck Endings

Take a walk through the neighborhood and meet the locals as your hosts serenade you with Americana roots, a bluesy trunk, and an array of styles on the branches...

This is Hawk's seventh album and third as a member of the Train Wreck Endings. He enlisted Merel Bregante (one-time drummer for Loggins & Messina, The Dirt Band, and on Steve Martin's hit single, "King Tut") to co-produce and mix the CD in Austin, Texas. It was mastered in Austin by Jerry Tubb at Terra Nova Digital Audio. Tubb has mastered works by heavyweights from John Lennon to Willie Nelson.

It's also the first time a cover song appears on a Hawk album. New Order's 1982 single "Temptation" has been a staple of Hawk's live shows for years. The band took the new wave/dance song and made it their own, giving it an Americana spin. Hawk said he based his arrangement on a late-'80s cover of the song by a Pittsburgh band called The Affordable Floors. "That was the only version I'd heard at the time, and I love it," Hawk said. "It's much rockier than the original, which I love as well. A great song can jump genres, and this is a great song. We're proud to have it on this one."

Hawk also enlisted some Austin session men to give the songs an added bit of professionalism. Riley Osbourne plays beautiful piano on "Prettier Song", a heartbreaking ballad, and adds a tasty Hammond-B3 organ part to "Been Down So Long", a new blues song in the traditional form. Carl LoShiavo provides fretless bass to "Prettier Song", and plays a swampy bass on "Mason-Dixon Line", a minor-key blues song about a guy pining for his home in the north.

All in all, an album that seems perfect for a stroll through the neighborhood on a cool, sunny fall day...

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Another Roadside Attraction

Andy Hawk & The Train Wreck Endings

An album where each song is a stop along the highway. "Get the camera, honey, but stay back a little, and don't put your fingers through the fence ..."

This collection of songs features many different styles (blues, bluegrass, folk, Motown, Latin, beachy, pop), but they all mesh to form a cohesive piece of work that leads you through the backroad freak shows and discoveries of America.

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Tin Can Town

Andy Hawk & the Train Wreck Endings

This album is your best night at a great, dive bar where you drink good, cheap beer, get the girl, and wake up with no hangover or regrets.

The Train Wreck Endings Andy Hawk - vocals, rhythm guitar Andy Hawk is a songwriter living in Hamilton, Virginia, but he really misses the North. He's released five CDs of original material. He plays some solo acoustic shows, but also appears with the Train Wreck Endings, a new band of miscreants who have begun peppering the people of Northern Virginia with a mix of the blues, classic rock, and originals. He was born in Pittsburgh and has lived in Boston, Baltimore, and Columbus (Ohio) before settling below the Mason-Dixon Line.

Chuck Bordelon - bass Chuck came from Louisiana with a bass on his knee. He's adept at several instruments, has played in bands before, and brings a great creative streak to the table.

Steve DeVries – mandolin, banjo, harmonica Steve is a recording artist in his own right, having two acoustic guitar albums under his belt.

Branden Hickman - drums Branden might be the kid of the group, but he can play like Keith Moon or Ringo Starr, depending on the song. Great backbeat. Steady. Plus, he's single!

Gary Rudinsky - lead guitar Ohio's favorite son (aside from John Glenn, all those presidents, and Woody Hayes) has been playing guitar for many years. He was an original member of the Human Beinz in Youngstown many years ago. They had a minor hit in 1968 with "Nobody But Me". Plus, anyone who knows Boogie Weinglass can't be all bad, can he?

This CD – "Tin Can Town" – is a slice of Americana that takes you on the road, then to a cool, dark, dive bar looking past the neon beer signs to the daylight of the world outside.

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