Chris Shiflett had just wrapped up another batch of worldwide Foo Fighter tour dates, when his plane touched down in Nashville. He’d been on the road for months. Offstage, he’d been writing new music of his own —music thatlooked not only to his rock & roll roots for inspiration, but also to the old-school country music of Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. The time had come to record another solo record, which is how Shiflett found himself back in Nashville, tracking his new songs with producer Dave Cobb in the same historic studio —RCA Studio A —where he’d created 2017’s West Coast Town.Hard Lessons,Shiflett’s newest album, is a raw blast of Telecaster twang and guitar-driven bang, driven home by autobiographical songwriting and muscular guitar work. Like West Coast Town, it plants its boots on both sides of the country/rock divide, mixing songs about honky-tonk heartache and small-town roots with the urgent sound of overdriven guitars, the epic screech of Marshall tube amplifiers, and raw chemistry of a live-in-the-studio band.
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