Saints Eleven says his proudest career highlight so far was having Walt Wilkins in the producer’s chair on their new album “Coming Back Around.” The album drops on January 13th followed by the next installment in their viral video saga for the title-track and first single.
“Coming Back Around” is the therapeutic result of dealing with loss in all its glorious phases. In his previous releases, Grossman has shown a man bested by love with a heart that has been duct taped time and time again leaving bitter traces across two albums where he is flipping the proverbial finger at his emotional assailants. This new release depicts a man a little wiser for the wear, a soul on the mend who is resolved in sharing a living space with the pain of the past. A person is usually always drawn back to their roots and looking for redemption after a journey through the desolate abyss, and Grossman admits that is exactly why he wanted Walt Wilkins in the producer’s chair declaring, “He’s the Texas country Jesus.” Wilkins is noted as one of the most influential songwriters of his generation and has been deemed the John Steinbeck of music. Grossman attributes much of the album’s soul to the handiwork of Wilkins who also sings back up on several of the tracks along with his wife Tina Wilkins. “Coming Back Around” is the softer underbelly of Saints Eleven. It’s a trek through an Americana landscape; waltzing across blue valleys of sorrow, strutting over familiar plains of adversity and two-stepping over mountain peaks of resolve.
“I was drawn first to Jeff's voice- real and raw and wild, with a wide sky of emotion. Then, I started getting these songs-well-crafted stories about real folks in this real world, with all of its complexities and hard edges. His writing voice is unique, clear and strong, and the band played for keeps. I dig these guys. It was a real ass-kicking pleasure to make this album with Saints Eleven.” -Walt Wilkins
On the live front, when you stand in front of the stage at a Saints Eleven show, your senses are overrun by contrasting elements that hook your attention and keep you there. Your ears are seduced by the sounds of vintage honky tonk music mixed with electrified bluegrass, but the rest of your senses are taken hostage by three guys who play with an energy fueled by years of punk and hard rock influence. Each show is delivered as if it were their very last one, and their fans give that energy right back to them in equal amounts creating an exchange that makes you feel like you are caught in the crossfires of a waged battle. In the current age of pop country music where band members are of the glossy “pretty boys” variety that can be easily mistaken for GQ models, Jeff Grossman, Jeff Mosley and Alex Shepherd sport a more chiseled, blue-collar physique. The only thing that is polished about them is the combined savvy they employ with their instruments. Keep tabs on the band’s website and social pages for VIP giveaways and music sneak peek listens.
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