Americana Highways brings you this premiere of John Louis’ song “Gone Too Far,” due to be released on February 26th.
“Gone Too Far” was produced, recorded and mixed by Shane Leonard at The Bungaleau in Eau Claire, WI (piano and organ recorded by Sam Kassirer at Great North Sound Society in Parsonsfield, ME) and mastered by Pete Lyman at Infrasonic Sound in Nashville, TN.
Personnel on the track are John Louis on vocals and acoustic guitar; Jeremy Boettcher on bass; Ben Lester on pedal steel and mellotron; Sam Kassirer on piano and organ; Siri Undlin on background vocals; and Shane Leonard on drums and acoustic guitar.
This is a storyteller’s song, with raw harmonies and a tender expression. John Louis is one of those songwriters who automatically plants your heart in your throat — the ultimate goal for fans of Americana music.
I write songs about people and their stories. Sometimes people I know, sometimes people from a movie or book or podcast, sometimes strangers in the next booth at the bar or cafe. I work to put some truth in every song, even if they’re fiction. Truth doesn’t mean nonfiction. And the unavoidable reality is, since I’m the one writing them, they’re always about me to some degree.
I get a lot of comments about the imagery and lines in “Gone Too Far.” This song contains a line that is probably the best line I’ve ever written. So far. I had been playing this song out solo for a while before recording it, and I love the new life that the production and musicians brought to this one. Still raw and reflective, but also shimmery and soft.
I chose to record with Shane Leonard as producer on these songs because I love the work he did with Anna Tivel, among others. Shane and I spent a long time talking about the songs before we recorded a note. We recorded in the time of peak COVID, so I didn’t get the pleasure of being in the same room with everyone. It was just Shane and me for the initial guitar and vocal tracks, and then he brought folks in to add their parts. The piano and organ parts on Gone Too Far were actually recorded from about 1,400 miles away, by Sam Kassirer in his studio in Maine. Thanks to Shane’s vision and process, it all came together in an intuitive and collaborative way. Siri’s vocal parts are more than just back-up, and they add a layer of meaning to the song that wasn’t there when I’d sing it on my own.