Americana Highways is hosting this premiere of Paula Boggs Band’s song “Motel 6 Serenade,” from their forthcoming album Janus. Janus will be available on April 1, and was produced, engineered, and mixed by Tucker Martine at Flora Recording & Playback in Portland with assistant engineer Cole Halvorsen. It was co-produced by Paula Boggs, with mastering by Greg Calbi and Steve Fallone.
The album features Dom Flemons on one track.
“Motel 6 Serenade” is Paula Boggs on vocals; Marina on bass and backing vocals; Paul on piano, and backing vocals; Darren on banjo and electric, acoustic and lap steel guitars; Tor on chimes, congas, and shaker; Jake on drums; and Dan on mellotron. This song will be available on Feb 25.
Paula Boggs captures a raw nostalgia in “Motel 6 Serenade” that might catch you by surprise. She has created a gentle groove for your heartache.
Some songs get written in minutes and others take a generation. So it goes with “Motel 6 Serenade.” I first started writing it in 1988 while driving cross-country alone from Washington, DC to Seattle via Los Angeles. That route took me to Phoenix, Arizona, the last known home of one of my closest friends from 10th grade in Vicenza, Italy, where I then lived with my teacher mom, and siblings. This was before social media and widespread use of the internet and given the transient nature of many Americans living abroad, once kids moved away chances were high you’d never see them again. So here I was, literally in a “Motel 6 in Phoenix” trying to find my friend through a telephone book in the room. Maybe many American teens are like this but because we were living in Europe and mostly didn’t have much time with each other, our teen relationships got deep fast and so it was with me and this friend. I was also struggling with sexual orientation identity in 1988 so I’m sure that played a role in the passion behind the song. Essentially it’s a song about an adult reflecting back on an intense period of childhood, the joy and melancholy.
Back then and now I’m drawn to storytellers. This song has gone through many changes since 1988. Initially, I’m sure the songs of Bruce Springsteen, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Harry Chapin influenced my writing style and melodic choices. Over the years I’ve re-written parts of the song and Paula Boggs Band multi-instrumentalist Paul Matthew Moore, a veteran composer, arranged the version of it on Janus. In its current state, I can hear Drive-By-Truckers, Chris Stapleton, Dan Auerbach, Grateful Dead, and even a little bit of the Beatles Sgt. Pepper era. Not so much this song but in the past others have drawn comparisons to Gil Scott Heron’s lyricism. — Paula Boggs
Pre-order here: https://tinyurl.com/PBB-Motel6Serenade
Paula Boggs Band is sponsored by Deering Banjos, Breedlove Guitars and Radial Engineering, Inc.