On Tour With The Everymen Of The Hard Working Americans

Sep 1, 2014

Hard Working Americans are a super group with a diverse background, consisting of Todd Snider, Dave Schools of Widespread Panic, Neal Casal from the Chris Robinson brotherhood, Chad Staehly from Great American Taxi, Duane Trucks and Jesse Aycock of Jars of Clay and Garth Brooks.

The band lives up to its name - they've been on the road since they formed.

Given their eclectic backgrounds, you'd might have expected the Hard Working Americans to debut with the typical super group splash. Again, they take another cue from their name and serve up a debut album of covers for the blue-collar and the everyman. Songs like Randy Newman's "Mr. President Have Pity On The Working Man," The Bottle Rockets' "Welfare Music," and Hayes Carll's "Stomp And Holler."

Though he wasn't involved in the recording of their debut, Jesse Aycock has been on tour with the band, he and Neal Casal sat down for an interview that aired on Morning Edition.

Interview Highlights

On debuting with an album of covers:

Credit Jim Hill / KUNC

Casal: "That was all Todd, and it certainly wasn’t a random process.  He had been gathering songs for years from his favorite songwriters that don’t get a lot of recognition, I mean with the exception of like, Gillian Welch, um, but he had been carefully choosing songs, you know, making a list for years, so it was a very thoughtful process for him. There was a narrative involved — most of the reason for the album’s success is that — you know, it was how carefully he chose those tunes.

On keeping a super group going beyond that first album:

Casal: "We have already written a bunch of new music — it is in progress — the songs aren’t quite finished yet, but we have recorded a bunch of stuff, and we like being in this band a lot. It was just an experiment at first just to see what would happen, but as it turns out, we get along just famously, and we are going to  be making a new record."