Good old Minnesota folk rock
With his rock band The Chinwaggers on hiatus, St. Paul singer-songwriter Joe Carey sought a new approach to making his next solo album. That led him to a little old church in the middle of northern Minnesota's Iron Range...Sparta Sound Studio. Purchased and converted in 2005 by local rock pioneer Rich Mattson (Ol' Yeller, The Tisdales, Rich Mattson & The Northstars), Sparta Sound had been a destination for regional bands of all genres for over a decade and Carey knew it would be the perfect place to breathe life into his new songs. So in February 2016, he left the Twin Cities with an amp, a couple of guitars, and some rough drafts of songs...and headed 200 miles north to the mostly abandoned mining town of Sparta, MN. There, with Mattson at the helm behind the soundboard, Carey was joined by drummer Keely Lane (Trailer Trash, Ol' Yeller) and bassist Craig LaSart (Christopher David Hanson Band), and together they hashed through song after song laying the foundation for the 10 track folk rock album "Comeback". His third solo effort and most rootsy to date, Comeback is a departure from Carey's usual guitar driven rock. In fact, for every guitar solo on the album...a harmonica, violin (Jillian Rae), or Dobro/lap steel (Shane Akers) is equally featured. The album begins with a series of songs drawing from life experience as a middle-aged husband and father trying to make it as an independent artist. Fighting one's way back from a metaphorical losing streak in the title track, seeking out diminishing opportunities in "Before The Cold", and paying tribute to friends who have passed on in "Missing A Friend" are some of the themes represented. Then, in a contrasting twist, Carey ends the album with a four-part story that hearkens back to the Dust Bowl era, starting with the blindly hopeful "East To West Mindset" (feat. Sonny Knight & The Lakers' horn section) and ending with the heart wrenching "Here On The Plains". It's no wonder how the album got its name...as one lyric from the title track states, "Who doesn't love a COMEBACK?"