Unspoken Tradition Celebrates No. 1 Song, Album Release
June 10, 2022
Mountain Home Music Company congratulated Unspoken Tradition on the success of their single, “California,” which reached No. 1 on the Bluegrass Today chart, during their album release show at 185 King Street in Brevard, North Carolina.
“‘California’ comes to us from our buddy Thomm Jutz, and was chosen specifically because it’s a tremendously well written song with a feel that we’ve never explored as a band. It immediately stood out to me, and I’m glad it didn’t take much convincing to get the guys on board with this one,” says Unspoken Tradition vocalist and guitarist Audie McGinnis. “There are plenty of us who leave home in search of something. But what happens when you get there, and it isn’t what you expected? Or maybe the urge to go back home is stronger than you might have anticipated. That’s what ‘California’ is all about. This musician has moved to Nashville to chase a dream, and amidst all the music, lights, and opportunity, they feel alone and homesick, lost in the crowd. That’s lonely.”
“California” is one of several charting songs from the band’s new album, Imaginary Lines, out now from Mountain Home. As they have from the start, the band—bassist Sav Sankaran, guitarist/vocalist Audie McGinnis, brother Zane McGinnis (banjo), mandolinist Ty Gilpin and Tim Gardner (fiddle, vocals)—ranges beyond typical lyric themes to dig into songs about work (“Irons In The Fire,” “Back on the Crooked Road”), reaching out across boundaries (“Carolina and Tennessee”), the changing nature of Appalachian communities (“Soldiers of Dust,” “Lookout Mountain”) and more. Rich instrumental work underpins lead vocals from Audie McGinnis and Sankaran, who take turns harmonizing with one another in a way that, paradoxically, encourages attention to each song’s theme even as it demonstrates the singers’ individual and collective versatility. As Zane McGinnis notes, the result is that “the work put forth on this record represents the malleable nature of Unspoken Tradition as a band, with numerous musical influences united to produce our finest project to date.”
Rooted in the fiercely distinctive culture and landscape of western North Carolina and deeply committed to blazing their own trail within the larger music community, Unspoken Tradition have, in the words of the title track, “walked in the shadows of hard times, waiting for the sun to shine”—and now, this collection announces, the waiting is over.