Artist of the day: Steve Vaclavik and the Woeful Ones
It’s always a good sign when an artist names an album Tattoos and Tattered Hearts, and the album actually comes with a free tattoo.
Okay, it’s a temporary tattoo, but still, we appreciate the effort on the part of Steve Vaclavik and the Woeful Ones. Vaclavik, a longtime and prolific solo singer-songwriter around town, formed the band in 2009, and after a few lineup changes, the group — Mike Worrall (bass, mandolin), Tom Stephens (guitar, harmonica), Bill LaGrandier (drums), Chris Harmon (guitar, banjo, dobro) — releases its first full-band CD this week.
Tattoos and Tattered Hearts is a more collaborative effort than Vaclavik’s previous solo works, with songwriting contributiosn from Stephens and others. “All the guys are writers and have a good sense of what works and what doesn’t,” Vaclavik said. The result is a more fleshed-out collection of road-weary Americana anthems, from the barroom tubthumper Shamrock Tattoo to the swinging Chicago blues number If That Ain’t The Blues. 42 at 17 echoes Bruce Springsteen, while Oh Lakota is a sonic cousin of Greg Kihn’s The Breakup Song.
“If you had to give this CD a theme, it’d be average folks just trying to make it through the best they can,” Vaclavik said. “Sometimes they get it right, sometimes they make mistakes. and mistakes can hurt. We’re all older guys and we’ve made our share of mistakes and seen enough made by other people. So a wealth of content should never end.”
Steve Vaclavik and the Woeful Ones will hold a CD release show at 8 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Ale and the Witch in St. Petersburg. They’ll also be playing at 8 p.m. Oct. 19 at Barley Mow Brewing Company in Largo. Click here for more info about the band and the shows.