Getting older is an inevitable fact of life, but how a person responds to the resulting changes determines whether he’s growing up or simply aging. Halsted frontman Ryan Auffenberg is most certainly a member of the former camp, as evidenced by the band’s new album, High Wire And A Heart Of Gold (out April 8th), a gorgeous recording that explores many of the complex and intriguing issues that accompany maturity.
High Wire And A Heart Of Gold to be released April 8th on Ashbury Records, is the second record that the Missouri-born, San Francisco-based singer-songwriter has issued as Halsted, a moniker he chose to employ when 2010’s Life Underwater was put together by a group of friends that felt more like a band than a bunch of hired guns. Though the project continues to be directed by Auffenberg (who’s also released a pair of solo albums, Marigolds and Golden Gate Park), his right-hand man is Peter Craft, whose Boxer Studios in San Francisco played host to the recording of High Wire And A Heart Of Gold. As with Life Underwater, Craft drummed, engineered, and co-produced with Auffenberg.
“Pete is generally my first line of defense and closest collaborator in the group,” says Auffenberg, who also worked with Kevin T. White (Chuck Prophet), Brian Mello, and Peter Straus (Dwarves). “Whenever I have new song ideas, he’s usually the first one to get the demo, and we’ll then kick ideas around for a bit before submitting them to the group at large.”
Musically, High Wire And A Heart Of Gold retains some of the poppier elements of Life Underwater, though this time around there’s a stronger roots-rock backbone that harkens back to Auffenberg’s solo work. Though still only in his early 30s, his music reflects a sage soul who’s been there, done that, and is excited about what’s to come. It’s the sound of confidence, and it couldn’t sound any better.
April 14 – Bottom Of The Hill (Album Release Show) – San Francisco, CA
April 17 – Hotel Cafe – Los Angeles, CA
More tour dates to be announced.