For the first Carolina Grown of 2014, some of the finest North Carolina songwriters graced the show. One of which stands atop the new era of alt-country goodness while the other serves as a gatekeeper. For the first hour I was joined by Ryan Gustafson of The Dead Tongues to talk a bit about what he’s been up to for the past year since the release of Desert, and of course it’s been quite a bit.
Gustafson staked his claim as one of the area’s premiere songwriters back in 2009 with his debut LP Donkey, but in the four years between his first and second full-length he had his hands in many a pot. Gustafson played with the likes of Max Indian, The Love Language, Mandolin Orange and The Human Eyes all whilst working on instrumental work as well. But when Gustafson announced his return to songwriting with The Dead Tongues it felt like the region let out a collective cheer. Desert was one of the most well received albums of 2013 and Gustafson has stayed busy at work since the album’s release.
Throughout the hour I spoke with Ryan Gustafson about his songwriting origins, the lapse between full lengths, all of the roles he’s been filling around the area and importantly what’s to come from the songwriter in 2014. Amidst all of the conversation Gustafson performed two new songs in the studio as well as a track from Desert. Fans of the songwriter can dig deeper into his psyche and get a stripped down treat of some new and old favorites with this session.