Ben Kweller Readies Country Album For Early 2009 Release

Ben Kweller Readies Country Album For Early 2009 Release
Like Jonathan Richman before him, Ben Kweller is going country. The punker turned indie troubadour recently dropped word his upcoming new full-length, titled Changing Horses, will be a record of boot-stompin’, shit-kickin’ country, and one he’s been writing since his teens.

"The first song on this album that I wrote was 13 years ago," Kweller recently told Spinner in an interview. "Once in a while I would write one that I would would fit good on [2002's] Sha-Sha or [2004's] On My Way, but a lot of these I would say, 'Man, these are so cool and so country that they just deserve to live alone on an album with other brothers and sisters.'"

Kweller recorded Changing Horses in Austin back in 2007 and is set to release it sometime early in 2009 via ATO. And since it is a country album after all, Kweller said it’s by no means all happy times.

The album’s "Ballad of Wendy Baker,” for example, was inspired by the death of one of his high school friends who died in a car crash, Kweller told Spinner. "Two days after she died, me and some friends went to this Chinese restaurant in my town and my fortune cookie said 'No one loves 'til it's gone,'" he said. "So I went back home to my parents house, went up to my bedroom and sat on the bed and wrote this song for her, and one of the key lines was 'no one loves 'til it's gone.' It is a song that I was saving for a certain record ... and Changing Horses was the right album."

Kweller is set to start a European tour next month and North American dates are expected to follow in the new year. In the meantime, here is the tracklisting to Changing Horses:

1. "Gypsy Rose"
2. "Old Hat"
3. "Fight"
4. "Hurtin' You"
5. "Ballad Of Wendy Baker"
6. "Sawdust Man"
7. "Wantin' Her Again"
8. "Things I Like To Do"
9. "On Her Own"
10. "Homeward Bound"

Ben Kweller "Wasted & Ready”