Seriously, how many other singer-songwriters would say this kind of thing about their own output: "
You have to be careful about what you put out there and what you sing about, because it's a little like the Laws of Attraction," LaRue says. "You've either lived it or written about it, or you're writing about it and you're gonna." So much country music today chases inexact images of imaginary roads leading to nowhere, allegedly ambling a pickup truck down dusty roads to some idealized, nonexistent party.
The Texas native-turned-longtime Oklahoma resident has been chasing his own dream down many roads for a long time. He's hit the occasional pothole that sidelined him for awhile, never veering from his internal call to chronicle life's ups and downs. "I've always been motivated by and came up under the style of old Woody Guthrie songs," LaRue says. "It's always been about talking to the people." Hence you have the laid-back, conversational style found on Stoney LaRue's newest album project, AVIATOR, his debut for eOne Entertainment. Don't be fooled...LaRue has lit up and burned down a honky-tonk a time or two, becoming a Red Dirt/Texas Music circuit mainstay known for high-energy shows, and that intensity is found on AVIATOR as well, on tracks like "It's Too Soon", "Golden Shackles" and an album ending "Studio A JAM" not to be missed.
But its tunes like "First One To Know," the opener "One And Only" and the vivid, memory-filled title track that give AVIATOR it's thread, trying to find a path amidst loss and life changes, redemption and reinvention.
"The theme is, essentially, following direction, trusting in yourself, and new beginnings," LaRue says. "A lot of it is spurred from divorce and open-eyed ways of looking at things, be it relationships or just the world as a whole."
But while AVIATOR was crafted at the tail end of some personal upheaval, Larue took comfort and energy from re-teaming with creative partners from previous projects, such as songwriter Mando Saenz and the producers of his last studio record Velvet, veteran hit makers Frank Liddell and Mike McCarthy.
The term "organic" gets used far too frequently in music today, but it's hard to find a more apt one to describe Liddell, McCarthy and LaRue's process making AVIATOR. From recording analog on two-inch tape, to one-take performances by world-class studio musicians gathered as a band, AVIATOR's tracks crackle with an energy you're only going to find from hard-fought teamwork forged in the studio.
It's a process LaRue knows runs counter to the "record today, release later today" modern day music business machine. "I understand it, that people want the product and artists want to get it out there as soon as possible," he notes. "But that kind of goes against what the natural way of letting art happen."