Radiator King - "Second Thoughts in Memphis" (audio) (premiere)

by Jonathan Frahm

25 April 2017

Radiator King rides the line between folk storytelling and punk grit on this song for the road.

In the late 2010s, the idea of bending and fusing sonic traditions for something different isn’t exactly new. In the case of Radiator King (Adam Silvestri), it feels like the “folk-punk” artist is breaking new ground with his blend of raw ‘60s callback rock ’n’ roll and modern Americana, with some bluesy undertones to boot.

Featuring the Dresden Dolls’ Brian Viglione and the Hold Steady’s Franz Nicolay, Radiator King stands to ride the line between Ike Reilly and the Band on his altogether triumphant and melancholy road song, “Second Thoughts in Memphis”.
Of the new single, Radiator King says, “‘Second Thoughts in Memphis’ is a driving song. One to blast on your radio as you cruise down the highway. I wrote the tune on the second leg of a tour when the band had headed home, and the solo dates had just begun. When you are by yourself out there on the road, it’s easy to get in your own head and start questioning what you are doing with your life. Every time you get in the van you leave behind your life at home—your friends, your family, your girl. Life doesn’t stand still when you are gone; it just keeps chugging on. That can be really hard to deal with.”

“You miss a lot of special moments and events at home. But the song also deals with the fact that despite all that, I am helplessly drawn to this lifestyle; traveling around the country and connecting with and playing music for all kinds of wonderful people. Every city and every show is a completely new experience, and I can’t get enough of it. So many nights you come into town a stranger and leave with a bunch of new friends, many of whom you build lasting relationships with. There’s a line in the song that says, ‘As I face the open road, I know there’s nothing that I’m owed’. Playing music for folks is a privilege, and I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to do so night after night.”

He concludes, “This song was recorded fairly quickly. We recorded all the music live and then overdubbed the vocals. I think we did maybe three or four takes and called it a day.  This is a tune you do not want to overthink. It’s got to be fluid and free and that comes from just letting loose. Bands like CCR or the Rolling Stones, they were masters at capturing that feel.”

Radiator King’s A Hollow Triumph After All releases April 28th.

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