Turn up the volume on Little Jane and The Pistol Whips…
I’m excited to debut American Nomad’s newest feature – ‘Music Detours’ by spotlighting one of my favorite bands: Montana grown ‘Little Jane and The Pistol Whips…’
I was introduced to Little Jane circa 2010 when they released their debut album ‘This Town’ – a delightful album of western toe-tapping barn dance music and thoughtful ballads about heartache and hope. Living in Montana at the time, this album became a soundtrack for day trips to Yellowstone National Park from the wide-open beauty of The Paradise Valley to the zig-zagging roads up into The Lamar Valley.
Its been thirteen years, and Little Jane is back with an amazing new album ‘Long Road Ahead.’
The new album is one of the best Americana albums I’ve heard in years – it has an authenticity in the storytelling and passion in lead singer-songwriter Ashly Jane’s vocals.
Songs like Keep It Simple provide a feel good get up and dance and forget your troubles vibe. It also plays homage to the idea of three chords and a truth is the best way to speak to the heart over flashy production and gimmicky sounds.
Where Ashly Jane’s songwriting and vocals truly shine is on the haunting ‘Lost to the Trade.’ In speaking with Ashly, she told me that her husband is an electrical journeyman. It’s a hard trade that requires sacrifice and can be dangerous. This track pays homage to an electrican who lost his life servicing the powerline.
It makes me pause, because I think about every time in my home base of North Carolina we have a hurricane or winter storm and the power is knocked out. We take it for granted the sacrifice and care these electricians do to ensure we have power.
Ashly Jane recently shared more about her times to the IBEW community in The Power Element Podcast – a great listen.
My personal favorite track on this album is ‘Montana Can’t You See’ – a love story to Big Sky Country. Ashly Jane explains that the song came out of her yearning for wide open Montana and it’s gorgeous scenery after a stint in the smog congested Los Angeles. Little Jane hopes this song will become an anthem for Montana like John Denver’s ‘Take Me Home Country Roads’ is to West Virginia.
Long Road Ahead is a cohesive album that melds the best of Bluegrass, Roots, Americana and even a hint of jazz into a perfect soundtrack for your next backroads getaway.
It is available for purchase on Bandcamp (which pays artists more than other platforms) as well as all streaming networks.
- Formed in Livingston, MT in 2008
- Have shared the stage with John Mayer, Zac Brown Band, Lyle Lovett and more
- Hosted their own Montana PBS Special ’11th and Grant with Eric Funk’
- Their music has been featured in television shows like ABC’s Big Sky
- The name ‘Little Jane and The Pistol Whips’ is a play on words of lead singer-songwriter Ashly Jane’s name. He is nearly 6 feet tall, but ‘Tall Jane’ doesn’t have the same catchiness as ‘Little Jane…’ Pistol Whips is not promoting violence, but rather a homage to the old west vibe of Southwest Montana with its ghost towns.
- Fun fact: Lead singer-songwriter @Ashly Jane is a huge animal lover and enjoys using her music to help animal rescues.
Road Trip Playlist: Little Jane is always a good fit for any road trip, but is ideal for mountain winding backroads and open plains…my favorite road trip with Little Jane in the background:
- Start from Livingston Montana and drive south through The Paradise Valley – the golden country of Yellowstone that feels like heaven came down to earth. ‘Montana Can’t You See’ was no doubt inspired by scenes like this…where the Yellowstone River meets the praire sage and the tall rockie Absaroka touch the sky.
- Drive about an hour until you reach Yankee Jim Canyon – Little Gold Heart is a perfect track for this stretch of ‘Golden Highway’ – and ‘Call a Rat a Rat’ is ideal for The Devils Thumb overlook…
- You will be able to take this album with you all the way to The Roosevelt Arch at the Northern Entrance to Yellowstone National Park…from there you can hit ‘replay’ over and over again.
Until next time – Happy Travels!