If you’re in need of a midweek pep-up, Michael Carpenter and the Banks Brothers have just the thing: the new song ‘Honky Tonker’, which is the most entertaining four minutes you’re likely to spend today – or more than four minutes, if you play it over again, which is likely to happen because the song is a bundle of bittersweet fun. It’s bittersweet because the song laments the loss of traditional honky tonk music, even as it acts as a statement of intent.
‘We don’t always know where we fit in in today’s music world,’ says singer/guitarist Zane Banks. ‘So we just decided to stick to our guns, play music that inspires us and have some fun, no matter what comes of it.’
The single is the first from the new collaboration of singer/guitarist Michael Carpenter – who is a producer of renown – and The Banks Brothers, featuring Jy-Perry Banks on pedal steel and Zane Banks. Jy-Perry is one of Australia’s most in-demand pedal steel players (also dobro and guitar) and Zane is a purist in the art of electric country picking, (also banjo and flat-picked acoustic guitar)
The song was originally a Carpenter solo track that featured Jy-Perry on steel, then Zane joined to share vocals and lead guitar, and the collaboration worked so well that a new band was formed. Given their mutual love of old-school country artists such as Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Ray Price, Marty Stuart, The Flying Burrito Brothers, George Jones, Mike Nesmith, Johnny Paycheck and Junior Brown, the trio’s coming together seems like an inevitability – and they’ve now written an album’s worth of songs, with recording having commenced.