With the release of their sophomore effort, Bad Foot Down, it’s clear that Yellowbelly has made a signature change in their musical direction. Formed in the fall of 2002, Yellowbelly has been building on the success of their debut album, Start All Over, and their active touring schedule. The material on Bad Foot Down demonstrates a significant level of musical maturity and reflects the band’s desire to go their own way while crafting true and meaningful music.
“Collectively, we had something of an epiphany,” said bassist Mark Haisler. “We discovered that in certain instances we were making decisions based on the marketing end of the music business – what to play and where to play in an effort to be something we weren’t. The writing period leading up to the Bad Foot Down sessions helped us hone in on what we are and where we wanted to go as artists. If listeners love this record, we’ll be thrilled. If they scratch their heads and think ‘what is this all about?’ we’ll be just as pleased.”
Lyrically, the tracks on Bad Foot Down dive into real topics - the struggles and joys of relationships, reflections on spirituality and soul-baring recognition of one’s inadequacies. “To be honest, we’ve never really succeeded at penning the ‘anthem’ type of song,” said singer and rhythm guitarist Steve Hahn, the band’s principal songwriter. “The reality is that our best work happens when we write real songs about real experiences and explore those feelings through music.” True, absent from Bad Foot Down are the beer-drinking or road-trip songs that are prevalent in some Texas Music. What you will find, however, is music that touches the edgiest side of roots rock and roll and ranges into folk with melodies that blend the two and a host of other genres. It is an Americana album in the truest sense of the word.
The members of Yellowbelly all come from Bell County in Central Texas. It’s there in Central Texas that Yellowbelly chose to record Bad Foot Down, co-produced and engineered by their good friend and Awesome Works Studio owner Steve Palousek. Mastered by Jerry Tubb at Terra Nova Digital Audio in Austin, Bad Foot Down highlights the fact that the members of Yellowbelly are constantly exploring new musical paths – but are ever mindful of their small-town roots. They make honest, meaningful music because that is who they are.