Over the last two decades, Jason Boland and the Stragglers have independently sold more than half a million albums and packed iconic dancehalls, theaters, and other big rooms across the country. Since debuting in 1999 with the Lloyd Maines-produced Pearl Snaps, the band has matured without taming their refreshing irreverence. Led by Jason Boland, the Stragglers is made up of jangly honky-tonk aces including Grant Tracy on bass, drummer and background vocalist Brad Rice, and Nick Worley on fiddle, mandolin, and harmonies.
With their ninth studio record Hard Times are Relative, Boland and the Stragglers stack the smart, road-ready outlaw country longtime fans have come to expect alongside creative risks that flirt with punk and psychedelic sounds. The 10-song collection is a rare blend of instantly gratifying and rewarding of closer listens––a definitively Stragglers accomplishment. Praise for the past but acknowledgement of nostalgia’s limitations is a career-long theme for Boland, and one that this record continues to carry. Hard Times Are Relative was co-produced by the Stragglers, David Percefull, and Adam Odor. All songs were recorded live to tape and without the use of any computers––now a Stragglers’ hallmark.