‘Honky Tonker’ might be the first release from Michael Carpenter and The Banks Brothers (although very much not the first release from those artists on their own) but it sounds like the work of old friends who know exactly how to play and sing together to bring out the best in the song. Given the pedigrees of everyone involved – Carpenter is a singer-songwriter and multi-intrumentalist who also produces music for a variety of Australian acts, and it seems that there’s nothing with a steel string that The Banks Brothers, Jy-Perry and Zane, can’t master.
‘Honky Tonker’ is the first song of an album’s worth of material that the new band intends to release – and the video is having its premiere here today.
Says Carpenter, ‘The video was filmed at the tail of the COVID isolation period in Sydney and was the first time we’d gotten together in months. We were all clearly happy to see each other, and, as it was our debut video together, we kept the video simple and focused on the band members and our sartorial splendour!’
You don’t need to be a fan of traditional country music to appreciate the song – this is great music, and that always translates regardless of which genres an audience knows. Best of all, Carpenter and the Banks sound like they’re having a lot of fun together, and that is certainly evident in the video. So whether you’re after a high-quality musical experience or a pick-me-up, this song delivers all that and more.
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.