Dragondeer’s latest single, “All Day,” concerns the grueling nature of touring and performing day after day and night after night.
But in a good way, according to Eric Halborg, frontman of the quartet. “It’s the positive side of the gruel,” Halborg says. “I couldn’t think of anything better than to be playing constantly.”
"All Day," which comes out on March 6 through Color Red, includes Halborg’s vocals over punchy harmonica riffs that intertwine with bluesy guitar licks. The entire affair sits atop a swaying bass-and-drum combo. The track wouldn’t seem out of place at a blues festival or emanating from a dive-bar jukebox.
Halborg says the song came into being during a West Coast tour with Florida soul-rock band JJ Grey and Mofro. Members were playing shows and playing at the hotel room after and playing in the van and playing and playing and playing and playing.
“The lyrics speak to: We had a little taste of the pie and couldn’t put it down,” he says. “You get a taste of it, making music constantly all day and all night, and you kind of can’t get enough of it. You’re like ‘Yeah, this is it,' even if it’s in lieu of sleep and wild hours. You have that feeling of excitement.”
The single — the studio version, at least — clocks in just shy of four minutes, and the band has been opening its sets with it. The song can get much longer if the crowd is feeling it.
"If we see people getting into it right off the bat, my thinking is why switch gears right away?” he says. “It’s been a good intro to the set. It kind of sets the tone. It kinds of sets the vibe.”
Dragondeer, which has already recorded with producer Mark Howard — known for working with Bob Dylan, R.E.M. and Neil Young — is also happy to be collaborating with a variety of musicians, including Analog Son, Electric Beethoven, the TNERTLE horn section and Eddie Roberts from English jazz fusion and funk blues band the New Master Sounds.
“We’ve been loving working with Color Red,” Halborg says. “They're bringing all these really talented musicians into our fold and giving us a forum to create with them.”
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He says that the band is currently working on more singles that it intends to release throughout the year. That should culminate in another full-length album; Howard produced their debut LP, If You Got the Blues, which drops later this year. Halborg has been enjoying the multiple recording sessions, and the band as of late has been hashing out about five or six ideas that could turn into full songs for the record.
Dropping singles instead of EPs and full-lengths is a new concept for Dragondeer, but the band is enjoying it so far.
“All of the bands I’ve ever been in, it’s been like, ‘Let’s get in and record twelve songs and pick ten,” Halborg says. “We did that with [2018's] If You Got the Blues. We dropped them all at once. [Lately] we’ve been interested in just dropping singles as they come. It’s been exciting to the band. It’s a little more fresh and a little more immediate.”