Write Wrongs

Max Stalling is a songwriter from Texas, not a Texas songwriter.

One of the Ways was Robison's first producing venture, and Stalling had a few lingering qualms as the sessions began.

"Not knowing Bruce very well, my big fear was that he might try to overimpose his vision, maybe micromanage to the point of fiddling with the lyrics. But his influence was just the opposite, more about the overall vibe than specific lines or words. Bruce saw the big picture; like, I never had keyboards on my albums, but Bruce saw where they would work. He brought in some great players, and we ended up with this lush, warm sound. He also was insistent and, as it turned out, dead right that we record 'Something to See' like a pop song, which terrified me. But that ended up being the single we sent to radio."

One of the Ways is Stalling's most poetic album, and the few Texas references in "Probably Corsicana" and the grisly Joe Ely-ish "Pila Song" occur naturally within the context of good stories rather than as calculated pandering chauvinisms that many Texas performers use as a crutch. On the strength of Wide Afternoon, Stalling has already been described as Hank Williams meets Albert Camus. While that seems like a made-to-order blurb, in the 35-year-old Stalling's case it just may apply. Not bad for an Aggie food science major with minimal education in literature and none in French.

On the Ways: "I hope the album makes a subtle statement against all the yee-haw stuff in Texas music right now," Max Stalling says.
On the Ways: "I hope the album makes a subtle statement against all the yee-haw stuff in Texas music right now," Max Stalling says.
Hank Williams meets Albert Camus? Not bad for an Aggie food science major.
Shad Wilson
Hank Williams meets Albert Camus? Not bad for an Aggie food science major.

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