By Hobart Rowland
Posted June 25, 2016
Blues/folk misfit Bobby Long learns the art of compromise
“I love that record … I’m really proud of it.”
The album to which Bobby Long is referring isn’t the new Ode To Thinking, but 2013’s Wishbone, his second and final release for ATO. And the reason he’s talking about it, quite frankly, is because the guy interviewing him won’t shut up about it. “This is one of the most in-depth Wishbone interviews I’ve ever had—I was hoping for this kind of interview when it came out,” says Long with a chuckle. “It just shows you that, sometimes, things don’t stick.”
Wishbone’s swept-under-the-rug status was all the more perplexing given the strength of its songs—nearly every one an engaging marriage of the Englander’s competing passions for folk, blues and Britpop. If any album that year was equipped to bridge the divide between “September Gurls” and “The Thrill Is Gone,” Wishbone was it. So, is it any wonder that ATO didn’t quite know what to do with the thing?
“I don’t want to be one of those people who slags off their old label—there were some really lovely people there,” says Long, who’s now settled in Beacon, N.Y. “I was instantly put in the singer/songwriter bracket, so I was kind of rebelling a bit. I remember playing a song for the people in my camp early on, and one said it reminded him of Coldplay. I was like, ‘Well, isn’t that a good thing? They sell a shit-ton of records.’”
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