Chris Shiflett’s New Single “Black Top White Lines” Puts A Righteous Rock And Roll Spin On Country’s Long-Beloved Murder-Ballad Format
Those who’ve been following the trajectory of modern-day guitar hero Chris Shiflett—outside of his role in Foo Fighters—will already know of his musical mission to unite his SoCal rock roots and Nashville influences to create a fresh new sound altogether. In his latest installment, the longtime country-influenced-rocker called upon a couple of Nashville’s finest practitioners of rock-influenced-country, Jaren Johnston (The Cadillac Three) and John Osborne (Brothers Osborne), to join in on his brand new single, “Black Top White Lines.” In their initial writing session, the trio kept throwing in line after line until the story was mapped out. Without spoiling the ending for anybody, Shiflett hints, “Thematically it felt like it turned a classic Country trope on its head a little.”
Arriving on the heels of 2022’s “Born & Raised” and “Long Long Year,” “Black Top White Lines” picks up right where Shiflett left off; albeit a bit more amplified. The quick-tempo song opens with a wall of unison guitars and doesn’t once let up. Thick stacks of different guitar tones (some of which are provided by legendary session man Tom Bukovac and uber-talented multi-instrumentalist Charlie Worsham) ride the pulsing groove provided by drums and bass with lead licks punctuating the bars between each verse. Written with Johnston and Osborne via Zoom in the middle of 2020, it wasn’t until Shiflett and Johnston were working out which songs to record that they realized just how rad “Black Top White Lines” could be. “Jaren and I were going over song ideas, and it’d been a minute since we wrote it, so when we re-visited the track he was like, ‘Dude you gotta record this one…It’s a banger!’,” remembers Shiflett. “Right away in the studio I could tell it was a bit of a left turn for me musically but that’s also what I like about it.”
“Black Top White Lines” is the first listen from a brand-new Chris Shiflett album due out in 2023 via his new label home with us at Blue Élan Records. Fans will hear more about the Jaren Johnston-produced LP in the coming months but can count on hearing an album that represents Shiflett’s fully-realized vision of connecting L.A. to Nashville. “A big part of my inspiration to work with Jaren on this record was because I knew he’d push me out of my comfort zone into new territory,” Shiflett says.
More About Chris Shiflett: Punk veteran. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee. Americana and rock songwriter. Modern-day guitar hero. For more than 25 years, Chris Shiflett has blurred the lines between genre and generation, balancing his full-band projects with a thriving solo career. Named "Americana's biggest rockstar" by Rolling Stone, Shiflett has played a crucial role in shaping the sound and scope of modern-day rock music as a longtime member of the Foo Fighters. He's also an alum of California-based punk rock bands No Use For a Name and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. Shiflett’s latest releases refocus his attention on a mix of country twang and rock & roll bang, showcasing the full range of his musical abilities.