Andrew McConathy and The Drunken Hearts LIVE Album: Alive ‘n Free

by Jan 26, 2021

Andrew McConathy and The Drunken Hearts Release Alive ‘n Free

Alive ‘n Free Recorded Live and Multi-tracked through an entire Cross Country Tour – AVAILABLE NOW!


We’ve written about The Drunken Hearts with enthusiasm several times in the past – specifically when we reviewed The Prize in May of 2018, and Wheels of the City in October 2019.

On The Prize, we said, “The first thing that I noticed is that I was no longer listening to an Americana-Folk band.  The Prize is an album from a band that has grit and rawness, but still a melodic touch and even a little sweetness hiding under there.”  Read On

When we reviewed Wheels of the City a year later, we noted that “The Drunken Hearts continue to deliver songs that easily transfer to the stage, making a Hearts show a high-energy affair akin to any great rock show.”  Read on

Now, with Alive ‘n Free that raw energy is truly captured in the best way it can, giving listeners a taste of the true spirit of Andrew McConathy and The Drunken Hearts. 


Andrew McConathy and The Drunken Hearts with Tim Carbone

The Drunken Hearts with Tim Carbone | Yarmony Music Festival

In the Fall of 2019, Andrew McConathy & his band of Drunken Hearts embarked on a 20 show, cross-country album release tour that spanned more than 15,000 miles from Portland, OR to Portland, ME, and everywhere in between. Six men, six plane flights, 3 tow trucks, two vans, two winter storms, one bad transmission, one flatbed U-Haul truck, one SUV, and one trailer resulted in… ONE LIVE ALBUM.

Set for digital release only on Friday, January 15, Andrew McConathy & The Drunken Hearts’ Alive ‘n Free showcases the band in the midst of a grueling tour supporting Yonder Mountain String Band, October 10 – November 24, 2019. The tour made stops at fabled venues like the 8×10 in Baltimore, Brooklyn Bowl, Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY, The Ardmore Music Hall near Philadelphia, Wooly’s in Des Moines, IA, as well as a notable headlining album release show at the Fox Theatre in their hometown of Boulder, CO.

Alive ‘n Free accurately captures McConathy’s infectious energy while smack-dab in the band’s element – on the road, enduring the hardships that often come with life as a touring band, and the result is magnetic.

Glide Magazine’s Jim Hynes says, “Drunken Hearts adeptly blend country, mountain music, and psychedelia… And, surely McConathy has one of the most memorable voices in roots music.” American Songwriter’s Dallas Jackson echoed this sentiment, “[They] carry a mountain spirit into its music and mix it with a 90s rock blend, that is eerily reminiscent of Pearl Jam — due in large part to the vocals of Andrew McConathy.”  

JamBase premiered the album in its entirety and interviews with McConathy more about it here:

This debut live release features 12 original songs including standout performances along the tour of then-brand-new tunes, “Unrest,” “Shining Eyes,” and the Jack Kerouac-inspired politically apropos title track from their most recent studio album “Wheels of the City.” There is also an explosive cover of fellow Coloradan Robin Davis’ “Prom Night” (Broke Mountain) and a short anecdote from the road in “Van Story”

Alive ‘n Free flows almost as if it were a “Best Of,” documenting the band’s rise from three-piece bluegrass outfit to full-fledged country rock ‘n roll machine. The album progresses from some of McConathy’s oldest original songs like “Don’t Go” and “Happy” into scorching new staples like “Black Snake” (their testament to Standing Rock), “Want You Back,” and “Broken Things.

One previously unreleased song, “Tell Me,” kicks off the album, starting subtly with an “Amazing Grace” intro leading into a pounding rhythm and the lyrics, “The road keeps winding under these feet… No winds can stop us, these words are the seed… Here to remind us there’s nothing between…  the end of the darkness & the sight unforeseen.” McConathy says of the song, “Tell Me’ is about showing resilience in the face of defeat or adversity and hitting the gas, not slowing down, when it feels like the world is on your shoulders. We wrote the song holed up in a cabin outside of Winter Park, CO in July 2019.”

Alive ‘n Free is a follow up to 2019’s studio release, Wheels of the City (LoHi Records), which PopMatters’ Michael Bialas called “a pulsating, ambitious, adventurous new record” and Americana Highways’ Gary Schwind called “A Soundtrack For The Open Road.” Wheels was produced by McConathy’s longtime friend and mentor Tim Carbone (Railroad Earth) and was recorded over several sessions in 2018 at Silo Sound in Denver, CO.

Both the new album and Wheels feature McConathy on acoustic guitar and vocals, Alex Johnson on drums, Jon McCartan on bass, Cody Russell on pedal steel, lap steel, and dobro, and Kory Montgomery on electric guitar and vocals. 

Produced by McConathy & Todd Divel, Alive ‘n Free was recorded by the band’s sound engineer Taylor Hines and then mixed and mastered by Divel at Silo Sound throughout 2020.

Alive ‘n Free brings Andrew McConathy & The Drunken Hearts’ soundtrack from the open road!


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About The Author


Jason has been in love with the festy lifestyle ever since his first festival experience, The Great Went in August of 1997. Whew. That was a while ago. Jason loves the way festivals free us from the constraints of the outside world, and let us be our true "fest" selves!

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