LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Robert Rex Waller Jr. and Carla Olson have been collaborating on stage and in the studio for years. Their duet of “Bossier City” appeared on I See Hawks in L.A.’s Shoulda Been Gold in 2010, Waller was a featured artist on two songs on Olson’s Have Harmony, Will Travel (2013), and the two have long enjoyed singing together at shows around L.A. See The Big Man Cry is the culmination of their collaboration, and the second time Waller has recorded an album under his own name. In his solo work, Waller enjoys experimenting with new genres and exploring the work of songwriters and vocalists he admires. For STBMC, Carla and A&R man Saul Davis pulled tunes from across the musical landscape to feature Waller’s vocal range from deep baritone to upper tenor.
On See The Big Man Cry Waller delivers covers of pop and rock from Bobby Rydell and the Walker Brothers to Bram Tchaikovsky and Bruce Springsteen. It also includes country and Americana songs from Charlie Louvin and Freddie Hart to Gene Clark and Rank & File. There’s even an original by Waller and Hawks bassist Paul Marshall penned to meld with the style of the covers.
The musicians on this album include Waller’s Hawks cohorts Paul Lacques and Paul Marshall as well as John York (The Byrds, Doug Sahm), Benjamin Lecourt (The Wallflowers), Skip Edwards (Dave Alvin, Dwight Yoakham), Stephen McCarthy (The Long Ryders, The Jayhawks), Mike Clinco, Matt Von Roderick and Kaitlin Wolfberg. Freddie Hart’s original pedal steel player JD Walter adds his signature sound. Harmony vocals were sung by Gia Ciambotti (Lucinda Williams, Bruce Springsteen) and Gregg Sutton (Joe Cocker, Barry Goldberg) as well as by Carla Olson.
In describing the concept behind the album Davis says, “If you like Raul Malo, Gene Pitney, or Randy Travis you will love this album. If you like the Cactus Blossoms, Jamestown Revival or the Milk Carton Kids you will love this album.” Other inspirational records include: Bryan Ferry’s These Foolish Things, Another Time ~ Another Place, and As Time Goes Time, Sandie Shaw’s Reviewing The Situation, BJ Thomas’s Nightlife, and David Bowie’s Pin~Ups.
See The Big Man Cry is designed and sequenced like The Rolling Stones album Tattoo You or Rod Stewart’s Atlantic Crossing. Here we have a pop and rock “side” and an Americana and country “side.” Thematically the record navigates the sadness and pain of love and loss but with hopeful acknowledgment of the healing power of music.
This latest solo effort comes on the heels of Waller’s two well received contributions to the BMG multi-artist and Olson-producedAmericana Railroad (2021). Olson has also produced albums by Jake Andrews, Barry Goldberg, Paul Jones, Phil Upchurch, Joe Louis Walker, and Mare Winningham as well as individual tracks by artists ranging from Otis Rush to Billy Joe Royal to Dave Alvin.
See The Big Man Cry will be released on October 20th, 2023. For more information about the album or Robert Rex Waller Jr. please contact: Geraint Jones at email@example.com