Arlo McKinley Announces Oh Boy Records Debut Album ‘Die Midwestern’ & Shares Single

By Andy Kahn Jun 10, 2020 10:26 am PDT

Singer-songwriter Arlo McKinley will release his debut solo album, Die Midwestern, on August 14. The album marks the Cincinnati-native’s debut on the Oh Boy Records label, which the late John Prine co-founded.

McKinley premiered the album’s lead single, “Walking Shoes,” via Garden & Gun. The song is one of 10 on Die Midwestern, which was recorded at the historic Sam Phillips Recording Service in Memphis and produced by Matt Ross-Spang. McKinley is backed on the album by Memphis-based musicians, Ken Coomer, David Smith, Will Sexton, Rick Steff, Jessie Munson and Reba Russell.

McKinley was the last Oh Boy Records artist signed together by John Prine and his son Jody Whelan. Prine died in April at the age of 73 due to COVID-19.

“John was reserved in his praise for songwriters,” said Whelan. “I played him a couple of Arlo’s songs and he heard ‘Bag Of Pills’ and said, “that’s a good song” which for him, was very high praise. He loved Arlo’s voice, this big guy with a sweet, soulful, gospel voice. He loved the dichotomy of the hard life lived, presented through such beautiful songs and John was very excited about the promise of the album’s release.”

“The feeling of knowing that a hero of mine took time out of his day to come see me perform is such an accomplishment in itself to me,” McKinley said, “that if it all ended the next day and I found out music just wasn’t in the cards for me, I would’ve still considered everything I have done as a success”

Watch the video for “Walking Shoes” below:

Die Midwestern Tracklist

  1. We Were Alright
  2. Die Midwestern
  3. She’s Always Around
  4. Bag of Pills
  5. The Hurtin’s Done
  6. Suicidal Saturday Night
  7. Once Again
  8. Whatever You Want
  9. Gone For Good
  10. Walking Shoes
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