Kentuckian-turned-New Yorker Cliff Westfall debuts the title track off his forthcoming album, Baby You Win, exclusively with C&I.
You don’t expect a New Yorker to belt out honky-tonk country tunes, but songwriter Cliff Westfall will be the first to tell you that the Big Apple and the Western lifestyle forgotten within it can inspire some of the best heartache, loss, and addiction tracks — tried-and-true staples for any country musician.
Westfall’s latest venture, Baby You Win, out July 13, brings his witty nature to the forefront. With the help of New York’s best musicians — guitarists Graham Norwood and Scott Metzger, pedal-steel player Dan Lead, bassist Jeremy Chatzky, drummer David Christian, and Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band keyboardist Charlie Giordano — and producer Bryce Goggin, the album showcases sarcastic, often humorous, fast-paced Americana.
Originally from Kentucky, Westfall draws from his bluegrass roots on the title track, “Baby You Win.”
“Growing up, I was a huge fan of trucker music,” he says. “I used to always buy those compilations on cassette— 49 Trucker Favorites, or whatever — and there would always be a few songs that weren’t really about trucks but had such a groove that you knew they were trucker songs anyway. That’s the way I wanted this song to sound.”
It took a couple of tries to get exactly what he wanted. “We actually had a decent recording of it, but I wasn’t satisfied that we had really gotten it. So the next day I asked the band to give it another go, a little bit faster and with the guitar parts a little more aggressive. I’m really glad we did. It turned out to be one of my favorites, with almost a surf-country sound, some great two-part guitar harmonies, and a real sense of forward motion. Scott Metzger’s opening line on the guitar solo is a killer, too.”
Packed with amusing lyrics, the country-roots track playfully ponders the power women have over men.
Get an exclusive first listen to Westfall’s “Baby You Win,” below.
For more information about Cliff Westfall and to preorder Baby You Win, visit his website. Photography: Courtesy Hearth Music.