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Rival Sons released their sixth album, Feral Roots, in January. The band’s frontman and songwriter tells Gary Walker about the album that helped him find his place in the world

Astral Weeks

Iwas 20 years old and at a very lonely time in my life when I first heard Astral Weeks. I’d done a lot of travelling and had been living on my own for a couple of years. I’d moved away from my small home town down to Orange County because I needed to get out into the city in order to play music.

I didn’t have friends there and was working in a little café. There was a record store in the same complex. I wanted to get some Van Morrison, but they only had Astral Weeks, and I’d never heard it. I put it on and thought, ‘Oh man, this doesn’t sound like Domino, or any of that upbeat stuff’. It was a very isolated time in my life, that woodshedding time, trying to grow up. Astral Weeks gave a musical landscape to that time. The emotional IQ of the record creates an environment that’s easy to put yourself in. I’d done a lot of backpacking, I’d never been to Ireland, but you could just relate. It struck such a deep groove with me. At 20 years old, I’d backpacked through Alaska and was trying to find myself in the world, I was all hopped up on the Beat Poets. It’s that mercurial part of your life when you’re trying to open yourself up to what the world is.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Long Live Vinyl - Apr 2019: Record Store Day
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