The band’s eponymous debut [Jive], shows that Carrol and co-guitarist Josh Gragg are indeed faithful to the butt-shakin’ roots of rock and roll, as they garner comparisons to the Black Crowes, Little Feat, and the Rolling Stones. But unlike the intertwining “who-is-doing-what” interplay of Keith Richards and Ron Wood, Carrol and Gragg stick to more sonically distinct roles.
“We use a traditional lead/rhythm template,” explains Carrol. “Josh nails the low-end barre chords, and I play inversions up the neck to fill things out. That was the Hank Williams philosophy: If one guy is playing low, the other guy has to go high.”
To track their debut, American Minor holed up in Wishbone Studios, a facility run by former Blind Melon members Christopher Thorn and Brad Smith, who also produced the record.
“The record company felt we didn't have an album’s worth of material ready, so we wound up having to write several tracks on the spot in the studio,” says Carrol. “Thankfully, Christopher and Brad provided a relaxed atmosphere with a policy of non-interference. But if we hit a brick wall, they’d suggest a part or a chord change, or they would reinforce an idea we already had. For example, sometimes we’d avoid going to the relative minor of a song for the bridge section because that seemed too obvious. But they’d say, ‘Don’t second guess yourselves. That’s exactly where you should go.’ They’re really some of the best producers out there right now. It’s going to suck when we try to work with them again, because they’re probably going to be booked up!”