Brand New Distance

The Story of ‘Brand New Distance’

How Cimarron 615’s debut album began with tributes to Poco’s Rusty Young

The story of Cimarron 615’s debut album Brand New Distance, and indeed of the band itself, traces back to a Rusty Young tribute concert and album. When the legendary Poco frontman passed in 2021, Blue Élan Records head Kirk Pasich organized a memorial weekend at Missouri’s Wildwood Springs Lodge and released My Friend: A Tribute To Rusty Young the following year. The “house band” for both projects comprised Nashville luminaries who’d collaborated with Rusty over the years: Jack Sundrud, Michael Webb, Rick Lonow, Bill Lloyd, and Tom Hampton.

Pasich was so struck by both the artistry and rare musical chemistry of the quintet that he offered them a record deal as a standalone band. At his suggestion, each member of Cimarron 615 (named for Poco classic “Rose of Cimarron” and Nashville’s 615 area code) contributed two songs to their debut, comprising both existing compositions and tracks written specifically for Brand New Distance.

The selected songs were then tracked at Nashville’s storied Treasure Isle studio (Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton etc.). A day was devoted to each track, with its composer acting as musical director for that session. Brand New Distance (a title taken from a line in album standout/single “Try Again”) was essentially captured live, with minimal overdubs, resulting in its visceral, organic air.

“It’s not all just hugs and kisses – we also rub up against each other!” laughed drummer Lonow. “But that chemistry is really what makes the great bands.”