Pawn Shop Gold

Pawn Shop Gold
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Pawn Shop Gold formed in early 2011 after frontman, Jason Bednorz, released his debut solo album (What You Never Said). In February of 2011, after Jason had played a string of happy hour gigs at Billy's Ice in New Braunfels, venue owner, Nick Sisoian, told Bednorz he was booking him a headlining gig on April 28th, and he'd better have a band by then. The rest is history.


The band was made up of a group of guys that Jason had met during his time in San Marcos, and the band's name comes from the first cover song that they learned...a Slaid Cleaves and Rod Picott tune called Broke Down. The opening line is "Sherry had a pawn shop band if gold..."


Kevin Vogler was the first to join Bednorz when he decided to form the band. However, after playing bass for his first two and half years in the band, Kevin put down the bass and picked up the guitar after writing almost all of the guitar parts for their new record, Lonely Foolish Hearts. Vogler played all of the bass and lead guitar on the record, as well as some rhythm electric guitar, and penning the second track, Bright Lights Of Austin.


Woody McClendon joined the band almost a year later to play harmonica, mandolin, and a little bit of guitar. This came after playing a steady Thursday evening Happy Hour gig with Jason and Kevin at Cheatham Street Warehouse for a couple of months in early 2012. One night, after playing one of these happy hour gigs, they started with a few lines that Jason had come up with and a mandolin riff that Woody was picking, and the three of them wrote their first song as a group. Woody's place as a member of the band was set. That song, Blanco River Serenade, is the opening track on Lonely Foolish Hearts. Woody also has a song he wrote on the album called Waiting On Goodbye, and the three co-wrote two other songs on the album, Too Late To Care and Early October.


Lonely Foolish Hearts is the band's sophomore project in the studio, following their debut EP, Pretty Enough, that was released in September of 2012. Although, they are still proud of their freshman effort, LFH took the band in a whole new direction...a good one they hope. This was the first time the band recorded any songs that were not penned by Bednorz, and the first time that either Woody or Kevin had a song that they wrote or co-wrote on an album. LFH was recorded and produced by long-time friend, Russell Tanner.


This was not Russell's first time to work with Bednorz, or Pawn Shop Gold. Tanner engineered Jason's debut solo album, and played a lot of the lead guitar on PSG's EP. This time was different though; Tanner was taking the producer's chair for the first time in his career. He and the guys stripped down every song on the record to the bare bones...the words and the melody. And even though Russell built the record around some solid, groovy drum tracks provided by Scott Muennink of Buster Jiggs, and even though there were no less than 6 different amps and 9 or 10 different electric guitars used on the the album, he still found a way to keep the focus of LFH on the one thing that matters to PSG...the songs.


When asked about the record, Bednorz said "We went in with a few goals: to record the best 11 songs that we could write, to make an album that we were proud of and that we were all equally a part of. We feel like we achieved our goals. It was a cool first-time feeling to get to sing songs that I didn't write, but because of how tight-knit we are as a band, the songs I didn't write struck just as much of a nerve with me as my own songs...and I think we're all very proud of the three that we wrote together. We couldn't be happier with how the record turned out, and that's due, in large part, to Russell and all of the hard work he put into this thing. He gave this record just as much heart as the three of us did, and it was almost like he was an extension of the band while we were in there. He pushed us, and we are a better band after recording Lonely Foolish Hearts, thanks to him..."


Lonely Foolish Hearts also features guest performances from Whit Wright of American Aquarium on lap and pedal steel guitar as well as vocal performances by former bandmate Russell Bisbey of The Old 300, Haley Cole, and William Clark Green. Ironically, Green, who is known for his tales of heartbreak and despair, makes his guest appearance on the album's most light-hearted, fun-loving track, Everybody's Lookin'. Bednorz says "It's the lone 'happy' song on the record, and we couldn't think of anyone more perfect to join us for a duet. We couldn't have him sing with me on a heartbreaker though; we wanted to do something that was a little bit out of the ordinary for both of us...Everybody's Lookin' was that song."

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