Nomenclature, the band-ish brainchild of Macon native Denny Hanson, has released a cover of the Willie Nelson-penned “Night Life”.
Written in 1960 during one of Nelson’s commutes from his gig at the Esquire Ballroom in Houston, Texas, the tune also became a staple for Ray Price after appearing on the Cherokee Cowboy’s 1963 album of the same name.
Nomenclature’s version was produced by Jesse Mangum and pays homage to both Nelson and Price with Hanson’s keys channeling classic Floyd Cramer over a brushed snare interrupted at intervals by surfy, neo-rockabilly guitar. Evoking Iggy Pop’s cut of “One For My Baby”, Denny’s delightfully deep and contemptuous croon mines more from Buddy Emmons pedal steel than Ray’s legendary wail, threatening an edge– playfully, mournfully– but never menacingly.
“I’d heard the Ray Price version before, but my girl Kelsey introduced me to Willie’s version which is completely arresting. Such a strong, cinematic, and lonely mood he’s got going on,” Hanson relates.
In addition to his own project, Denny is also a touring member of Rumours ATL: A Fleetwood Mac Tribute.
“I’ve just spent so many nights the last few years giving all I have to give to performing, which is then quickly followed by driving multiple hours and meditating with the yellow lines,” says Hanson. “I guess ‘Night Life’ just met me where I was on the road.”