How The West Was Once

A.H. Pettus is one of those folks whose creativity simply has to flow out in many directions. Whether it involves visual arts like film making or painting, acting, fiction writing or songwriting, this artist has a lot to share. Most recently, he has returned to music as a way to work through challenging life events and raw emotions. His new solo record, How The West Was Once, is made up of “songs of resilience” written before, during, and after his recent divorce, providing “an intimate look inside the rise and fall of a love story,” using the Old West as a backdrop and a unifying theme. The sound encompasses country, Appalachian folk, indie rock, and even a little bit of punk. The album title is more than just a clever pun. “Once you’ve lived in a place with someone…whatever it was before, those memories are there…they’ll always have a deep-rooted place in you. You can’t help but go back to that place and have those memories…”

As far as the musical side of his creativity, A.H. identifies his teen years as a key developmental period. “I started in high school, really, trying to write my own stuff, and then played around town…” He adds that a lack of guitar skills played a role. He “would get frustrated trying to play other people’s music” and used writing as a way to get better at music overall.

Later, after attending film school and pursuing that creative avenue, he says “I kind of fell into this band, and…we played up and down the East Coast…” That band was a collective of Charlotte, NC-area rock musicians known as Remy St. Claire. A decade further down the road, the artist explains his gravitation toward a more Americana, singer-songwriter mode this way: “…at the end of the day…those are always the songs that I turn on because they’re the ones that I connect with more…They make me feel better about the day I just had…” Apparently, A.H. has figured out how to channel that vibe into his own songs; he shares that one fan, commenting on his new music, said, “It feels like a warm hug at the end of the day.”

To find out more, visit Listen to the interview here.

By Dan Walsh