Tell You What! Episode 29 with Arlo McKinley
Cincinnati native Arlo McKinley released his debut solo album Die Midwestern in 2020 on John Prine’s Oh Boy Records, an album that ended up on a number of “best of 2020” lists. These are songs of deep personal truth, snapshots from a difficult time in Arlo’s life. His soulful voice, songwriting talents, and the services of an all-star Memphis studio band combine to produce beautiful and wonderfully compelling music. We discuss Arlo’s hip-hop influenced vocal style, the absolute mystery of the songwriting process, and musical debts owed to the formal wear industry.
Arlo McKinley Nominated for Breakthrough Artist/Release at The 2021 Libera Awards
Thank you to A2IM for the Breakthrough Artist/Release nomination for this years Libera Awards. I’m truly honored to see the hard work that was put into Die Midwestern being recognized🙏
- Arlo McKinley
Who Is Arlo McKinley? 5 Things You Need To Know
Like many musicians, McKinley grew up singing in church and soaked up inspiration from his parents' record collection, which contained bluegrass music; country acts such as Hank Williams and George Jones; and greats including Bob Dylan and Otis Redding. Later, however, he also got into punk and metal via his older brothers.
John Prine signee Arlo McKinley can’t escape Ohio on “Die Midwestern”
The late John Prine was by all accounts an incredibly kind-hearted man, but he was not easily impressed. So his decision to sign Arlo McKinley, an Ohio-born 40-year-old singer-songwriter still yet to release his debut album, to his own Oh Boy Records earlier this year is a sign of just how striking McKinley's songs can be.
At 40, Arlo McKinley Finds a Champion in John Prine’s Oh Boy Records
Last year, singer-songwriter Arlo McKinley played a set at the intimate Nashville venue the High Watt. A couple of very important things happened that evening. For one, the Cincinnati-based performer landed his current booking agent out of it. Secondly, among those in attendance was Jody Whelan, Director of Operations for Oh Boy Records, whom McKinley had gotten to know after playing an AmericanaFest event for the label a year earlier.
Arlo McKinley releases 'Die Midwestern,' a must-hear album from John Prine's Oh Boy Records
On the 10-track "Die Midwestern," out now via Nashville independent label Oh Boy Records, McKinley sings about a bittersweet way of living through songs of chemical dependency, untamed restlessness and unspoken heartache — experiences in the rust belt that defined him beyond any geographic boundary.
REVIEW: Arlo McKinley’s “Die Midwestern” Is Crushing
Good songwriters know good songwriters. John Prine, upon hearing Arlo McKinley’s “Bag of Pills” for the first time, remarked, “That’s a good song” (Mr. Prine was not one to waste words). McKinley signed with Prine’s Oh Boy label this past March, and his solo debut is the first release following Mr. Prine’s passing. Even as that’s a sad coincidence, Die Midwestern continues a legacy of great songwriting.
Arlo McKinley Debuts New Music Video For Powerful “She’s Always Around”
“I wanted to work with Hope in the Hills in some way since Healing Appalachia had to be canceled this year due to Covid. I’ve seen first hand what that organization does for those in need of help with addiction. I thought that having an option to raise some money for them with the release of this video and this song in particular made sense.” - Arlo