The winter of 2008 brought him to sunny Los Angeles where he nestled into a hillside bungalow to write and record the self-titled debut, Vanish Valley. Throughout the year, McAllister collected makeshift instruments and thrift store organs, built out his home studio, and befriended local players - most prominently drummer Daniel Goldblatt. The two began recording a series of songs that would soon become the follow-up Vanish Valley album, Get Good. After college McAllister moved to Austin TX to pursuer a career in film work.
It was there that he began frequenting the popular roots bar, The Continental Club, and fell in love with Honky Tonk. Digging further into the local music scene he discovered a love for Townes Van Zandt. Dale Watson, and Daniel Johnston. When his career in film wasn’t taking off as he had hoped, McAllister returned to Seattle. Back in Seattle, he began recording his own lonesome country songs under the name “Conrad Ford”.
He assembled a band with Jordan Walton (record engineer for Damien Jurado and Denison Witmer) and over the course of four years made two albums with Phil Ek (Fleet Foxes/Band of Horses/The Shins) and Tucker Martine (The Decemberists) that were released on Tarnished Records. Conrad Ford mounted several tours, opening for Holly Golightly, Jason Isbell, Eef Barzelay and Firewater. Now in Los Angeles (where he works as a film editor), McAllister has assembled a proper band - Guy Christiano (bass) Alex Owen (keys) and Daniel Goldblatt (drums) for Vanish Valley. “A lot of this album was written while surviving the first couple years in Los Angeles.”, says McAllister. “The town can take on so many shapes that it really forces you to carve out your existence.
It was a wake-up to keep solid people close and value the relationships I have - near or far. I guess the album is about the struggle and celebration in trying to do that.” Blending elements of folk, country and psychedelic rock, the songs on Vanish Valley ramble their way through hushed landscapes and into roll-your-window-down backcountry cruises. Listen to Vanish Valley and you’ll feel it too. Read more on Last.fm.
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