Most people, when they think of San Francisco, probably associate our city with rock acts, like Third Eye Blind, Train, or newcomers like Hot Flash Heat Wave or Stone Foxes.
But there are other musical acts that dabble in different sounds and genres that can be found within our city borders. Country/folk singer Kelly McFarling is one such artist, and for the last four years, the Atlanta transplant has been quietly toiling away on her next full-length album.
Water Dog — which SF Weekly is premiering today and will come out on Friday, June 16 — is a phenomenal, slow-burning record, filled with tepid country rockers and rootsy, Americana cuts. Put another way, if there was such a thing as “rocking chair music,” Water Dog would fit the bill.
The album was produced by local Americana artist Avi Vinocur — who also played mandolin, drums, guitar, bass, banjo, and sang — and features banjo and acoustic guitar by McFarley.
An intimate study on both the power of nature and human relationships, Water Dog covers myriad topics and examines how they intersect and interact.
“It’s about love, trust, and how we come to know the things we know,” McFarling says. “It’s about falling in love while looking at the Pacific Ocean. It’s about family and how and where to make a home.”
The record is also a paean of sorts to the city of San Francisco, where McFarling has been living for the last decade.
“[It’s] a little bit of a love letter to this city,” McFarling says, “and all the things it has given me and taught me. I am happy that this record was made here with the people who have given me a sense of foundation in a rapidly, constantly changing place.”
Catch Kelly McFarling’s show at Cafe Du Nord on Thursday, July 13.