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. At Whelan’s side was Oh Boy’s star artist, John Prine.
“It’s the only time I’ve ever been starstruck. I tried not to fanboy out over it and play it as cool as possible,” McKinley recalls of meeting one of his songwriting idols. “We talked for a brief moment. He was excited to see me play.”
Turns out, Prine and the Oh Boy team were excited enough that they also wanted to work with McKinley — he became the last artist that Whelan and Prine signed to the label before Prine's death in April. On August 14th, Oh Boy released McKinley’s album Die Midwestern, an LP that finds the 40-year-old looking back at where he’s been from the vantage point of hard-won experience'. ( courtesy Rolling Stone via Oh Boy website)
Buy/listen to Die Midwestern here