'There’s a homegrown Americana spirit to the way Rester tells his stories, a tumbleweed whiskey-soaked country kick that shows panache and stays true to the many Hindus that consider the Ramayana to be a sacred text. Americayana is quite the journey.' - Americana UK
In retrospect, it probably should come as no surprise that the world didn't quite know what to make of Chicago songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Aaron Rester's Americayana when it was first released in 2017. After all, a concept album that retells an ancient South Asian epic through the idiom of a wide variety of early 20th-century American music isn't exactly a recipe for commercial success. As the five-year anniversary of the album's release approached, though, Rester found himself revisiting the record he refers to as "the Ramayana meets Willie Nelson's Red-Headed Stranger" with a new ear and new skills.
"I'd learned so much about production over those five years, especially from recording with Theodosia at Sun Studio in 2018, producing Only the Stars for The Long Farewells in 2019, and experimenting on my own during the pandemic lockdown, that I really wanted to go back and give the songs on Americayana their due,"Rester says. "I spent ten years writing and recording those songs, and I want people to hear the version of them that I've always heard in my head."
The result—a newly remixed, remastered, and sonically refreshed version of Americayana—is now available on all major streaming and download platforms. "I've loved this story for so many years," Rester says, "and I look forward to sharing a new version of it with the world."