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Highball Bruiser: New album by Connor Jay Liess now streaming and available on CD

Trapper’s Attic Records is proud to announce the release of Connor Jay Liess’s latest album, Highball Bruiser. This is the third album by the Idaho balladeer and roadkill mortician, following Trapper’s Attic (2021) and Ponderosa (2019).



Highball Bruiser is a 16-track behemoth of “train-flavored” songs and features many railroad-themed folk, blues and country standards covering artists Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Tarheel Slim and more. Highball Bruiser also includes three original train compositions.


“Train songs run deep in my blood,” Liess said. “My great-grandpa was a railroad engineer in the 1940s for Southern Pacific. He drove a 4-8-4 steam locomotive numbered 1371 and always had this certain charismatic swagger about him I remember as a kid.”


Liess spent 10 months recording and engineering each arrangement and is thankful for the time and musicianship of nearly two dozen local musicians in the Boise, Idaho area. Highball Bruiser features the work of Charlie Sutton, Dry Buck, Adam Straubinger, Kim Ray, Christy Rezaii, Turtle Poppers, as well as Liess’ two right-hand men, “Mustang” Mark Stolpe and Matt Skipper (co-producer).


Liess’ obsession with the railroad has been the inspiration behind much of his songwriting and character. As a kid in Redlands, California, Liess and his family would frequent the San Timoteo canyon and wave to the passing freight trains parting the sea of orange groves. His railroading great-grandfather, Don Sholes, would occasionally sneak the youngster aboard the trains to show him the view overlooking the tracks.


“Trains have always struck a chord with me,” Liess said. “They’re like great iron whales that kind of have their own personalities. Travel by train is becoming more and more a thing of the past. I not only wanted to celebrate their history with this record, but dedicate these songs to my great-grandparents, Don and Montest Sholes, who gave me such a potent taste of Americana as a kid that I can still taste it like pennies on my tongue.”


Highball Bruiser was engineered, recorded and mixed by Liess in his basement studio dubbed Trapper’s Attic, home of Trapper’s Attic Records. In addition to streaming, the album is available on CD through the label’s website, www.trappersattic.com.

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