‘Runaway’ return | VailDaily.com

‘Runaway’ return

Ted Alvarez
Special to the Daily

“Runaway train never going back / Wrong way on a one way track / Seems like I should be getting somewhere / Somehow I’m neither here nor there.” – “Runaway Train”

Those lyrics poured out of televisions everywhere for the majority of 1992 and 1993, but the accompanying images were even more arresting: Soul Asylum’s music video for “Runaway Train” displayed photos of actual missing children and left contact information if anyone knew the whereabouts of the missing. More than just a mishmash of grunge images, the video actual meant something and made a difference. It remains a hallmark of the era, and has earned Soul Asylum a worthy page in 90s rock history. Though Soul Asylum are inextricably connected to the 90s – they played at Bill Clinton’s first inauguration – they are not trapped there, and their new release, “The Silver Lining,” is proof. Released last year, it ended an eight-year hiatus for the band, one which included the cancer diagnosis and eventual death of bassist Karl Mueller, an original member with singer/guitarist Dave Pirner and guitarist Dan Murphy.”It makes me think of Karl,” says Pirner. “It was long overdue to record exclusively in Minneapolis – the natural surroundings of home was something we needed. We feel extra proud of it.”Mueller rocked until the end, performing bass duties for some of the album despite being in the final throes of throat cancer and facing an uncertain end.

“I’m really proud of this record,” said Murphy. “It will always remind me of Karl… he was really sick, but he still pulled through and finished it in Soul Asylum style.” Soul Asylum has always been the ragged, scrappy band-that-could, and while they saw Twin Cities contemporaries like The Replacements and Husker Du go on to underground success in the 80s, they were left behind. But when the 90s rolled around, it was Soul Asylum – not the cool kids – that rocketed to stardom and captured the masses’ attention. With Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson and new drummer Michael Bland on board, the band seems fit to return to fighting form, an especially unlikely turn of events given their past tribulations. But the fact that most of their 90s conemporaries are dead and gone can only compliment them and give them wider berth to breathe and reclaim their sound. Free from any scene, Soul Asylum’s songs now stand on their own (though their Grammy-winning “Runaway Train” suggests they always did).

Soul Asylum takes the stage at Golden Peak at 6 p.m. on Wednesday as part of both the Bud Light Street Beat Concert Series and the Countrywide American Ski Classic. The concert is free. For more information, visit http://www.vvf.org or call 970-949-1999.Arts & Entertainment Writer Ted Alvarez can be reached at 748-2939 or talvarez@vaildaily.com.

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