“It was a face I’d seen a thousand times at every Derby I’d been to.  I saw it, in my head, as the mask of the whiskey gentry – a pretentious mix of booze, failed dreams, and a terminal identity crisis; the inevitable result of too much inbreeding in a closed an ignorant culture.”
– Hunter S. Thompson

When Lauren Staley Morrow came across this quote from Hunter S. Thompson, she envisioned being in a band called The Whiskey Gentry.  Within two years, that vision was a reality.  By 2009, Paste Magazine had tabbed them as “The Best of What’s Next,” and the band has since hit the studio twice with vaunted producer John Keane to record 2011’s Please Make Welcome and Holly Grove, which just dropped yesterday.

At the heart of The Whiskey Gentry are Lauren and her husband, Jason.  The two of them were kind enough to play our own version of The Newlywed Game.  Each of them – independently – answered the questions below and sent them in.  After reading them, it seems like they are a pretty good match.

TM – You guys just finished a jaunt through Belgium and France with your band.  Who orders better off the menu in French?

Lauren – I do, of course.  I took a little bit of French in middle school.  That aside, Jason is the worst ever at accents, so this is an easy win for me.

Jason – From the band, it would have to be Rurik, our fiddle player.  He’s fluent in French.  The two of us are horrible, but If I had to pick one, it would be Lauren.

TM – You two like tattoos.  Who has the best single tattoo?  Bonus points if you tell where it is.

Jason – It’s got to be Lauren’s Detroit tattoo.  It’s supposed to be an old English L, but it looks like a Detroit Tigers’ D.  She is probably going to say mine of her holding the Tennessee flag.

Lauren – Jason does and it is on his arm.  It’s a tattoo of a Tennessee flag and a girl who looks just like me.

TM – Is your other half more whiskey or more gentry?

Lauren – Oh, he’s DEFINITELY more whiskey than me.  I didn’t even like whiskey before we started this band.

Jason – She is definitely more gentry.  I’m going to call the whiskey side for myself.

TM – Between home life and life on the road, you guys are in the car together.  A lot.  Worse back seat driver?

Lauren – Probably me.  Actually, definitely me.  I’m kind of a nervous wreck in the car and I’m always telling Jason how to drive.  He LOVES that.

Jason – Lauren for sure.  She panics, tells me to stop tapping the brakes, she always has to pull over to pee.  Absolutely Lauren.

TM – What makes your other half so damned awesome?

Jason – The fact that she loves my dog and me.  We’re both stinky.

Lauren – Jason has always encouraged me and prevented me from quitting no matter how hard I get on myself.  He makes me laugh and he’s my best friend.  And he’s pretty cute, too.

Lauren, Jason, and the rest of The Whiskey Gentry are hard on the road supporting the release of Holly Grove.  After a couple dates in the Northeast this week, you can catch the band all weekend at the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion (www.bristolrhythm.com) and in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Midpoint Music Festival (www.mpmf.com) on September 28th.  For more information on the band and other tour dates, check out www.thewhiskeygentry.com.

You can also hear a track from The Whiskey Gentry on this month’s Trail Mix.

If you are interested in getting your hands on a Holly Grove  swag pack, which includes a copy of the new record, a hat, and tee shirt, take a shot at the trivia question down below.  Remember to email your answer to dave@blueridgeoutdoors.com.  A winner will be chosen from all correct answers received by noon tomorrow (Thursday, September 12th).

Good luck!

Question – In what Hunter S. Thompson short story did Lauren find the quote above?