Fate began his music career with a pick-worn guitar he bought from a pawn shop, busking the sidewalks of Denver, Austin, New Orleans and Nashville and working side jobs when he could. One day a laborer, the next a carpenter, the next a valet. He spent time as a deckhand on the lineboats that took him up and down the Mississippi River. Equally restless and observant - Fate was always mindful of his interactions with everyone he met, who came from all walks of life. Their lessons, wisdom and experience spilled into the songs that became Diesel Palomino the follow up to his 2017 self release record, Little Bill and the Late Fees.
Recorded at Loud and Clear Studios in Paducah, KY with the help of Shelby Preklas and S. Knox Montgomery and backed by Paducah group, Leonard the Band (Brian Rader, Zack Winding, Adam Rader, and Taylor Rader), Diesel Palomino has already drawn comparisons as diverse as work of Daniel Romano, Andrew Bird and Blind Blake.
Expansive beyond its seven tracks, the new album also shares tales of personal tragedy, loss, growth and inner reflection. At times a dark interpretation of a contemporary Mid-South existence, his sharp witted vignettes are often autobiographical, based on events from his turbulent childhood and formative teenage years. From the sun-beaten car carrying strung out, heartbroken characters across the desert (“Stars of Tucumcari”) to a coquettish encounter with a religious woman (“Preacherwoman Blues”), Fate draws on life experiences that seem enriched and testing beyond his 26 years.
Another influence on the record is the impact and lessons Fate learned from the early loss of his father Eric McAfee. Fate spent most of his life estranged from his father who struggled with addiction and passed after a battle with cancer. A former poet and war photographer, working in Bosnia during the civil war, Fate included some of his father’s photos in the album artwork.
Discussing using his father’s photography on the record Fate stated,
“I felt a strong desire to use my father's photographs in the album artwork because I believe they reinforce the musical theme of a tattered, dispersed memory. Individually, I find the photos suggestive of fragility, change, potential, and even excitement. Collectively, they seem to weave an ambivalent mystery which mirrors the lyrical content of the title track. The unknown origins or exact locations of the photos added to the mystique, but knowing that he was the photographer was relevant to the struggle explored in the album. This offered a type of catharsis to the trials inherent to his passing, and this concept of remaining conjoined with the dead, in a sense, is expressed in the photo behind the record.”