Rehab Breaks Down the Little Things in Life, and the Big Things in Our Universe, with New Album ‘Sand Castles’

by Jonathan Howard

Back again with a new album, this isn’t the “Bartender Song”. Rehab has released Sand Castles and it is unlike anything the band has done in the past. No, this isn’t the same rap-rock-country hybrid that 2005’s Graffiti the World was. On Sand Castles, Danny Boone tells stories of the human condition. Thoughts and feelings that we all have, hard times we all go through, existential dread, and honoring our elders and loved ones that brought us so much joy when they were here.

Outsider spoke with Boone recently about Sand Castles, his first rap group, and more. With a new album, an ongoing tour, and being more or less independent… Rehab has new wind in its sails. The album is full of fun sounds musically, with a jazzy piano and brass section throughout. With classic southern rock guitars and Boone’s great Georgia accent, this is a new level to Rehab.

Photo Courtesy of Arcade Management

Danny Boone Wants to Make the Music that He Wants to Make

With thoughts about climate change, the universe, and our small role in the grand scheme of things, a simple box of hats, a beloved family matriarch, and more, Danny Boone is making the music he wants to make. And, that’s not always been an option. Rehab has done the label thing. They have bounced around in the past and had to deal with all the headaches that can cause. The creative restrictions.

“We always prided ourselves on doing different kinds of things all over the board, you know what I mean? We like a lot of different kinds of music, but it’s hard to do that with a label because they don’t know how to plug you in. And I get that. There’s a lot of genre-specific things you gotta do.”

However, the band is independent now and doing its own thing. Sand Castles might have not been made under a major label. The style is something you won’t find anywhere else. You also won’t hear Danny Boone or anyone else rapping a verse on this album. All while maintaining a sound that is uniquely Rehab, uniquely Boone.

Rehab, Sand Castles, and Thinking Too Deep on the Couch

Rehab starts things off with the title track, “Sand Castles”. The song touches on a theme that pops up in Rehab’s music. Boone has often referenced climate change in his songs. “Graffiti the World” is a big example. So, longtime Rehab fans won’t be surprised to hear more of that here with “Sand Castles”. However, it isn’t really what you think it is. While Boone acknowledges climate change, he says he isn’t really an activist.

“I’m not really concerned about it [climate change], I just know it’s bound to happen. It’s like, it’s just inevitable. And the, you know and as far as environmental, I’m not really a big activist of anything, really.”

Later in the album, we get a very relatable track for those of us who sit around and ponder too much. Especially if you’ve had extra help from a drink or a puff or two. “Man on a Couch” goes through the tininess of human existence and the importance of reflection.

“It’s just, we really trip out on a lot of things. There’s this little bitty planet… it’s a piece of dust in the grand scheme and we’re all here bugging out! It’s just crazy to me… We are just really some trippy people, and I am too. I trip out on things that really don’t matter. But, at the end of the day, you know what’s up, we’re all out here. Just try to have fun, support your family, help people, blah blah blah.”

That’s a little life lesson from Danny Boone to you, Outsiders.

In a Chair Sits Alice Ruth…

Throughout Sand Castles, we get these stories about life. Observations of the world through Boone’s eyes and put into the music of Rehab. There are love songs, songs of heartache, and more. However, the end of the album ends with a trio of beautiful songs. The lyrics and storytelling sit with some of the best sad songs in country music, but with these other elements. An organ, a brass section, the singing style of Boone, and more.

Sit, listen and think about your grandpa, where your family was, and where they are now during “Where I Lay My Hat Down.” That song goes into “Sunday” which brings memories of going to church as a kid, looking up to your father, and all those good feelings you got from community early in life. Not to mention the life lessons. However, it’s “Alice Ruth” that finishes this album and is perhaps the best song from the project. In Danny Boone fashion, the song is based on his wife’s grandmother.

She just passed at the age of 103. However, the song was written when the real-life Alie Ruth was just a youthful 99. Boone captures her image and personality like no other in the song. Telling stories about rich men and then laughing that they had died. Complaining about her neighbors in the nursing home, normal stuff.

“She’d say the lady next door sounded like a goat, and shit like that. She was a cool old lady, man, and she lived to be almost 104 years old. Almost two weeks from 104. … Old Alice Ruth, like the last week [of her life] we were just talking to her and she was like, ‘If I had a button on the wall right now to push and be outta here, I’d be gone.'”

The album will hit those small-town folks right in the chest. You feel yourself getting lost in the stories. You picture your own family in these songs. It all comes together for an album that will likely go on criminally underrated.

Check out the album in full and see for yourself.