Jordan Tarrant Talks Small-Town Vibes and His New Single ‘Round The Hill’


Hello reader! So, this week I had a blast chatting with local singer/songwriter, Jordan Tarrant. Not only does he have a fantastic band and a smooth, rich voice, but he’s also part of the Virginia Moonwalker family! Jordan’s been cookin’ up some fresh tunes at the Moonwalker studio and is about to drop “Round The Hill,” a one-time single, on April 6th. Plus, there’s a release party to celebrate! We dive into the story behind his new song, the whole recording adventure, and the magic-maker, Russell Lacy. Check out our fun convo below:

Gabe: Hey man! What’s up? What’s new?

Jordan: Well, we’re putting out this single. We got a single release show coming up here at Hardywood. 

Gabe: ‘Round the Hill’!

Jordan: ‘Round the Hill’. And we recorded this joint over at our dear buddy, Russell Lacy’s place. At the Virginia Moon Walker. I know, you know it, well.

Gabe: Good spot. Good dude. Love that place.

Jordan Tarrant, Round The Hill
Photo courtesy of Jordan Tarrant

Jordan: Good spot, great dude, really fun tune co-written with my good buddy Jared Pool and myself. Yeah, he actually, I think, was stuck in the back of a van and just kind of noodling around on his mandolin when he captured a voice memo on his phone. I think there’s a setting on the voice memo that automatically saves it to the area you’re in. So, it happened to be in this place called Round Hill, Virginia. I didn’t know that at the time, but he sent me over this song and said, “This is pretty cool.” And I was like, “Oh, cool. It says ‘Round Hill’.” But I think you can fill in the blanks, you know what I mean? So, I thought, “Oh, ‘around the hill’? Sweet, I can make that work.” That makes a lot of sense, and I was like, “Yeah, I know about that.”

Gabe: Glad I got to the bottom of that. Thought it was just about fucking.

Jordan: [haha] Nah, it’s about just getting older and more useless every year.

Gabe: That sounds fun.

Jordan: I’m just kidding. It’s not about that either.

Jordan Tarrant, Round The Hill
Art work by Harry Slater @hark__the__harold

Gabe: [laughs] Alright, what’s it about?

Jordan: You know, it’s about a small-town blues sort of feel, I guess. In a small town, you can’t really ever escape anybody; you’re always going to see them around one of these hills, especially in Richmond. The whole sentiment of the song captures the emotional maelstrom of encountering people you have long, complex relationships with, and sometimes go back so far with that it’s hard to bear talking to them anymore. It’s like, “Oh, I can’t go down to that bar.” You know?

Gabe: Everybody in this city has a bar they won’t really go to anymore.

Jordan: I know, man. Honestly, it’s really sad because it hurts a lot of music scene because everybody’s like, ‘oh that’s so-n-so’s place. I swore I’d never go back there again’.

Gabe: ‘Not in this economy’.

Jordan: [laughs] Right? We can’t afford that. We need everyone’s complete support of the live music scene. But anyway, that was the vibe of the song and we wrote it over a period of some months and then took it over to Russell’s place and he got kind of weird with it. And, you know, Russell is great at getting weird on some tunes.

Gabe: Hundred percent.

Jordan Tarrant, Round The Hill
Photo courtesy of Jordan Tarrant

Jordan: So, we kind of got weird and experimental. And kind of got out of the box a little bit. So we had to make a choice. Are we gonna do some recordings that basically captures of the band and how we do what we do or are we gonna take this time to get weird and out of the frame and do some things that we never do because we get do that in the studio. and ‘Round the Hill’ I think is more of a chance for us to do things that are a lot of fun that might not be exactly do on stage. Whereas our, our new recording project is a lot more of like what we do in a live show.

Gabe: Nice. Yeah, I know. Well, that’s a great thing about working with Russell. He’s always looking for options.

Jordan: Yeah. He’s always thinking about different ways to do stuff and always trying to figure out how to get people out of their comfort zone. And be like, ‘oh, we should do it like this’. And it’s like, ‘no, I don’t wanna do it with a draft’. And he’s like, ‘oh, but you gotta try it like draft style’. And then you fight him on it and then it’s like, ‘well, maybe it’s better with the draft’. I mean, a lot of the times, you know, it turns out pretty good.

Gabe: I’m glad it worked out.

Jordan: Yeah. Usually, it does. And that’s how it was with some of the stuff on this recording. Russell has a really kick ass harmonica solo he pulls out in the middle there we all love.

Gabe: He’s on the harp?

Jordan: Russell is.

Gabe: Oh my god.

Jordan: I know man! Fuckin hambone. He like kicked us all out of the way and he was like, ‘Screw you. It’s my turn.’ I was like, ‘no Russell. Please stop. We wanna make our song’. He was like, ‘no, I’ll do what I wanna do’. 

Gabe: He had this ‘I got this’ moment.

Jordan: Yea. I got this. So, he basically tied us all down to chairs, you know, with duct tape. And forced us to shut up so he could do the harmonica solo. And it was great. I honestly, you know, so be it. It turned out to be a really good to great solo.

Russell Lacy fires back with, “they made me do that harmonica solo.” The harmonica solo mystery in Tarrant’s “Round The Hill” keeps on brewing. But hey, it’s an awesome track that totally vibes with what a lot of folks, especially in Richmond, are feeling. Jordan and his squad are dropping this fresh single on April 6th, available on all streaming platforms. Plus, there’s a can’t-miss release party at Hardywood the same day! Swing by between 6:30 and 8:30 – and guess what, no cover charge. So you’ve gotta come and jam with us. Long live Richmond music!

Give Jordan Tarrant a follow @tarrantmusic

Gabriel Santamaria

Gabriel Santamaria

Band leader of The Flavor Project, Co Owner at La Cocina Studios, Cast Member on The Hustle Season podcast.

more in music

Spotlight on Luxxienne: A New Wave of Photography in Richmond

Say hello to Lucienne Nghiem, known in the digital world as luxxienne, a Richmond-based photographer, whose artistry is painting the town in shades of dream-pop and disco. Lucienne has transformed her passion into a full-time endeavor, infusing her work with a...

From Band Life to Big Dreams: Wes Parker’s Solo Journey

The name Wes Parker had been appearing on my radar for many weeks, and he seemed like the new kid on the block to talk to. Parker in 2024 alone had released two new singles, the second one by the name “Annie Moore” with a video to accompany it, and then with another...

The Kids Are Alright: Cristian Espinoza’s Street Life Photos

Cristian Espinoza has been capturing the essence of youth street life for some time, and his film photography provides a raw, authentic look into the underground and art culture of the DMV area. We had the opportunity to send him a few questions. R. Anthony Harris:...

Golden Shoals, Ten Pound Snail & Kidz At Play: Sound Check

Friday Cheers may be taking a bye week, but that doesn't mean that there's any shortage of music in our fair city. This weekend Golden Shoals take over Get Tight Lounge for a wonderful outdoor evening of string band music, Ten Pound Snail are loading up the Broadberry...