It was with great sadness I read this post from a favourite artist of mine Kasey Anderson, I’ve invested in all of Kasey’s physical releases and would without hesitation recommend them to you – including his last one with The Honkies (though I sincerely hope it’s not actually the last) which you can still buy for a few days via Bandcamp.
Last week, I made my new album, Let the Bloody Moon Rise, available for 72 hours, writing that struggles with a label and frustration about the music business had put me in a place where I just wanted people to hear the record, so I was going to give them a chance, then I’d find a way to put it out next Spring.
Well, that’s not going to happen.
The past week found me revisiting a year of touring, recording, mixing, and mastering and staring at an immense amount of debt. Writing and playing songs has been my only job for several years and I always said I was sure a time would come when it would no longer be my only job; that time appears to be now. I’m very proud of Let the Bloody Moon Rise but, honestly, I don’t have the money to release it, and every dealing I’ve had with labels leaves me immensely frustrated about the direction of the “industry” part of the music industry. I just like writing songs and playing them. I don’t like arguing over money and contract details and seeing my bank balance dwindle until it’s gone.
Well, get a publishing deal, right? Get a song placed. All of that stuff, to one degree or another, requires people working for you and I can’t afford to have people working for me anymore. I also can’t afford the alternative, which is doing it yourself. A lot of people helped contribute and get this record made, and that means the world to me. I’ve put all of my money – to say nothing of money borrowed from my family and friends – into my career for the last several years and I’m very proud of what I’ve done, but I currently do not have a home, or health insurance, or enough money to continue to keep touring and putting out records. I can press a small amount of Let the Bloody Moon Rise CDs and LPs, and that’s what’s available – I’m making it available again this weekend so we can sell through what I can afford to press – and then I’m going to go play in someone else’s band, or write songs for somebody else, or, fuck, work in the projection booth at a movie theatre like I used to; figure out some way to get back to a place where I can afford to do the thing I love to do, and the thing I’m actually good at doing.
I cannot say for certain, but as far as I’m concerned, last weekend and this weekend is as much a “release” as Let the Bloody Moon Rise will see so, if you’ve been looking forward to it, grab it. It’s a real good record and I want the people who want it to have it.
I won’t be so melodramatic as to say I’ve played my last show or made my last record but, in terms of releasing and touring behind this record, any time in the near future, I don’t see a way to make it happen. It’s disappointing, but it happens. We had a good year and played with and for a lot of great, passionate people. I wish I were not so immensely disappointed and disillusioned right now but I am and, until I’m not, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to go out there and sing at y’all. I have a few shows left this year, and I’ll play those, and then, like I said, I’m going to go do something other than Kasey Anderson and The Honkies for a while.
You can buy Let the Bloody Moon Rise here, while they last, if you want it.
See you out there.
Spring has sprung and we are a 1/4 way through 2012 already, this last few weeks has seen the arrival of a raft of wonderful recordings and I thought it an appropriate time to put something on record.
My youngest is now starting to take more notice of the sounds emanating from the various speakers and portable devices his old man appears to have permanently switched on in one form or another and made a rather sweeping statement last week “Dad you listen to so much different music” which started a variety is the spice of life conversation, not sure he wholly grasped my initial responses but with a few football comparisons thrown in a little nod of the head acknowledged the concept, so the blog will continue to ignore any central focus, genre, artist type or hype and simply focus on the music I like.
Last week saw the arrival of the follow up to Lucero’s horn adorned 1372 Overton Park (2012) the bands sound has taken a larger step away from the raucous roots rock ‘n’ roll of the earlier recordings, the ‘new’ sound embracing a more soulful type of rock ‘n’ roll and after a few spins the Memphis soul-train has me on-board and stoked to be along for the ride.
Any recording by Paul Weller is of course an highly anticipated event here and of the back of the two previous albums the expectations were high for Sonik Kicks, rarely has Mr Weller been a disappointment to me and he avoids doing so this time around too, whilst the album has had the impact of 22 Dreams or Wake Up the Nation it is still a great recording and combines enough of the old and new to prove once again his status as one of nations absolute finest musicians of the last 30 years.
From Woking to Stockholm, working their magic into what I’d describe as a more radio friendly package of songs the Söderberg sisters have produced a wonderful album in The Lion’s Roar, not a weak link or shooed in track to be found it’s a fantastic collection of songs that I’m sure will remain of my playlist for years to come.
Following on from 2012 Joe Hill’s Ashes Otis Gibbs has produced another great collection of American songs for Harder Than Hammered Hell, in a parallel world of more perceptive musical tastes Mr Gibbs would be a household name and his tunes would find themselves floating out of speakers all over the place.
No round-up would be complete without a couple of records from country side of the tracks, may I recommend a couple that I’m more than keen on, the first from this side of The Big Pond is the retro-duet offering from the collective talents of Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish who as My Darling Clementine have produced a classic sounding duets album that pays homage to Johnny and June, Dolly and Porter or George and Tammy but there’s not a cover version to be found all the songs are originals and the albums are real delight, crossing over the water another album that’s getting plenty of airtime with me is Rachel Harrington & The Knock-outs self titled début, you can read my thoughts and listen to tracks here.
The advent of Kickstarter, Pledge, Indie GoGo and the like has really opened up avenues for artists to get their music out to the fans with the help and support of the fans, a winner for both sides, I’ve backed a few projects over the last couple of years and yet to be disappointed by the result of my investment and this last quarter has seen the arrival of quality albums from Nat Johnson and the Figureheads, Sons of Bill, Melody Walker, Ellen & The Escapades and some rough mixes and bonus tracks from Kasey Anderson and the Honkies.