"3 Bands, 3 Songs, 3 Bucks -- every month!"
As the air turns crisp, and the leaves curl and color and pool on the ground; as the last note of New Venice's "Breathers" (from Volume 5) still hangs in the air, 3-Way Singles Club Volume 6 arrives, featuring brand new, unreleased songs by Drunken Barn Dance, Flatfoot, and Sleeping Timmy & Aly Rose!
Flatfoot and DBD easily took the "best album of" category for me in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Flatfoot's "Wild Was Our Mercy" in 2009 and DBD's "Grey Buried" in 2010 were both triumphs of songwriting that merited repeat plays on my stereo, at my job, and in my car.
"Wild Was Our Mercy" married deft and colorful character studies to a loping fusion of twangy rock that was comfortable, familiar, and enveloping; extruded through the rockabilly of the fifties, the British Invasion's re-wiring of American country blues in the 60s, the louder end of the 1970's country-rock spectrum (think Crazy Horse with a nimbler touch), an injection of punkish energy from the 80s, and the production and recording improvements of the 90s... 40 years of rock history later, you have the dusted and scuffed sound of Flatfoot. It's an assured mix, loosely and warmly recorded by Detroit's Jim Diamond. We're pleased to release "Kathleen, Part 2," a direct descendent of that great album's "Kathleen" -- and an early glimpse of Flatfoot's upcoming full-length (due this winter).
Drunken Barn Dance's sophomore album is sonically pretty distant from the lo-fi, home-recorded, self-titled batch of songs singer/songwriter Scott Sellwood had released a few years earlier. For "Grey Buried," Sellwood enlisted Jim Roll to engineer and record a live-in-the-studio recording featuring a veritable Ann Arbor supergroup of sidemen. Where the previous album could be whisper quiet, "Grey Buried" would once again give a band like Crazy Horse a run for their money: loud and played with a fierce and obvious love of the material by his backing band, the album has energy and thrills in spades. It's an easy 5-star album that on a more level, clutter-free playing field would be blasting out of dorm room windows and jukeboxes from sea to shining sea. For the 3-Way Singles Club, Sellwood reaches back to his 4-tracking roots with "Honey High," a song that feels like Brian Wilson via Bob Pollard. Sellwood physically dragged the tape to pitch his guitar track lower, and the song sees it's first glimmer of daylight as an official release here (or, rather, at the link above).
Sleeping Timmy (the solo project of Break-Ups frontman Timmy Rodriguez) turns in the beautiful, catchy and optimistic "Sand Castle Sky," a duet with Aly Rose, to complete this month's single. Sleeping Timmy has digitally released one album and a couple EPs that have allowed Rodriguez to stretch his songwriting legs and experiment with different electronic and kitchen-sink textures. "Sand Castle Sky" is a testament to just how essential solo projects can be for working musicians, a lilting ziggurat of catchy climbing chords balanced atop ukelele, guitar, and bass with some gently unidentifiable bell tones that lead into the verses. A sweet and earnest song that shrugs good-naturedly at its own brilliant hummability, the perfect tuneful singalong for the season of colored leaves.
This month's 3-Way single is best paired with a glass of (whiskey optional) cider, and perhaps a grassy hillside to point out shapes in the clouds. Reveries and lulls are perfect companions for early fall.
Next month, the 3-Way Singles Club will feature Josh David & The Dream Jeans, The Hunky Newcomers, and Cat Midway & The Knick Knacks! Wow.
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...and you can read my various mutterings and see what's coming up in the future at itavrecords.blogspot.com
Have a happy Halloween.