In 2006 I was living on my father's farm in Northern California where I happened to briefly befriend a musical hero, Tom Waits. Over the course of several conversations we talked a lot about books and music and the awkward difficulty of genre. It was on his suggestion that I decided to let go all of my flags of allegiance and began writing for the project that would become my musical shroud from then until now: Drunken Prayer. Since then I've released 4 full length albums, a live EP and a handful of singles. Now I'm back from the West coast, living in Asheville, NC and writing the best music my heart will allow. When I'm not doing my own thing you can find me with my other gig, lead guitar player for iconic alt-country goths Freakwater.
Over the past year I've written a lot of defiantly homesick music, mulling over what "home" means in the current climate. There's a breaking news urgency to this album and I'm anxious to deliver it. The material is authentic American roots: to-the-point stories about everyday struggles and triumphs of the out-on-the-margins, unvarnished rock and roll working class. It's a well worn path but one worth following.
So there I was: jet-setting around the relatively civilized Western world with Freakwater, and down the US West coast with The Handsome Family. It was one of the most care-free times of my life. Fast forward a few months later to election day 2016 and I'm driving through Alabama, my ancestral home, prepared for what I don't know. We've all been witness to worldwide 1960's style social and economic upheaval in very recent history and I'm grateful to have an outlet for my wide angle botheration. I hope this album provides an accurate view.
I usually opt for a throw-it-all-against-the-wall approach to recording, but this material doesn't really lend itself to flights of psychedelia, big arrangements or irony. NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO REMINISCE! The band (when there is one) is a lean 3 piece: Erich Hubner (Man or Astro-man?) on bass and Brian Landrum on drums. I'm playing a lot of parts myself, but mostly guitar, vocals and keys. The bulk of the record is being recorded at Brian's Asheville, NC studio, The Pot O' Gold. Brian has an impeccable ear for sound engineering and a laser sharp attention to detail. He's worked with Tyler Ramsey (Band of Horses), Greg Cartwright (Reigning Sound), Floating Action and Mitch Easter (REM). The initial demos, much of which form the spine of the finished recordings, were laid down at my long-time recording home and clubhouse, The Deer Lodge in Portland, OR engineered by my soul brother Ezra Meredith. Ezra's been recording and engineering for 20 years, formerly working at the famous Jackpot studios in Portland recording heavies like Elliott Smith and Tin Hat Trio.
Here's an example of what's to come, an acoustic version of one of my favorites from the new batch of songs, "Cordelia, Elsewhere":
On this drive I'm inviting you to join in on the production of what promises to be my strongest, most fully realized Drunken Prayer album to date. As well as paying for studio time, physical and digital production, the success of this campaign will directly influence how soon I can get the music into your hands, get the word out through print & on-line promotion, and how far into the great wide open I can tour - and hopefully come to your city!
If you'd like a feel for my previous work, here is a song I wrote about a dog I got off the internet, from my album Into the Missionfield, released in 2012. This song was covered by Freakwater on their latest album, Scheherazade.
To all of you who've bought records, come out to shows or just shared an on-line post (as well as those new to the fold) I can never thank you enough for your support of my often quixotic drive to bring the music in my head to the outer world. I have put together some interesting rewards as small tokens of appreciation for your support of me and this album, so take a look at the right side of this page, you might find something that strikes your interest. Your patronage, and assistance in sharing this project with your social network, will help spread the word and finish this infant brew. Together we can raise the curtain on this latest act of the Drunken Prayer story.
Let's sorgum the walls and commence to shootin' flies.
Risks and challenges
This will be my fifth studio album of original music and one of dozens I have been a part of as a session musician or band member. I know what it takes to get an album done within a specific timeframe and budget. I am well past the planning stage - recording has begun and I have a solid plan of attack for the production, mixing, mastering and promotion of the album. I have the utmost confidence that our production team will deliver backers of this project a great sounding, high quality album.
The only area I foresee that could incur potential delays is in the manufacturing of the product and rewards as their assembly is dependent upon the demands of the printer/producer at the time the order is placed. For example, vinyl records take a notoriously long time to manufacture. The rewards are nearly finished and production of the new album is currently being recorded, unless there is unforeseen demand, they should be ready to ship upon due date. I will do all I can to ensure that everything is ready to ship out to you by the respective time associated with your reward tier. If you’ve got any questions or concerns, get in touch!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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