"Underwater", title track off the forthcoming LP.
live photo by Jon Pearson, MAHA music festival 2014.
2013 was a whirlwind year, changes occurring at such a rate, I did not realize them until months later. Through the tempest there was a harbor: her name was "Penny Park..." For many artists, myself included, it is possible to become so focused on a single goal, everything outside erodes. "Penny Park..." became a reality. The satisfaction of seeing a double concept album originally conceived at the Brass Knocker lounge come to life was beyond thrilling. However art, like all quality elixirs, eventually sets one back down to earth. Every year just before New Year’s I do a little self-assessment of the prior years songwriting. 2013’s grand total of 6 left me a little frustrated, I knew "Penny..." certainly taxed the creativity but was the tank empty?
Omaha, NE in the winter really sucks for a lot of things. Fortunately, songwriting is not one. Perhaps the shut in weather and inviting warmth of your nearest neon fuel the brain and incite the pen. When spring arrived, I found myself with over a dozen new compositions. The songs, while varied in subject, simultaneously addressed the mystery and reality of the last year. The names were not changed, the dates were not changed, the places true to life. Unlike "Penny Park..", a record rooted in historical fiction, these songs read almost too honest. The listener in me needed some distance, the writer knew that was not possible.
Narrowed down to ten tracks, “Underwater” is split between songs performed between my trusted band of rock and roll specialists (Scott “Zip” Zimmerman, Robert Carrig, Korey Anderson and Travis Sing) and collaborations with J. Scott Gaeta. Throughout the summer, recording sessions went down with an ease I had not felt in a long time. Everything was fitting, the sound was cohesive, the songs laid bare their hungry bones: this was an album.
Over my 14 years releasing recordings, no single collection has featured songs written exclusively within a small window of time. “Underwater” is unique in the sense that each tune came from a feeling and place rooted in the winter of 2014 (with one written in June). While it is common to sit on and workshop songs for up to years, I did not want this collection’s initial spark tampered with. Though not a concept in the sense of “Penny Park..”, “Underwater” may be my most conceptual work to date, an aural documentary of fourteen frigid weeks.
The Movies- Anonymous American (2002)
Anonymous American- When the Drummer Counts to Four (2004)
Matt Whipkey – Anonymous American- Lonely Town (2005)
Anonymous American- World War III single (2006)
Matt Whipkey and Anonymous American – Don’t Be Late (2006)
The Whipkey Three – S/T- (2008)
Matt Whipkey- Instant Heart (2009)
The Whipkey Three- Thome at the Plate single (2010)
The Whipkey Three- Two Truths (2012)
Penny Park: Omaha, NE: Summer 1989 (2013)
Matt Whipkey / Brad Hoshaw- I Miss You / Sorry - split 7" (2014)
Risks and challenges
The album is recorded. It is my deep desire for you to hear these songs shoot through the stylus of your trusty turntable. For this, we need you. After the wonderful Kickstarter support received for “Penny Park…” , my faith was restored in releasing music as a collaboration with the audience. With your support “Underwater” will emerge as a gorgeous colored heavyweight vinyl record, compact discs and downloads will also be produced for the digital crowd. After funding the entire recording process myself, the financial well is tapped. With your support, you and I in collaboration and in concert can bring “Underwater” to the surface.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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