Pitchfork: "Strange, smart, soulful..."
Dusted: "One of the best, most overlooked new folk records of the psych-folk revival..."The Black Swans began recording the album, Don't Blame the Stars, in May of 2008. The setting was Brian's garage (as featured on the cover), who took over on drums so Keith could focus on engineering the recording. Our plan was to record the album live, with minimal overdubs, over the course of 3 days. Get in, get out.
Jerry got his first serious case of food poisoning the night before recording commenced. While the rest of the band drank beer and grilled, he drank warm water and ate Saltines. Otherwise, it was happy times for all.
We expected a quick live recording to yield an album that would be easy to mix and might even see a release that year, quick on the heels of 2007's Change!.
Then, in early July of that year, Noel Sayre, our violinist and friend, passed away in a swimming accident in a public pool. Things got put on hold, side-tracked, no longer the same.
Months later, a friend of Noel's completed his string arrangements for 3 songs that were then recorded at Stuart's Opera House in the beautiful Nelsonville, Ohio.
Then, the micro-label, St. Ives, invited us to make a record for them, so we focused on making new music together, some of which included sounds we dug out of Noel's computer's hard-drive. It was a nice way to keep him in the band for a bit longer. The album is called Words Are Stupid, released April 2010.
It was now time to put the finishing touches on Don't Blame the Stars.
The album is a batch of songs about placing faith in friendships, music, and yourself. It's characters include the R&B singer Joe Tex, anti-depressants, Roy Orbison's song "Blue Bayou", and Honest Joe the toad, among other things. It includes spoken word introductions to many songs, much like Willie Nelson's Yesterday's Wine. We feel it is our strongest set of songs and they include Noel's final recordings. The band is proud.
The excellent label, Misra Records, will release the album in late April 2011, but the vinyl is on us. Hopefully, this will be a fun way to raise money so this album may be pressed on our preferred medium for music listening (despite what that guy in the video above says about cassettes). Your donation is your pre-order. Our goal will cover slightly more than half the costs that go into releasing a record on the vinyl format (vinyl mastering, shipping expenses, etc.). If you're a super fan, there are ways to financially express that which will benefit us all, bring us closer together, and make the world a better place. If the goal is exceeded beyond our wildest dreams, The Black Swans will go out for a steak dinner. You're welcome to join us in the static and gentile Columbus, Ohio. Vegetarian options made available upon request.
Thank you for reading, listening, years of support, and hope to see you at a gig.
--The Black Swans
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