Revenge of the Doberman
My 53-song Revenge of the Doberman is (at last!) up on bandcamp. It's split into 4 arbitrary album-length albums, priced at $10 each; or you can buy the whole thing for $40. This mouthwatering digital bounty is in addition to Doberman's already-available format via the merchandise page of this site as a USB flash drive. If you're antsy about sticking a thing in your laptop port, as though you're Stormy Daniels and I the unsheathed president, pray lay your concerns to rest and go click on this shit:
In a brief while I will have some complete songs from the package up for streaming, so you can get a taste of what you're in for.
I was planning to present some context about the package since it may appear an unusual product (not so unusual if you recall its 50-song precursor, 50-vc. Doberman, back around the turn of the decade) -- and when I saw the phrase "leftovers" appear in a Facebook comment, I thought I'd better hurry. These are not leftovers! Good grief. The big majority are songs I wrote between June 2014 and February 2018, then recorded, and that's the sum of it, wrote and recorded. In that time span, I recorded three other albums and released one, Upland Stories. Four songs from the Upland sessions, the four that seemed least suited to the mood of that record, are included; a couple I wrote for the Linda Gail Lewis collab that's out in 2 weeks are also included in earlier, variant arrangements and with different players. There are a half-dozen I wrote for Mark Roberts's play The Last Night of the Jabez Opry -- these are in the vein of hard country music circa 1978. There's one from my scuttled James Agee thing and one from my also-scuttled Flannery O'Connor thing, and though these all have a theatrical provenance they can be enjoyed without any particular explanation. There are a couple covers, which reflect my love for Stan Kenton among others. (I'm always having to explain how I love Stan Kenton, among others.)
The other 33 or 34 songs are plain old songs, songs I tried my best to shepherd with care from spark-conception to sculpted track, and if you like my thing generally then I think you'll surely like these songs. If you wonder how they compare to a normal release of mine in terms of sound, performance, and composition quality, my guess is that they compare well. I didn't cut any notable corners production-wise. Most of the tracks come from Kingsize in Chicago and were engineered by John Abbey, and it and he are real good. I didn't fly in players expressly for these Kingsize sessions, but I did much more remixing than usual...anyway, in terms of per-song expense, it's really neck-and-neck with a release with a physical format and an outside label and a publicist...so there!
On the earlier Doberman I took advantage of the under-the-radar status to experiment with styles and sounds far from country and bluegrass. On this one, I didn't, so much, and I don't know why. There's a definite uptick in the number of melancholy ballads: the Reaper looms! There's more steel-driven C&W, and a bit more swampy kinda groove music. (Again with the Reaper?) Some of the higher-profile players include Buddy Spicher, Chris Scruggs, Jenny Scheinman, Duke Levine, Wayne Horvitz, Fats Kaplin, and Missy Raines. There are the guys that you know if you've been on my train long, since they've been playing with me for 10+ years: Nora O'Connor, Robbie Gjersoe, Kelly Hogan, Gerald Dowd, Scott Stevenson, Brian Wilkie, Grant Tye, Steve Dawson, Todd Phillips, Shad Cobb, John Rice, Scott Ligon, K.C. McDonough, Paul Carestia. Now I see I'm creating a false and rather invidious line between the prominent and the beloved. But onward with the spurious categorization. Some of my more recently-acquired but no less highly-valued Chicago friends who stopped by the studio to make my songs sound better include Eric Schneider, Paul Mutzabaugh, Larry Kohut, Liam Davis, Scott Tipping, Jason Narducy, Steve Frisbie, Anna Jacobson, and Beau Sample. That leaves about a dozen more people, and if I don't continue with the naming of names, it's only because I loathe those dozen people.
A little verbiage comes with the music. To repeat a sentiment from that: if you buy the package, you're totally helping me out in my effort to create and release more music in my remaining span of years. I don't do crowd-sourcing or other pleas for contributions; my recordings aren't cut-rate home-studio deals; and my audience size and consequent average performance guarantees are modest. I put out occasional radar-evading projects like this with the twin goals of upping my productivity and giving listeners who are most solidly in my corner a chance to put something directly in my kitty (while offering them value in return, I trust). Disclosure: as with the other Doberman, I'll likely mine this one for some good songs to anchor my next "official" record, which makes for the possibility that you might, somewhere down the line, pay for a few songs twice, in different versions. But you won't mind that, oh no, not at all.