A Conversation with Jack's Mannequin's Andrew McMahon
Mike Ragogna: Why, it's Jack's Mannequin pianist and vocalist Andrew McMahon. Hello, Andrew.
Andrew McMahon: How are you doing man?
MR: I'm pretty well, how are you, sir?
AM: I'm doing well, thanks.
MR: Let's just dive into People And Things, so to speak. It's like a concept album about relationships. Were there things happening in your life that helped inspire its creation?
AM: Yeah. I think, like anything--and especially with Jack's Mannequin--all the records have had some sort of conceptual bent to them. I think, largely, they just take on the moment in my life that I'm in when I'm writing them, and certainly, themes develop from there. With the way things played out with The Glass Passenger--the last album--and it being so much about my recovery and about that period of time in my life, there was sort of this window of the first couple, three years of my being married that kind of ended up falling to the wayside as it related back to my writing. When I started working on this record, "My Racing Thoughts" was sort of the first thing that came out, and it was sort of a picture--granted, it was a window into maybe one of the harder moments in those first few years. But it certainly became a little bit of a shining light onto how I would move forward and do my best to maybe even talk about some of the trickier elements of what that kind of a relationship is like.
MR: We don't have to dwell on this, but I did want to touch on it--you were diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
AM: Yes, that was in May of 2005.
MR: And was that after you released Everything In Transit, your first album?
AM: It was actually just as I'd finished it, and a few months before it was released.
MR: Now, that obviously took a bit of a toll when it comes to promotion and related things.
AM: Yeah. It impacted just about everything in my life up to that moment, and up to this moment probably, but it certainly took me out of the early promotion of the first Jack's Mannequin record. I got back to work pretty quickly, considering the circumstances, and within a year of my diagnosis, I was back on the road in some form or another. But, needless to say, I was very passionate about the first Jack's Mannequin record--it was my first artistic statement away from Something Corporate. So, we went on a pretty grueling follow-up to try and educate people on what Jack's Mannequin was. I spent probably a good two years following the release of that record touring it and touring it and touring it after I got well enough to do so. It was sort of in that context that I worked on The Glass Passenger, which was the follow-up to it.
MR: Now, with this new album being about relationships, everything builds from point A to point Z. I've also read a little bit about how it's also about people moving on in other way in their lives. So, your work seems to be inspired by beyond your personal life, maybe from some larger statement that you're making, perhaps from lessons you've learned. Is that fair to say that about your creative process?
AM: Yeah, I think for me, the process is just trying to be my best, to be as open to what's happening in my life, and finding ways to interpret that. In the case of this record, it was certainly an effect of watching the people I sort of had grown up with and the people that I'm close with entering a different period of time in their lives. To some extent, I avoided talking about those things during The Glass Passenger with the whole "I'm in my mid '20s and I'm married now" thing. And you're starting to see your friends get married, and move in with their girlfriends and get real jobs and it's a different time. I think I was scared about writing about that around the time that I was writing Passenger. With this record, I sort of said, "That's what I do. I write about what's going on in my life." I think, despite the fact that maybe--to some extent--that's not as sexy of a conversation as some of the previous topics in my records have been, that's what was really happening to me. And I really became motivated on this record to confront that head on, and to find the angle on it that I could use to connect with other people, and to find the words that told the truth about what that was like.
MR: Now, you've already performed a few songs from People And Things on the road, for instance, "Restless Dream."
AM: Yeah--we've done "Restless Dream," "Hostage," "My Racing Thoughts," "Amelia Jean." We've gotten into almost half the record. We've also played "Release Me" a handful of times. While we're out on this tour with Guster, we've been kind of putting sounds up at soundcheck and sorting through them, and then just putting them up that night, just throwing them against the wall and seeing if they stick. It's actually been pretty fun.
MR: Here's an obnoxious question. What is your favorite song on the album?
AM: Wow, that's a good question. You know, there's a song that I'm hoping is at least going to be a favorite once it comes around and people get to hear the whole thing that I've been really liking called "Television." We haven't done that one live yet.
MR: What's the story behind the song?
AM: It's funny...I hate to be unoriginal, but it's kind of a similar story to "My Racing Thoughts." Granted, "Television" is one of the only three or four that I wrote with a friend, another writer. So, originally, when I sat down with this buddy of mine--this guy named Jaren Johnston, who played in a band called American Bang, who I'd shared an A&R guy with over the years and became really good friends with. The concept was that we wanted to write a song about a family. It was something that I hadn't really done a lot of. We were going to try and write a song for our parents, originally. (laughs) It started, but it just never went there. I found myself throwing open one of my journals, and there was this note in there, which is a pretty clear reflection of my life, and it said, "Write a song about sleeping with your television on." Frankly, to fall asleep, I need to be in the company of a turned-on television. I remember thinking, "Wow. I gotta imagine that I'm not the only one who's dealing with this." So, we sort of painted this picture, this idea, of a couple sitting at dinner and gradually, the night kind of--over the course of drinks and whatever--sort of devolves into an argument. And then there's this idea that you still end up in the same room, having to fall asleep next to one another. It's about what that looks like, and the idea of the television being there to sort of bridge the silence in the room. It's a little dark, but I think it's kind of a fun song, so I'm okay with the dark story, I guess.
MR: Nothing on this record is just sitting on the surface. You always have more going on, and it's something I've always admired about you and your writing.
AM: Thank you, man. I mean, my goal is always just to write about the real things that happen everyday. Frankly, most of those things are very sensational, but they're only made sensational by the fact that they're turned into songs. But for the most part, they're just little moments in my day, and that tends to be where I find inspiration to write these songs.
MR: Of all the songs on the album, which one is the most personally revealing?
AM: I think "Platform Fire" is up there in that regard. I'd say, to some extent, it's the first time I really spelled out not just what my experience on the road is like--some nights, you're sort of out there on this burning stage just trying to make your way through the evening--but was able to relate that back to home, and the fact that this job that I have, and that I love, can be tricky. I'm blessed to have people in my life that make it possible for me to sort of be this satellite that leaves home and travel and write music like I do. In that sense, it's a pretty honest reflection of who I am and where I'm at, at this particular moment.
MR: Now, you also had Matt Thiessen from Relient K working with you.
AM: Yeah, I actually did, in Nashville with Matt a couple of Januaries ago, and then he came out to L.A. and hung out with me for a couple of days at my house. I always laugh, because with "Platform Fire," I had written that first verse before he had come over, and I definitely had fallen in love with just the progression and the lyric, and he came over and sort of helped me finish it. My wife always jokes that hearing that session was a pretty hysterical thing. She walked by the studio door, and she always jokes that the two of us sounded like school children playing with toys in our bedroom or something like that, because we were having so much fun when we wrote the song. And it was--it was actually a really enjoyable writing experience.
MR: What advice do you have for new artists?
AM: Practice a lot. I think there's such a focus, these days, on home recording and on accessing digital media and all these things--which of course are, without question, hugely important. But to any artist, I would say focus on your songs. Focus on making your band sound good live. Focus on saying something honestly and creating something striking and original. To some extent, that other stuff, people get sort of obsessed with early and end up focusing on the wrong places. Those things will fall into place if you can do the other stuff.
MR: I do appreciate that you gave us some time, Andrew. All the best with everything. I did want to ask though I know this is a sensitive subject, but are you now in complete remission?
AM: Oh, yeah, six years now. I'm healthy and well and have been for some time.
MR: God bless, that's really great. All the best, Andrew.
AM: Thank you, Mike. And I appreciate your listening to the record. Take it easy.
1. My Racing Thoughts
2. Release Me
4. Amy, I
5. Hey Hey Hey (We're All Gonna Die)
6. People, Running
7. Amelia Jean
8. Platform Fire
10. Restless Dream
11. Casting Lines
Transcribed by Claire Wellin
A Conversation with Ivy's Dominique Durand
Mike Ragogna: Today we are very privileged to be speaking with the wonderful Dominique Durand about Ivy's new album All Hours. Dominique, how are you?
Dominique Durand: Hello, Mike. I'm well, how are you?
MR: Doing very well, thanks. Dominique, what got you guys back together after, what was it, six years?
DD: No, no. It wasn't quite that long, it was only about five years. It's not even that we broke up or that we intentionally wanted to take a break, but life just kind of happened, you know? Adam Schlesinger, one of the guys in the band, is a very busy musician and he has two other bands--Fountains of Wayne and Tinted Windows. I have other musical projects as well, and another of us is a producer and has other bands of his own, so the three of us do spend a lot of time on Ivy. I mean, we've done, I think, seven records? It's just that we're very busy. The last record we did together was In The Clear in 2006, and then a year later, we got back together and went back into the studio to start writing songs and after we took a break and listened to the stuff we were working on, we felt very uninspired by what we had so far. We just decided to scrap it and we all went back to our own projects and came back and struggled to get back to a place that we all agreed on and liked. Finally, last year, we went back very quickly with a lot of energy and made this record. It was all very, very fast.
MR: This album doesn't sound like it was rushed at all. So, when you guys get together, the songs must just come together, am I right?
DD: Well, I think writing music is just like anything in that you have to be inspired. When you have that energy and that feeling then, yes, it's pretty fast. (laughs) Then you want to finish and get things on paper quickly--it's stronger than you. It's a drive that just allows you to work really fast.
MR: Some of the singles off of this new album have been "Fascinated," and, I believe, "Distant Lights"?
DD: I don't know if it was released as a single, but that was one of the first songs that we put on the album. That's a pretty bold move because it's a very strange song, it's very long, and it doesn't really follow the typical structure of a song. It's kind of a dance, very hypnotic. It's a very strange song, but we really liked the way it came out so we thought, having disappeared after so many years to come back with a song that was so strong, strange, and weird was the way to go. (laughs)
MR: (laughs) Nice. I don't consider that song either strange or weird, just pretty cool. It seems as though you all, as musicians, have your eyes on the world as opposed to just the United States when you're creating music. Is that the case?
DD: Well, yes. Being French, and the others in the band being American, but very musically connected to Europe, the three of us have been influenced by a lot of great English and European music. But we also have a lot of Brazilian influences. There are so many international types of music that influence us . Ivy spends a lot of time touring in places like Spain and Japan. We love feeling connected to the world.
MR: Who would you say did most of the heavy lifting in the writing of the song, "Distant Lights"?
DD: Well, Ivy is a very collaborative band, so the three of us all put our signature on everything. So, it's not like I write a song, or Andy writes a song, it's always the three of us. But the initial idea for that song came from Adam coming up with this drum loop and keyboard idea. He called me into the studio and asked me what I think and I told him that if he was in the mood to be in a Greek disco in August that it was great. (laughs) It was a little bit cheesy and we needed to work on it. So, we took the basic premise of the song and we made it much cooler, much more trippy and hypnotic.
MR: One of my favorite tracks on the album, and one of the ones where I most feel the Brazilian influences you mentioned is in the song, "Lost In The Sun." Is there a story behind that song?
DD: Well, yes, but it may not be very provocative to most people, only to myself, Andy, and Adam. Andy called me with the idea for the song, and I told him that the bass line reminded me of the movie Midnight Express, which was one of my favorite movies when I was younger. It's a very dark movie about drugs and such, very scary. But in that movie, there was a theme song on the soundtrack that was very provocative and it had an incredible bass line. So, when he played the song for me, I was immediately reminded of that movie, and I loved it. That got us all inspired to write this song, which is not really a dark song at all. To me, it's a very happy and hypnotic song; it's the kind of song you want to listen to when you're driving through the desert with the windows rolled down.
MR: Is there any song from the new album that happens to be your favorite to sing?
DD: Well, I love to sing them all, but I really enjoy singing, "Suspicious" because it's a little bit more playful and childish and I can put more attitude into my singing. I can be more ironic and tongue-in-cheek on that one. But everyone will recognize this as a very Ivy-esque song in the melody and the airy way that I sing. But I have to say, they're all fun to sing.
MR: You all did an interesting approach on an album called Guest Room. Can you tell us about that?
DD: Yeah, well we thought it would be great to do a covers record because you basically just choose your favorite songs and go have fun with it. I mean, a lot of bands don't do it because they think it's too cheesy and uninspired, but that really wasn't the case for us. We just wanted to make a record very quickly that we could have fun with and play some very obscure songs by some of our favorite bands. We just put it out there, and it was a lot of fun.
MR: Do you guys generally have a lot of fun when you're getting these records together? I'm assuming that's a yes, right?
DD: I think it's really fun. When we first started writing together, it was hard because we didn't really know each other that well. Even though we had pretty unified musical ideas, we all had a bit of ego to deal with because we didn't really know each other or each other's insecurities and strengths. And so, it was very hard at first, but then you learn and mature and learn how to work with each other. After that, I think you find so much freedom to be able to work with each other. So, I think, in a way, Ivy's later records have been more fun to work on.
MR: Now, Ivy's had its fair share of your music featured in movies. What are your thoughts when you hear and see one of your songs for the first time in the scene of a movie?
DD: You can't believe it. It's very bizarre. One of the first movies I think we had a song in was There's Something About Mary and they used two of our songs and they were very prominent in the scenes. They used "I Get The Message" and "This Is The Day." It was unbelievable to watch that, and you feel so grateful to have something like that in a movie, especially for me, because I love movies and I studied film in school because I thought I was going to be a filmmaker. So, to have music in films for me is great, especially when you love the movies.
MR: Let's go back to Ivy's beginnings. Adam and Andy coerced you into being the lead singer?
DD: Yes, that's true. (laughs). That was Andy's doing. I had moved from Paris to New York City and met Andy who had been trying to pursue music for some time but he was struggling. I didn't even speak English at the time, I had come here to learn. After a while, we started writing songs together and at one point, they asked me to sing one of the songs and I said I didn't want to. I had never sung before. So, he got me drunk on wine one day and we went in and recorded some stupid little song. Then Adam, who was also a struggling musician in New York, heard it and really loved it. He liked it so much that he pushed us to keep creating and recording new songs and things just sort of happened from there. We were very lucky, we signed very quickly to an indie label, and before they signed us, they wanted us to play live and I said, "No way! I'm not playing live, I've never done it, and I won't." So, I told them to call back the record label and tell them that we wouldn't play live and they thought I was crazy because they had been trying to so hard to get signed. Eventually, they actually called and said that we weren't interested and that we wouldn't play live, and they signed us anyway. (laughs) And that was that.
MR: You guys also crossed paths with James Iha from Smashing Pumpkins once you signed with Atlantic.
DD: Yes. Well, he opened a recording studio with Andy and Adam called Stratosphere Sound, which is an amazing studio in New York City. He really liked our sound, and he also helped us produce a few tracks on Apartment Life.
MR: A lot of Ivy's songs also appeared on American TV, for instance, your song, "Undertow," appeared on one of my favorite teen angst shows, Roswell. You even appeared in an episode of the show, right?
DD: Yeah. They were using a couple of our songs in the show, and one day they called the record company and said that they wanted us to come and act in one of the episodes and perform one of our songs. We had to warn them, though, that we're not actors or anything. But after we thought it over, we figured, "What the hell? Why not just go and have fun, right?" We wound up performing "Edge Of The Ocean" during one of the scenes.
MR: You guys, as a band have had so many great successes but you're still "Bubbling Under," so to speak, a reference to chart records. Do you ever have moments of just wanting that huge hit single?
DD: No, but I think we're pretty realistic with ourselves about that, you know? We're not Fountains of Wayne, we don't have a sound that is very accessible and that will get tons of radio play. We're a much more subtle band, which doesn't really make us prone to be a big hit single band. But we're very happy to continue making records when we can be having fun with each other, and if we can be used in movies and TV shows that we love, great. That's all we could ask for.
MR: That's great. Do you have any advice for new artists?
DD: I would say that you should always try to find your own sound. It's okay if you're not a great singer or guitar player, the most important thing is to have your own sound and your own unique identity. That, to me, is the most important thing. There are a lot of bands out there that sound exactly the same, and what's the point of that? You need to have your own unique vision.
MR: Beautiful. Do you go back to Paris often?
DD: Not that often, but yes I do go back.
MR: Great. Do you still feel as though that's your home?
DD: Oh, yes. Of course. When you spend the first 20 years of your life in a place--I was born and raised in Paris, I'm a true Parisian--you can't help but miss it. I feel like I am 100% Parisian and I am 100% a New Yorker. (laughs)
MR: Excellent. Well, this has been a beautiful experience. Dominique, thank you so much for taking time to be interviewed today.
DD: Oh, my pleasure, Mike. Thank you for having me.
1. Distant Lights
3. How's Never
5. World Without You
6. Make It So Hard
7. I Still Want You
8. Everybody Knows
9. Lost In The Sun
10. She Really Got To You
11. The Conversation
Transcribed by Evan Martin
Mike Ragogna: Danny, how are you?
Danny Bemrose: Doing well. How are you, buddy?
MR: Doing very well, thanks. Where are you on the globe right now?
DB: Well, we just recently left Chicago for Milwaukee, and we were there for a bit. I actually spent my birthday traveling to Milwaukee.
MR: Happy Belated Birthday, Danny!
DB: I actually wasn't in a grand mood on my birthday. (laughs) I'm just in a bad mood because I got a year older. That's all it is.
MR: (laughs) Oh, you're still young...you turned like 22. (laughs)
DB: Happy to be celebrating my 17th birthday, thanks. (laughs) Just kidding.
MR: Nice. Now, let's chat about your newest single, "Heart On Fire," which is a featured song on the Grey's Anatomy soundtrack that was just recently released.
DB: Yeah, that's right. "Heart On Fire" is considered the lead single for the album, I guess. We just recently made a video for it in Los Angeles. We filmed the video in this burning building and the entire thing was spliced with clips from the upcoming season of Grey's Anatomy. It was a kind of strange scenario for filming that video, but one that we embraced with open arms because an opportunity like this doesn't come around every day, you know? It's been going really well with us recently, and we've just been having the time of our lives.
MR: Did any of the cast come to the set while you were filming the video?
DB: Well, we all hoped that that would be the case, but as it turns out, the biggest star there was our bass player, Stew's girlfriend, who starred in the video, and she's never really acted in anything. (laughs) But there were a lot of people there from ABC--the director and some of the producers. It was nice to get to work with everyone. I mean, our video for the song is very similar to the one that we filmed for ABC, but it obviously doesn't have the Grey's Anatomy clips in it. It circles around the same themes, though. The single will actually be released in the middle of October and that's when our video will be released as well. For the time being, ABC made this one for the upcoming season of the show and it looks really cool.
MR: Yeah, it looks great. Sometimes, when you're making a video of that nature, it can seem kind of choppy with the shows clips flashing throughout.
DB: True. I've seen a few videos like that for television programs and it tends to come out pretty bad. Luckily, when we saw ours, we were really surprised at how it turned out. It has our full support, so to speak.
MR: Nice. Is this your first television placement?
DB: We've had a few placements on other TV shows and they've always been kind of small and some of the music isn't really recognizable under the dialogue. But this is the first big push that we've had on a major show like this. Like I said, we really are just over the moon about the song being on the show and all you have to do is look at some of the other acts on that album, like Cee Lo Green and The Boxer Rebellion. Just to be in the same category with some of those acts is great. It kind of just proves the point that all of the efforts that we put forth in the past are paying off, so to speak. We're just thrilled.
MR: Can you go into the Give Me Something EP a little?
DB: We released that one about six months ago and it kind of went far beyond our wildest expectations as far as the radio charts. It has kind of enabled us to tour this amazing country and meet all of these amazing people and play in some incredible venues. That kind of turned our entire world upside down. We're just a little band from a little place called Bradford in England. We sang for Chop Shop and Atlantic, then, within about six months, we were touring the world and seeing places that we'd only dreamed of. I've got a constant smile on my face now. (laughs)
MR: Danny, can you tell us the story of how the band got the name Scars On 45?
DB: Well, I think that every band goes through the same kind of scenario over looking for a band name and they all tend to be absolutely awful. (laughs) We certainly went through that stage ourselves. We just wound up reading an interview with Emmylou Harris, and she used to listen to her Dad's old records and she would scratch them to bits. She said she was always accused of getting scars on his 45s, so it was one of those names that kind of stuck with us. We didn't think it would last that long, but it did.
MR: What is the creative process like for the band?
DB: It tends to work on the basis of my constantly playing the acoustic guitar if I have any spare time whatsoever. Usually, I kind of sit around with a guitar and a Dictaphone, and whenever anything pops up that you think is decent, you just hit record and eventually you unmask this huge recording of all of the nonsense songs you've recorded. When I listen back to it, some things pop out that really kind of resonate with me while some of it is just rubbish. (laughs) But when you do hear something that you like, I tend to work on it for a while and get a nearly finished song together and deliver it to the rest of the guys and girls so we can put the band around it and make it work. That's the kind of process that we used for this past album. Who knows, it'll probably change for the next one.
MR: Do you think you'll gain a lot of inspiration from being on the road?
DB: Yeah. I think our next album is probably going to be inspired by the IHOP menu. (laughs)
MR: Nothing wrong with that. (laughs) Speaking of touring, what is it like touring with Marc Broussard and his band?
DB: We're just absolutely loving it. Marc and his crew are the nicest bunch of people. We call them the American version of us. We just have the best time and we're so similar. If there's ever an opportunity for us to do more gigs or play with those guys again we would in a heartbeat. We just have the best time. This is the first big tour that we've ever been on and we didn't really know what to expect, but thankfully, it's been such a blast. We're looking forward to joining Matt Nathanson's tour after this, and we've heard such great things about him, so we're just really excited to be able to get out and meet all of these new people.
MR: Very nice. Both guys are no strangers to HuffPost, by the way. Now, I know that you guys played at South By Southwest. So, how was that experience for you?
DB: Well, that has just been a place that we've wanted to play since we were teenagers. It's one of those events that we could never really afford to visit or even dream of playing, but it was just incredible. It's the type of place that we would always try to play if we get the opportunity. It's the kind of place that any musician should want to visit because it's such a wide spectrum of musicians and venues. We absolutely loved it.
MR: Great. I've heard you love playing soccer. Do you get any practice time on the road?
DB: Actually, Marc Broussard is a soccer player as well, so every night after a gig, we'll have a bit of kick-around. It tends to keep us fit. (laughs) It's nice to finally have a bit of a soccer game, as you Americans call it. We like to squeeze in a few games here and there, but we don't play anywhere near like we used to do.
MR: Soccer was actually your first career choice, wasn't it?
DB: Yeah, it was, but I unfortunately broke my foot and so that put a bit of a premature end to my career. Luckily, there was an acoustic guitar around the house and it seemed the better route for me than what all of my friends did--going out and practicing underage drinking. (laughs) So, I sort of just sat myself down and taught myself to play guitar. It's something that I'm really thankful for.
MR: Do you have any advice that you would give to new artists?
DB: Well, first, I would say that you should never let anyone tell you that you can't do it. People used to say to me that if I wanted something bad enough, I would get it and I used to think that was complete and utter nonsense, especially during the dark times when things aren't really going your way. But we stuck to it regardless and, granted, we haven't really achieved that much, but we're so thankful for what we're getting to do now. We managed to get a record deal and we're touring around the US and having the time of our lives. That is proof that you should never, ever give in. The other piece of advice I would give is for the young people in bands with childhood friends and such. Don't take that for granted because later on in life, it's very hard to find like-minded people that like the same kinds of music and have the same sense of humor as you, and all of these things are essential in a band when you're spending 24 hours a day, seven days a week with the same people. We are just lucky in the sense that we found five equal people that we consider brothers and sisters. That's the advice that I would give to new bands. But primarily I would say, if you think you can do it, never give up.
MR: Great advice. It's so important to find and work with people that are like family.
DB: Yeah, exactly. It's also great because we're a little bit older than we were when we started all this. A lot of us are in our late twenties now, so we've just got older heads on our shoulders and we understand that this takes a lot of hard work, you know? If people can go through the effort to send us a Facebook message or even buy our EP, then to us, driving 15 hours to play a gig and meet those same people is not a big deal for us. We'll stay after every gig until the last person leaves so that we can meet everyone who came out to support us. Our fans are the reason that we are able to be and we don't take that for granted at all.
MR: That's so great. And you'll be touring for a while longer, right?
DB: Yeah. We'll be touring around the US until the end of the year, and then back home for Christmas then back on tour again. So, if people want to see where we are or where we're going they can just check out www.Scarson45.com and come and see us. We'll spend a great night together.
MR: Well, well, well! (laughs)
DB: (laughs) No, not like that! My girlfriend would kill me. (laughs)
MR: (laughs) I'm sure. (laughs) Well, Danny, I want to thank you once again for stopping by, this has been great fun.
DB: Thank you so much, Mike. And so much love to everyone out there reading.
1. Give Me Something
2. The Way That We Are
3. Loudest Alarm
4. Don't Say (Acoustic)
Transcribed by Evan Martin
ACTOR MICHAEL PARKS' THE RED STATES SESSIONS NEWS
Rumor has it...
"The Red State Sessions, the new album from veteran actor/singer Michael Parks, a revered American film and TV actor, was released August 30 on Smodcast Records. Inspired by the songs his character performs in Kevin Smith's new film Red State, the album features reinterpretations of traditional gospel standards, including 'Just A Closer Walk With Thee,' 'When They Ring The Golden Bells,' 'In The Garden,' 'Farther Along,' and 'Old Rugged Cross.' Featuring nine tracks, the album offers studio cuts with four a capella versions of the songs from the film. The digital-only release is available exclusively at the Red State web site, www.coopersdell.com."
DOWNLOAD THE FREE MP3 OF "JUST A ClOSER WALK WITH THEE"
...AND NOW, A NEW VIDEO FROM BAYSIDE, NOW ON TOUR WITH SAVES THE DAY
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