A Conversation with Rickie Lee Jones
Mike Ragogna: Rickie Lee, how are you?
Rickie Lee Jones: I'm great. How are you?
MR: Terrific. So there is a certain new Rickie Lee Jones DVD out called, Live In Stockholm. Let's just start from the beginning on this, like with that story about how your neighbor became the director.
RLJ: Sure. I was living in Beachwood Canyon, next door to what looked like a little Swedish family. As it turns out, his family is Swedish, but he's actually from Colorado. His name is Ian (McCrudden), and he had worked on the Anita O'Day film. I thought I should go ahead and ask and I said, "Well, would you like to do a film of me?" He said, "Yes," and that's how it started. I was going to do a couple of shows in Europe, and he asked to film the show in Sweden. So, he flew over and he had a little crew there--maybe one or two other people, I think--and filmed this beautiful show.
MR: What was it like to perform in the Bern Salonger, which was built back in 1862?
RLJ: It looks really old, and it was incredibly beautiful. It was cold, and it was a perfect night to film there. The Scandinavian people have been really supportive of me through my career, and in the darker times, they were always there. They are really great fans and discerning. It was one of those really fine nights, you know, that's hard to do when you're filming because you're aware that you're filming and you can't help but alter, usually, what you do. This one, though, captured a lot of what it's like--I think of myself more of a performing artist than a recording artist. I think what happens in the live exchange of energy is what I do. In the recordings, yeah, it's there, but where it's really going on is at the shows.
MR: Yeah, it seems like live venues are more important these days for an artist. In a lot of ways, with MP3s, etc., we've devalued recordings.
RLJ: Not to get political or philosophical, but in a capitalistic society, we really value a thing if we pay a lot for it, and when it's too accessible, we somehow feel it's less important. That's unfortunate because I would really like to give it away for free.
MR: That's a really great point, the psychology of it.
RLJ: What happens when people have come to listen to music, all you hear about is the terrible things people do. But on their own, they'll spend money and gather just to have this music wash over them. It's them at their purest, and me too. Often, such loving and powerful energy happens in concerts, and I think it's really wonderful.
MR: That's beautiful. Your track list is pretty comprehensive, and the close relationship you have with your audience comes across.
RLJ: Good. I've never put out a DVD, and I think it's a good chance to see what I'm all about--at least in a little solo setting, or trio setting.
MR: So, you nabbed Lionel Cole, Nat King Cole's nephew, to play percussion.
RLJ: Evidently. (laughs)
MR: And you also have Joey Maramba playing bass and singing background for you.
RLJ: Yeah, Joey and I have done these duets and trios for a few years. I met him on The Sermon On Exposition Boulevard recording. He's so inventive and free, his spirit's so kind. He'll bow his bass, and he's willing to take chances, so I really like playing with him a lot.
MR: Now, when you did this project, did you rehearse for it with Ian McRudden?
RLJ: No, we didn't rehearse.
MR: So, there was a more spontaneous approach.
RLJ: Looking at it now, it is. You know, the lights and everything were done by the house. It's really, really pretty I think.
MR: How did you decide on the track list? Did you wing it the day before, or did you put a lot of thought into it?
RLJ: I always make up the track list depending on how I feel about how the audience is responding, whether I should go up or down. I generally do these same songs because those are the ones that people know, but not usually in the same order. That was challenging, probably, for the filmmakers, who would've liked to know what was coming next, but I think we did a pretty good job.
MR: Did any songs get cut from the DVD?
RLJ: Actually, I don't know what they ended up doing. We edited a few songs that were kind of long, I think they were talking about adding them as a bonus, but I don't really like bonus things. I think when you make a piece of art, that's what it is--that's it as its best--and if you left stuff out, it's because it wasn't good enough to be in. So, I don't know if they ended up doing bonus tracks because I was kind of against that. But yes, there were some things, hopefully, that were left out.
MR: Well, you have a total time on this thing of almost two hours anyway.
RLJ: Yeah, I started playing longer shows. I get up there and feel like I hit my stride at about an hour fifteen, which is when I used to end the shows. I like playing.
MR: One of my favorite performances on this project is also my favorite Rickie Lee Jones song, "Weasel And The White Boys." I just love that song.
RLJ: I like playing it.
MR: And you change it up a bit. It's nice that some of these songs have taken on different kinds of arrangements over the years.
RLJ: Yeah, they change gradually, so I don't even realize I've changed them until I listen to the record and go, "Oh, I used to do that twice," or "On the record I did that other melody." With "Weasel..." though, the form is the same, the melody is a little different. My voice is a little lower and it's a little quieter. It was a sexy song anyway, but it's even sexier, I think.
MR: Yeah, I think so too. You've got some other songs on here that are sexier as well such as "Living It Up."
RLJ: Well, I don't know where I got that idea. Ten years ago, there was this really famous dance music kind of guy and he worked on the track as it had been performed on the record...if I could have re-recorded it for him, it would have been better. I got the idea to do it because my daughter loves really atrocious Euro-dance music, (singing) "Boom, boom, boom, boom." (laughs) I've gotten to know some of it because I love her openness to understanding it and listening to, and I think that's where it came from. I would really like to do a record with those kinds of beats because it doesn't happen in any way organically for me to think that way when I write. I like to be put in a new setting than the one I think of--staring myself in the mirror creatively isn't what I want to do. It's exciting, and we're excited when we do it that. It's really a lot of fun.
MR: Other great revisits include, "We Belong Together" and "Chuck E.'s In Love." As one of your first songs, is "Chuck E.'s In Love" like your special child now? Or, is it like, "Oh my God, I can't do that song one more time"?
RLJ: It's not my special child, but I set it aside for many years. My audience, God bless them, probably would have liked to have heard it, but I didn't do it at all for seven or eight years--for all of the '90s, I would say. Then, I started playing it at home, and I found my way back into the song. It's a sweet melody and it's a sweet song because it was my only big hit, and I think I resented it for a while--poor song. Now, when I play it, I appreciate it. I like the sweet, r&b feeling of it. The bridge is very groovy, but it became the signature of the song, so the bridge is the place where I'm still trying to totally inhabit it. But I think I'm just about all the way back to her and I like her a lot.
MR: "Young Blood"...another wonderful pick.
RLJ: "Young Blood" and "Satellites" I do more the way I heard them when I wrote them as opposed to how they were recorded.
MR: Also, I was surprised to see "It Must Be Love" on the track list.
RLJ: Well, that's one of the songs folks know, I guess. It ended up in a few movies, like Jerry Maguire and a couple others. It's a pretty melody too.
MR: Now, I think we spoke last in '09 for your Balm In Gilead album, right?
RLJ: I think so.
MR: Well, going from your first album to that one, what do you think about your body of work?
RLJ: Gosh, I'd have to think about that question. Sometimes, I think good things, and sometimes I think not so good things. I mustn't judge my work...it just is what I have to offer. If I judge it, then it's really hard for me to make it, you know what I mean?
MR: Yeah, I guess you have to stay objective. It isn't like repainting the painting.
RLJ: Or your kids. "What do you think of your kids? Which one do you like best?" I think they have strong points, and I think maybe later in life, I'll listen to them and go, "Wow, what a beautiful record." But I tend to make them and not listen at all to them after I make them, which probably has to do with all the hubbub of promoting it, measuring it, and so much of that encumbers the joy of being able to make music that people want to come listen to. I think that's why performing is so pure, because I don't have anyone looking over my shoulder in any way--I do what I want. As I get older, I've really come to appreciate how generous people are, to spend money and some of their life to come out and stay with me for a few hours while I sing. I just can't get over it, and I think it's really something. Sometimes, I think artists forget how honored they are.
MR: That's a beautiful point.
RLJ: They've taken time--they get a baby sitter and they spend money parking. They have just one life, and they've come to spend part of it with you, and when you remember that it makes the concert process much more joyful and much less frightening. I think sometimes artists think people are there to judge them, they're not going to like the way they dress, they'll know they made a mistake or whatever. All that is so trivial compared to the spirit that's happening between people. All the dance routines and stuff helps, but all it's about is between you and them, you know?
MR: What advice do you have for new artists?
RLJ: I'm so not good at that, but I'd remind them that at a performance, everybody has come to be loved, not just you. All of your audience has also come to be loved by you. They haven't come to judge you, they've come to be loved and give love--that's all that's going on. If you remember that, and not stare at the tuning of your guitar or worry about whether or not you hit that note perfectly, but just remember that this is about people that love you and need you to give that spirit back, then you'll have a good time, and you'll do good work in the world.
MR: Nice. "...you'll do good work in the world." What a good line.
RLJ: Well, it's my job.
MR: (laughs) Let me just ask you one more thing. I'm all excited to hear a new album. Where is it already?
RLJ: You know, I'm starting to write little pieces. I'm making myself sit with my little tape recorder and I'm starting to write little things, so we'll see. I have a couple of really diverse ideas. I don't know, but at least I'm beginning to write melodies, so that's good.
MR: Is this possibly the album on which you'll be using those dance beats you were talking about earlier?
RLJ: I think that will happen if some guy like Fat Boy Slim, or some variety of people said, "Yeah, we'd like to do that with you." I don't know if I would do that myself, though one or two could end up on it. I might also like to do "The Streets Of Laredo," write a melody to a kid's book, or make up a different kind of song. I have so many things right now, I don't know what it's going to coagulate into yet.
MR: This has been an amazing interview. There are more things that we could talk about, but I know we've talked about it all before...
RLJ: ...I like the name of the radio station.
MR: Solar-powered KRUU FM?
RLJ: That's bitchin'.
MR: (laughs) Thanks, and we're the only solar-powered radio station in the Midwest.
RLJ: You know, I just can't figure out how we're still being compelled to buy gasoline when there are so many perfect kinds of energy. I guess it's just because Mr. Bush and his friends have invested so much money in oil that they compelled us to continue to have to use it. I'm so excited when a group of people defy that, so good for you. Thank you.
MR: You're beautiful, thank you for saying that, Rickie Lee. When I saw Who Killed The Electric Car? and understood the conspiracy to prevent an alternative energy source for fueling cars, it just made me sick.
RLJ: You know, in our lifetime, we've watched our control, or even sense of control, slip away little by little. I woke up, oddly enough, thinking about 9/11, the building that was demolished, the gold reserve underneath, and all the questions that everybody just didn't ask, and aren't allowed to ask while they pass the Patriot Act. Sorry to digress, but it seemed like there were a couple of reasons for that, and one was to create a war to take the oil, and one lucky part was that they could create a Patriot Act, which actually gave them the right to investigate citizens and hold them without any Miranda rights. I remember I woke up thinking, "What's happened to my country." The energy thing is probably the seed of the answer. British Petroleum destroys our coast and their stock goes up. We sit here and talk about it and we don't like it, but we feel so helpless. I think, "Wow, you know that wall went down in East Berlin. So, there are ways that it can crumble." If we just keep talking about it, there will be ways we network together.
MR: To me, during the Bush years, there was this massive economic and power grab by all the corporations, and no one was even bothering to try to hide the concept of was used to be called the "shadow government."
RLJ: Once Bush came in, all that clandestine stuff disappeared, and they did it all right out in the open. The most disturbing sign of what was going on was when they legalized torture, though they called it another word. Now, we are a country like Chile when they had a dictatorship or any of the most horrendous countries, now we are like them legally. Perhaps we've been doing it behind the scenes forever, but that mattered. When it became legal I thought, "Oh my God, isn't anybody looking at what's going on?" I'm so glad to talk about it.
MR: It's glad we got to talk about it. Anyway, I loved our time together, as always. You are a great interview, and also a wonderful person, so I really appreciate your time.
RLJ: I'm really glad you're helping me let people know what I'm working on, and what I have out so they can buy it. Now, I can pay my rent and my taxes. (laughs)
MR: (laughs) Rickie Lee, thank you again.
RLJ: I have to say one more thing. On NPR the other day, I was listening to the Republicans versus the Democrats talking about the budget, and this one Republican said that it wasn't necessary to investigate businesses so deeply, just to bother them with ridiculous things about their taxes. Anyway, I thought, "Now, they give corporations making so much money so many tax breaks, but if you're a waitress with kids and you're barely making it, they're going to audit you." It's such a tradition to tax and tax and tax the poor. I've been reading this book called A Distant Mirror, about the 14th century--this has been going on forever. I know I digress, but I just wanted to mention that. They're so brazen that they don't even hide that it's a country that belongs to business now and we're just guests. As long as we continue to consume, we're valuable.
MR: As long as we continue to consume and go into debt, which ultimately makes the country a bunch of fiefdoms.
RLJ: Okay. Where are you, anyway?
MR: I'm in Fairfield, Iowa.
RLJ: You're out there in Iowa, that's fantastic.
MR: Once again, thank you for your time. It's really been great.
RLJ: Thank you for calling.
Transcribed by Ryan Gaffney
A Conversation with NRBQ's Terry Adams
Terry Adams: Hi Mike. Let me ask you, how did you like Keep This Love Goin'?
Mike Ragogna: What's Keep This Love Goin'? (laughs) The album is fun, and with the single, I know exactly what you're talking about in that song. When things start to fall apart, you've got to put some energy into it to make it work.
TA: That's right, that's what I think--what I know and believe. That's why I've still got NRBQ going--because I wanna keep the love going, you know?
MR: This interview is going to be flooded with "so to speak"s, I can see it now. (laughs)
TA: So you're in Iowa--where in Iowa?
MR: I live in Fairfield, Iowa, which is starting to get some recognition from artists and musicians who are starting to come through here. We have a few nice venues--The Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts, Café Paradiso, and a cool venue called The Beauty Shop.
TA: You know, I've known about Iowa for quite a while because back in, I don't know, '69 I guess, we bought a bus because the band got a call from Grinnell--the college out there--and we drove all the way there from Clinton Corners, New York, and back to play that school. It was fun. And the last time I was there--I don't remember when, six or seven years ago--I had the best time looking at used records in the Goodwill thrift shops.
MR: I'm thankful for Goodwill shops, they're where I get some of my finest 8-tracks.
TA: (laughs) You know, you can tell what a city's like a lot of times when you're looking through those records and you see the local records that were made and have been sitting there waiting for you. You can see what kind of music scene has been going around the last twenty or thirty years. I really like it.
MR: Okay, time to talk about NRBQ. When one listens to an NRBQ album, one hears all kind of influences and sounds. This album seems to be no exception--but how did you approach it differently from the others?
TA: Well, maybe there's no difference in how we approached it. When it comes to the different styles that you hear--you know, it's been so long for me that I don't really recognize when we're crossing into a different style. It probably is because of the way I used to listen to records as a teenager in Louisville. I listened to Duane Eddy and started ordering records out of Chicago, you know, all this stuff in the mid-'60s. It all just sort of made sense to me to keep the music coming in. So, in '66 I'd say, my brother and I and a drummer named Charlie Craig started making home recordings with a Webcor tape recorder that I had. Different guys in the neighborhood would stop by. We were playing all kinds of music and recording it and one day--there were five of us there--my brother said, here they are, the new rhythm and blues quintet. So, I wrote "NRBQ" on the edge of the box, and from there, you know--just from being able to play what we wanted at home--it became something that I got more and more into. I met Steve Ferguson filling in for somebody in his band, and I invited him over. I said, "You know, let's see what we can do." It was great to have such a master--a great guy--on guitar. At some point, I said, "Wouldn't you like to have a band that can do, and just does, whatever it wants to do?" I've seen that situation where you get fined for not wearing the boots that they told you to wear, or they say you can't play this song because it's too bluesy or too jazzy. I didn't understand it because I've got passion for playing all kinds of music. So, that's what Steve and I set out to do, and that's why I say there's not much difference from the first album to this new one. It's still the same approach at music. Like I say, I don't recognize any differences in styles really.
MR: You're simply making "NRBQ" music.
MR: You were also Terry Adams' Rock & Roll Quartet for a while, right?
TA: We kind of stopped playing, oh, six or seven years ago. Some of the members, for various reasons, had seen enough and had enough and wanted to do other things in their lives. I didn't want to stop--and I actually didn't stop, I kept working. But I had to get new members, and it's not exactly easy to find the right kind of musicians for NRBQ except when you open up and let things come to you--then I find it's different. So, I'm not knocking on every door looking for somebody or auditioning anybody, but the spirit opens up. Somebody says the right thing and you feel that it's right. That's how I went about hiring Tom Ardolino back in the '70s, just through knowing him and how he listened to records and all that. So, there was really not an audition, you understand what I mean?
MR: Yeah, I understand exactly what you mean--it was a natural fit.
TA: Yeah. So, I started playing with the current guys like maybe three years ago and I knew they were right. I just wanted some more road time and a new studio album. And that's what we have, Keep This Love Goin'. So, I stopped using the name Rock & Roll Quartet and switched it back to NRBQ.
MR: What did it feel like when you guys were together again doing this new project?
TA: You know, it's been always forward with these guys, every time we play. They're fast with these new songs. We've already gone through more songs and don't play them anymore, more than most bands maybe have in their whole life. I don't know, it's fast.
MR: It's an interesting story considering the connection, so could you go into one of my favorite tracks on the album, "Boozoo and Leona?"
TA: You probably know Boozoo's music, and I produced three albums for Boozoo Chavis and wrote a song for him--I don't know when, in '89 or something--called "Boozoo, That's Who." And I was sad to see when Boozoo died, in '92 or something, and I stayed in touch with his wife Leona. We became great friends, and talked to each other regularly on the phone and so on. I got another call that Leona had passed, and so I wrote this song about Leona joining Boozoo in an afterlife romance and that's what that is. It could be the first Zydeco record with a grand piano and no washboard.
MR: Got another song's story?
TA: Well, let me think about that. There's a song called "In Every Dream" that, for some reason, every time I turn on my espresso machine, the motor hums and I can't resist and I sing along with the motor. I started singing Tchaikovsky's "Concerto in Bb Minor" with it one day, and for some reason, it turned into this country, rockabilly feel in my head. I love to get an idea like that, and instead of just talking about it or laughing about it, actually see it through.
MR: There was a collection on NRBQ a while back, and I wanted to ask, how do you do that? That has to be an impossible thing to do, and how do you even sequence something like that?
TA: Well, in that case, credit has to go to Gary Stewart at Rhino Records. He really wanted to feature more of the pop side of the band. He had a purpose there, and we went along with it. Other times with sequencing, it's just like calling a set onstage. I don't really have a plan, it's just whatever feel right next and what I think people need.
MR: I think that idea--that it just has to flow--has escaped a lot of people who are working with compilations over the years. The focus seems to be more chronological as opposed to musical.
TA: I have that problem with jazz re-issues, where everybody wants to release things like complete trio sessions. It's nice that it exists that way, but do you actually want to hear it that way? I mean, you might want to hear the trio thing, the quartet thing, a solo piece, a live piece, and something else. If you really want to entertain yourself as an artist, you don't really want to hear every take in a row or the complete anything. It's a library archivist's kind of thinking that doesn't pay off as well for a listener.
MR: Yeah, when you hear the second or third or fourth take of something, you can't help but get burnt out on that song.
TA: Right, and I'm not saying those other takes shouldn't come out somewhere, but I would put take three at the end of the disk and take one as the second track, say. I don't actually want to have them in a row.
MR: Two of my favorite jazz artists are Miles Davis and Coltrane, and it especially happens all the time on their "complete" releases.
TA: The first John Coltrane album I ever owned was Ole. Do you have that one?
MR: Oh yeah, beautiful.
TA: My favorite track is "Dahomey Dance." And that's my favorite Eric Dolphy solo. So anyway, there you go--you had to mention Coltrane, didn't you?
MR: (laughs) Of course, you're a Dolphy fan.
TA: Yes, I am.
MR: What other jazz artists tickle you?
TA: Oh, so many. You know, I love jazz music and I've played with Roswell Rudd may times, and Marshall Allen. Other members of the Sun Ra Arkestra have played with NRBQ, by the way, and I think that the second member of the Sun Ra Arkestra besides Sun Ra was a guy named "Pat" Patrick who I think is from your neighborhood, in the Davenport area. I've had many friends and good times because I was a fan of Sun Ra so far back--back to '65. I was at his apartment in '67, and he gave me a record of 45 that they had made called "Rocket Number 9," and he said, "This is especially for you." I really took that to heart. And I reformed the NRBQ that we had in '66--we took a break in '67--on the strength of that song. It's on our first album.
MR: Terry, this is a long run for NRBQ. How do you feel about the fact that you have this much catalog and that you're musical icons?
TA: Well, it feeds on itself. That's one of the reasons why I'm still doing it, as opposed to folding in 2004. I could have just said, "Well, that's it." I've had people talk to me and about my legacy like I peaked in the '80s, and I always am so offended like that. Like, "Is my life over?" I don't have any reason to look back and say "I'll never be that good again" or "I'm done" or "I should retire the name of the band." You know, I'm the guy who started the band and I'm the one who came up with most of the ideas and the direction of the band and designed the concept. I'm not going to stop for anybody. The longevity is what keeps the band young and the music new. The current band has command of all the songs--you could say "catalog" or whatever it is that we've had in the past--but I don't necessarily use it. I mean, once in a while, I'll pull out one of them and it sounds great, but it's about keeping going--keep the love going now, you know?
MR: "I've already painted that painting, thank you."
TA: (laughs) Yeah, that's it.
MR: What advice do you have for new artists?
TA: Well, I think that new artists--the good ones--are in music for the right reasons in the first place. Along the way, you'll run into people who got into music for, you know, maybe not the best of reasons. So, if you're in it for the right reasons and you have no other choice, then the advice is stick with it. Stick with your beliefs and don't be compromising. NRBQ could play the best rockabilly if we wanted to, but it's not a good idea to suggest to me that we just get in on the rockabilly craze or whatever, you know what I mean? I don't know--I'm just trying to say, do what you believe in--what you actually believe in.
MR: And what are NRBQ's immediate plans?
TA: In September, we're going to Scandinavia. At the end of August, we've booked Nashville, Louisville, and Chicago.
MR: Obviously, you're going to keep this live thing going. You just can't help yourself can you.
TA: (laughs) No. You've got to come out and see the new band, and see what's happening. It's unbelievable.
MR: Thank you for the invite, Terry. Let's do this again.
TA: Okay Michael, it's been good to be here.
MR: Thanks, all the best.
1. Boozoo And Leona
2. Keep This Love Goin'
3. I'm Satisfied
4. Here I Am
5. Let Go
6. Gone With The Wind
7. Sweet And Petite
8. My Life With You
9. In Every Dream
10. The Animal Life
12. Red's Piano
Transcribed by Claire Wellin
A Quick Q&A with Miss Derringer's Morgan Slade
Q. Is this video's storyline based on anything in particular?
MS: The story is sort of about a man who has mistreated his woman for too long and has wronged the wrong people one too many times. The people he has wronged are coming to get him...and his woman isn't too upset that his days of no-goodiness are coming to an end. It's based on the lyrics of the song, with a little nod to our Roy Orbison influence thrown in.
Q. The album Winter Hill, which this song is from, is based on Boston's underground mob The Winter Hill Gang, Just a few weeks ago, James "Whitey" Bulger, who ruled the Boston underworld while secretly acting as an FBI informant, was arrested not too far away from where you live in Los Angeles. How did you feel about that ending to the story, and ironically, so close to where you live?
MS: I had been reading all I could about Whitey and The Winter Hill Gang while writing the album. After we finished recording it and started to tour, I had sort of "put away" thoughts of Whitey and the gang since there was so much other stuff to focus on. Hearing it in the news recently brought me back to when we were writing the record and it kind of was a cool ending to the story. And it made me realize we need to get back on the writing tip asap!
Q. Tell me about the song itself. What is the story behind it? How is it tied to the Winter Hill mythology?
MS: Similar to the video, the song is from the point of view of a woman whose boyfriend is a philandering low-level hood. He's been cruel and generally disrespected her long enough that she pretty much washes her hands of him. She is so tired of him stepping out on her that when she hears that the gangsters he has double crossed--The Winter Hill Gang--are coming to take him out, her first thought is that if he gets killed, at least she'll know where he is. You know, sweet romantic stuff like that!
Q. Liz and Morgan recently became parents. Will this change in your lives have any effect on Bloodbath McGrath? How will it affect the band Miss Derringer?
MS: We're still trying to figure out what effect it will have on our lives and work. There is so much to do...babies are more tiring than touring! But it's been awesome so far and if anything, it has made us both want to write even more music so that we have more to share with Sade Valentine when she gets bigger. We're not sure how it will affect playing and touring, but we have been fortunate to tour with bands who brought children along so that was really inspiring and, hopefully, we can do the same!
Q: What's next in line for Miss Derringer?
MS: We have a live record coming out soon, look for it as a free download and a limited vinyl with special artwork by Liz. It's kind of a Best Of of Winter Hill and the previous record Lullabies, plus a super special cover of one of our favorite bands The Misfits. We recorded it a while ago down at the Hurley during a sort of invite only performance send-off before the baby came. The album will be called An American Wake - Miss Derringer Live. An American Wake was this sort of mock funeral/wake that people in Ireland would have for family members who were leaving to America during the potato famine, because there was a good chance they would not see them again. We thought it was fitting given our Winter Hill interest and the fat that we would be out of commission for a while.
Curious about the above? Why, let's see what Hot Water Music's fearless leader Chuck Ragan has to say about the track.
"'The Fire, The Steel, The Tread' was inspired by the short film It's Better In The Wind by Scott Toepher (http://www.itsbetterinthewind.com/). After I had written it, I recorded a rough version of it, sent it to the boys so they can work in their ideas for the song, and we recorded it in bits and pieces - everyone adding their own personal stamp to the song. When put it together, it became the track you hear right now.
"Since we recorded our first song together in years this way (in bits and pieces), there's no telling the direction we'll be heading in for the future, but we're all extremely excited to see what's down the road! But before we get into the studio, we'll be heading out in August for a string of club gigs and big festival including Riot Fest East (Philadelphia, PA), The Fest (Gainesville, FL), Reading and Leeds Festivals (UK) where we'll be playing both of the new songs from the 7" as well as a solid mix of the oldies."
Photo Credit: Mark Beemer