What’s fun? Stickers!

Ask any kid, stickers are cool. We all like stickers, ’cause they’re, well, sticky. And fun. You can stick ’em places. All kinds of places- cars, bars, walls, halls, cases, faces. It’s like freakin’ Dr. Seuss, only better ’cause you’ve got stickers.

Stickers!

Stickers!

At least, if you pre-order Dirt & Heartache you do.

Pre-order a CD, and when we ship it, we’ll throw a bunch of stickers in too! Then you’ll have a CD, and STICKERS!

2016-02-06 16.47.57

The stickers were designed by Terry Kishiyama, who also did the awesome design for the CD and cover. Click here to pre-order the CD and get some cool stickers. Yes, soon you’ll be able to pre-order from Amazon and iTunes. And that’s cool. But NO STICKERS FOR YOU if you go that route. So click on over to the music page, hit the yellow PayPal button, and get in on the sticker fun.

Stickers on cases! They'll look even better on yours.

Stickers on cases! They’ll look even better on yours.

We’ll have stickers at the release show at Oskar Blues on March 12 as well. Of course. Because they’re cool.

Made it to Radio!

Whoa!

Dirt and Heartache Album Cover

This post is really by way of a great big thank you. David McIntyre, Lyons local and Americana and roots music connoisseur, was kind enough to spin a track from the record this morning at Boulder station KGNU. He played “The Ballad of Kentucky Slim” on the Morning Sound Alternative this morning.

If you want to give it a listen, the whole show is at this link, and Kentucky Slim is at about the 1:09:50 mark in the show. Dave spoke kindly of me a few minutes later. But I don’t recommend that you click in to that point, because Dave’s show is awesome, and you should listen to the whole thing. He played some Corb Lund, John Prine, Pokey Lafarge, Justin Townes Earle, Dave VanRonk, and The Flying Burrito Brothers, some of my favorite musicians ever, as well as other great stuff. So, thank you, again, to Dave and KGNU, both of whom have been fantastic supporters of local music for much longer than I’ve been around.

Of course, if you need to order an actual CD, with the cool cover art and stuff, you can order here (or just click the image above and to your right- the one that says Pre-Order Now in red), and we’d love to see you at the release show at Oskar Blues on March 12, 2016. Stay tuned for more radio, internet, and release updates.

Listening Party Part 2: This Road Leads to You

Here’s another song from Dirt & Heartache for you to check out. That’s John Macy making the pedal steel guitar sound so fantastic. He’s one of the few people on the record who doesn’t live in Lyons. He came all the way up from Denver to lay down these tracks. He really helped make this song sound great.

Of course, you can still pre-order an actual CD right here. Just click the album art to the right up there, or go to the Music page. We’ll ship them before the release date so you have yours by the 12th of March. If, for some tragic reason, you can’t make it to the release show at Oskar Blues in Lyons on Saturday March 12, order a CD and I’ll post instructions on how to join in the release celebrations from afar. And big thanks to everyone who’s already ordered a CD.

Open For Business (pre-order cds!)

The store is open!

Dirt & Heartache Cover

Actually, one of you discovered that we had already put the button up for pre-selling CDs last week. You are sneaky. You clicked the button. You get to be first in line when we mail these things in a few weeks- and we’ll throw in some extra stickers just for you. You know who you are.

Everybody else- here’s the deal. As of today, you can pre-order an actual CD copy of Dirt & Heartache. You get the music, and the really awesome album art with photographs by Josh at Dancer Productions and design by Terry Kishiyama. We’ll ship them so that they arrive the week before the release party at Oskar Blues here in Lyons (that’s March 12- take note!) Along with the cd, we’ll throw some stickers in the envelope as well as a personal thank you from me. Because, well, if you buy it, then thank you.

 


Awesome album art!

Awesome album art!






Pre-ordered CDs will ship the week prior to March 12, 2016

 

I understand if most of your music comes in 1’s and 0’s these days. I buy a lot of music that way too. I love the instant gratification and the portability. But as an artist, it feels really good to give people something you made. And as a person who likes art, it feels really great to get an actual thing.

Also, as an artist, it’s a better deal for me if you just buy a CD. The album will be available for pre-order on iTunes in a few weeks, of course, but Apple takes their cut, and that’s true of every other outlet as well. So if you buy it straight from me, you get the music, you get an actual thing, and most of your transaction goes to me making more things.

So click the button and buy the album, please!

Listening Party: Gotta Fool The Devil

Alright!

Lots of people wanted a chance to hear some of the new album before it’s released (doesn’t everyone like to feel like they got in on the secret?)

So here you go.

This is actually track 3 on the record. That’s Jesse Garland and Cherie Taylor doing the awesome backing vocals, and Arthur Lee Land  throwing down on lead guitar. This was the most fun song to work on in the whole process- every time we listened to it we felt better about the project as a whole.

Hope you dig it! Stay tuned for more stuff.

Public Service Announcement: PR Campaign Warning

As I mentioned last week, I made a record.

Look Ma, the new drink coasters are here!

Look Ma, the new drink coasters are here!

Those of of you following from the bleachers have known this is coming. I’m pretty excited. It is 21st century technology that makes it possible for someone like me to even contemplate making recordings of songs that are anything beyond what I made in my room on a cassette recorder back in 1985. And then to be able to make copies and reach people out in the world without slinging my banjo over my shoulder and walking from town to town like a musical Kwai Chang Caine? That’s just sci-fi.

However, it is the 21st century, and that means when you kick something like this out into the world, you make as much noise as possible. Since the likelihood of anything of mine ending up on radio is slim (to none), that means we leverage the power of the internets. Thus the warning.

I’m going to be putting out a slew of stuff in the next ninety days or so (and probably beyond). I’ll also be engaging in some internet PR tactics that I have not previously tried. Those include some paid promotion of certain things, more scheduled posts than normal, and doing things like clicking the ‘invite all’ button.  It occurs to me that you might fall into one of several categories as relates to this, so I’m dividing up my comments and advice accordingly.

1) If you are a rabid fan (both of you), then you want to maximise the spam from me. Follow me on twitter, instagram, facebook, join the email list (red box to the right), and send me regular messages asking how it’s going. You’ll be one of the first three people to respond to the release event posting, you’ll buy a pre-release CD directly from me on my website, ask for more stickers, and wonder when I’ll have t-shirts. You’ll show up early to the release show and you’ll still be there at the end. You’ll share every post and be really annoying to your friends on my behalf. You’re awesome, thanks for being you!

2) You’re interested in that 21st century, mildly ironic, ‘oh, you did something artistic, how cool,’ kind of way. You probably have already liked my page on facebook, or follow me on twitter, and since you just read that I have an instagram, you’ll probably follow me there too. You will like approximately 50% of the posts from me that you see, which is less than 10% of the posts, but that’s not your fault, it’s that facebook manipulates what you see to leverage me into paying for advertising, and there’s just too much stuff on twitter to keep up. If you’re around for the release show you’ll rally and come, and you’ll probably download the record on iTunes, though you probably won’t pre-order it when that becomes possible. It’s cool, we all fall into this category in relation to some creative people we know. I’m psyched to see you at a show, and I hope you give the record a listen when you get a chance. As an independent artist, even the most ironic, distanced gesture of approval means a lot. Thanks!

3) You know me somehow, but had no idea that I did music. Welcome! Yep, I do that too. ‘But wait’ you say, ‘I thought you were a teacher, and stuff.’ That is true, I am a teacher. This is the ‘and stuff.’ I’m glad you found your way here. Finding new people is one of the toughest things for both artists and fans to do in the post-radio, internet era (not that radio is dead, just that I’m probably not going to be on it- see above). Poke around. Listen to some tracks from the record when I post them (I’m old enough that I just can’t stop calling it a record). Try some of the suggestions above. Also, go to a show, anyone’s show. At your local brewpub, coffeeshop, bar or whatever. Music is cool. Buy a CD. Get some stickers. It is possible that you will find what I do is just not your cup-o-tea. Not everyone is up for this sort of alt-country- hence the ‘alt.’ Don’t quit. Keep looking- someone’s making what you’re looking for, you just have to find them.

4) You know me somehow, but all this music stuff is getting sort of annoying. Well, sorry about that. If you really aren’t interested, why’d you click the link? And then read six paragraphs to get to this point? Don’t you have hobbies? Get off the internet! Seriously, this post is really for you. I’m going to get busy pushing out a lot of stuff in the next few months. However, all this is voluntary. So don’t like the band page, or follow me on twitter. If we are ‘friends’ on FB there will be a lot of stuff there too. If you need to unfriend me or hide all the posts I totally get it. That’s the way of things in the 21st century. You are in charge of your own feed. But if you feel a little twinge of guilt when you contemplate that, let me offer a suggestion. Buy the record first- pre-order it directly from me, so you end up with an actual object. Worst case scenario, you have a hipster coaster for your living room. It will look cool. Best case, the CD rides around in your car for a while, and one day in a fit of boredom you put it in and I manage to convert you to one of the categories above. But if you actually bought something, then there’s no cause for guilt, and the condensation from your micro-brew will never scar your recycled barnwood coffee table.

5) You have no idea how you got here. I don’t have answers for you, but I wish you the best. By the way, I’m a musician and I’m releasing this record…

None of this addresses the musicians in the crowd, but you know the drill don’t you.

If you read this far, you are pretty much in the first category, or we are blood relatives and you feel resentfully obligated. Either way, what you really want to know is the following:

Direct pre-release CD sales start January 12. If you buy direct from me, you get an actual object, a note from me, if you want the CD signed I will do that for you, and I’ll probably throw a few other things in just for fun. We will ship all of these orders the week before the release show, so even if you can’t make it you can crank it up and bug the neighbors (more specific instructions will be forthcoming for those of you who won’t make the release show but want to celebrate in style) If you really want to contribute to homegrown music, this is the way.

iTunes pre-release sale starts February 12. I get it, the majority of your music lives in a device as digital info. You may not even own the hardware to play, let alone rip, a CD (you may not even understand that sentence). Download away. I buy a lot of my music that way too. But don’t forget to check out the web site for stickers and stuff. Stuff is fun!

Release show March 12 in Lyons at Oskar Blues. We’ll do a bunch of acoustic stuff, and a bunch of full band stuff. We’ll be selling CDs and other things. We might even have cake. Dig it.

Stay tuned for more updates, some tracks, and lots of PR. And, for real, if you actually want to know what’s up, and not miss stuff, join the email list. Red box, to your right. Straight from me to you. No middle-person at all.

Hope to see you out there.

Dirt and Heartache Album Cover

So, I made a record…

Well, that took a whole lot longer than I had anticipated. To say the least.

Ah the studio. The tape doesn't lie.

Ah the studio. The tape doesn’t lie.

About eighteen months ago I sat down with Brian Schey and we talked about making a ‘little record.’ I figured we could get it done by the end of the summer. Summer of 2014 that was. Hah! In July, after some pre-production work, we went into the Wrecking Room studio with Brian McRea and Arthur Lee Land and did the basic tracks for six songs. Easy, right? We’ll be done in another two weeks.

Again with the ‘Hah!’

Brian's megadrum kit.

Brian’s megadrum kit.

It has been a process of learning to let go, learning to just do the next thing, to not worry too much about what we are doing. Along the way I also became a hell of a better singer and musician, learned a ton about the process of actually making a record, got to meet and hang out with some insanely cool and talented people, and had a lot of fun. Not a bad deal actually.

 

Mystery harmonica player in the studio. You want to know who it is- wait to buy the record.

Mystery harmonica player in the studio. You want to know who it is- wait to buy the record.

 

By the time we were done there were six other performers on the record (Jessie, Ash, Thom, John Taye and Brian- your individualized shoutouts are coming), and Brian Schey, Brian McRea (everyone was named Brian! More about that later) and I had spent about a bazillion hours listening to these tracks over and over again. Amazingly, I’m not sick of them. I’m really glad to be done with this part of the project, but I’m very proud of the record and can’t wait for folks to hear it.

 

Brian (different Brian) lays down some bass.

Brian (different Brian) lays down some bass.

And finally, we are DONE! I sent the masters to production this week. (hopefully we didn’t screw anything up, but that’s mostly my paranoia talking).

There will be a lot more information coming in the next month or so. Probably too much by the time its all over. We have a release party in the planning stages- I’ll be posting A LOT about that in the next few weeks. Also, I’ll be posting a track or two before we release the record, and pre-sales are coming. If you are really committed to hearing all about this, please join my email list- there’s a big red box to your right at the top of the page. That way, announcements and info will come straight to you, rather than depending on the flighty algorithms of Facebook or sorting through the massive flow that is twitter.

But in the meantime, for your viewing enjoyment, here’s the cover art. Hope you dig it.

Dirt and Heartache Cover

 

Song School and Folks Fest 2015!

Apparently, Folks Fest was at the end of the rainbow!

Apparently, Folks Fest was at the end of the rainbow!

Last week I was in Song School, which was awesome, then Folks Festival happened. This year Jason Isbell was the Saturday night headliner. Pretty much as good as it gets. One of my favorites playing outside and walking distance from my house.There were tons of other great sets at Folks: Kasey Chambers, The Wood Brothers, Richard Thompson, The Waifs, Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlins. To name a few.

Testing the lights on the main stage the night before Folks Fest.

Testing the lights on the main stage the night before Folks Fest.

Song School is a truly magical place, with magical people. Not only is it a place to learn, but I really enjoyed watching some folks who had never thought of themselves as musicians before last week discover what they were capable of. It was an honor to be witness to some really profound moments for people. Plus, I made some great new friend and played a bunch of songs very late at night, which I like. That caused me to go to work in a zombie state for a few days, but hey, that happens.

Late night song circle at Song School.

Late night song circle at Song School.

Now it’s back to life, which is busy. But I’m still feeling the lift of creativity and new friends that this time of year always serves up. I’m played in Estes Park last night at The Rock Inn, one of my favorite gigs. I’ve been playing  this song a bunch recently (video from the Song School open stage- thanks to Joe Stevens on bass and Brian Eyster on dobro for helping out). The video got a bit cut off at the end, but most of the song is there. Hope to see you soon.

 

August Update

Howdy Folks,

If you’ve been following along you know I was traveling with the family for all of July- see related posts here and here. In addition to having a great time with the family, I was gathering up a lot of songwriting thought and ideas. I’m looking forward to working on some new songs this fall (are you going to be at SongSchool in August? Hope to see you there!) As much fun as it was, and it was a lot of fun, it’s also great to be home and turning some attention back to playing some shows and finishing a record.

Here are upcoming shows:

Stone Cup in Lyons 8/2 at 10am

The Rock Inn in Estes Park 8/22 at 6pm

La Vita Bella in Longmont 9/11 at 7pm

The Rock Inn in Estes Park 9/19 at 7pm

Jamestown Mercantile in Jamestown 10/2 at 6pm

I’m still working on booking things for the fall, so check in on my website or at Facebook to get updates.

Record wise, we are working on final mixes and mastering right now. As soon as we are done with that we’ll set a release date and get working on setting up a release show.I’m also turning my attention to things like artwork- a whole new arena for me! I’m thinking the release will be late October or early November.

Hope to see you out there!

-JGS

A little home recording with the Irish Uncle (Song Included)

I posted about street musicians from our trip earlier, but some of the coolest musical bits of our trip were hanging out with my wife’s relatives. She has several uncles and cousins in England and Ireland, and a great-uncles and cousins in Scotland.

I hit a really awesome vintage guitar store in East London with one of the cousins.

Guitar Porn: top left is a '56 Esquire with the ash tray cover. Tagged here at £13,500. That's British Pounds, not US dollars. So multiply by 1.5 for the price in $s.

Guitar Porn: top left is a ’56 Esquire with the ash tray cover. Tagged here at £13,500. That’s British Pounds, not US dollars. So multiply by 1.5 for the price in $s.

Her Great Uncle is a former world champion flycaster. And all my wife’s uncles are crack musicians. I had a nice jam session with Joe in Southern England, but our visit was pretty short. He makes his own guitars and amps. I played a customized blue paisley Telecaster (5 way switch!) with a leather pick guard (sorry, no photo) through a hand built Fender Champ style 5W amp. It sounded about as good as anything I have ever played.

In Ireland I spent a really wonderful rainy Sunday afternoon with Uncle Stewart in his home studio, where we threw down a high speed demo of a song using the power of modern computing. He played bass and keyboards, I played guitars and sang. We had a super time, and he is so wonderfully talented that it’s really just a pleasure to hang out with him, let alone play.

Stewart laying down organ on a demo we made in #Ireland

A video posted by Jay Stott (@jgstottmusic) on

Both Joe and Stewart came up playing in showbands in Ireland in the ’60’s, and there is, in fact, no song Stewart does not know. Really, He knows them all. He is also an encyclopedia of traditional Irish and Scots music, and I will be working on some new songs he suggested I learn.

Here is our ‘finished’ demo. Given that we did it in one rainy Sunday afternoon, we were pretty pleased. Hope you like it.