Over the years we’ve ventured out on several “20-Tours”. A 20-Tour, for those in the dark, is completely booked and hosted by fans, usually at their homes (so we’re talking porches, backyards, living rooms) but sometimes at schools, taverns, breweries, reunions, veterans halls, nursing homes, etc. A “20-Tour” is thusly named because we encourage the host to cap the guest-list at around 20 people (not the case anymore, we’ll go way higher, but the name stuck), they usually charge guests $20, and we typically play about 20 songs.
This 20-Tour, May/June 2015, we thought it would be fun to try something new. After our first set, we would find a quiet place away from the stage and give ourselves 15-20 minutes to write a new song—totally from scratch—in homage to the host and their city. It was…difficult.
Our process soon became streamlined (Bonesaw and Sunny would go one direction with the guitars to write the chords and riffs, Smell and I in another with pen and paper to write lyrics), but that didn’t make it any easer. In fact, sometimes it made it harder because Smell and I would be working on a ballad-style cadence and rhyme scheme, only to have Bonesaw and Sunny come at us with an uptempo hip-hop groove. This led to many last second audibles and, obviously, arguments. (The band nearly broke up at Sheila’s in Chicago. Kidding. But not too kidding).
The myriad comedies of error will of course be on unfiltered display here on these recordings, so I won’t dwell, but I hope you all judge these tunes with very gentle gavels because YOU TRY IT, OK? IT’S IMPOSSIBLE! No but anyway…Ya gotta memorize chord changes, measure counts, ya gotta read the lyrics in real time, often in strange, shadowy stage lighting, ya gotta harmonize to a melody that is far from set in stone having just recently been devised. Oftentimes on the walk back to the stage Smell and I would completely forget the melody.
And so, for better or worse, we present to you our “20-Tour Host Theme Song Album”. You will hear false-starts, re-starts, baby’s crying, band members lashing out at each other, band members searching for the right key and groove, and sometimes you’ll even hear the audience fact-check us on the correct name of their town (particularly embarrassing). Which really sort of makes this a comedy album. Whatever…ENJOY! Oh, and PS--we recorded this on an iPhone. Sorry.
released June 10, 2015
iPHONE: recording device
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