Monday, August 6, 2018

Pressurific - Cat's Cradle Back Room 8/4/18

Photo by Ed Speas
Well, Saturday night was just a phenomenal event for me. It was a celebration of my new album's release (Game Day on Omnivore Recordings). And it was the debut of my new trio, the Peter Holsapple Combo. 

Pressure? Nah, well maybe just a little. It's always good to hedge your bet and get a crew to film and record the first ever show so you can have your major mistakes documented, right? Also, it's an audience largely made up of people I know in some capacity (cue the Kinks). So no big deal.

We, the PHC, actually sounded great. The extra rehearsaling we did last week paid off in spades. The mix, courtesy of Andy Young, was sublime; vocals were balanced, in tune and were largely comprised of the correct words to each song. The rhythm section was locked, and I was able to make my guitar solos sound competent and, dare I say, emotionally valid. We started with four songs from Game Day, ended with four more, and stuffed the rest with a representation of my long and sordid career in music.

When we were done, I was buttonholed a few times by old friends who said they completely dug what was going on with the band and the songs. I might've ordinarily thought they were being polite and deferential, but Larry Tucker sent me a rough mix of the set, and damn if we weren't smokin'. (We also clocked in at just under 60 minutes, including the encore--important that you stay on time when you're the middle band in a three-act show.) I don't usually like to listen to the evidence, but my curiosity got the better of me. I was not disappointed.

On Tuesday night (tomorrow) we will try to repeat this feat of derring-do at Gas Hill Drinking Room above the Ramkat in Winston-Salem. Saturday bodes well for a long and successful run with the Peter Holsapple Combo, and I look forward to further-flung dates in the foreseeable future so that you Internet people can come see and hear us.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Some nice new press for Game Day

some nice old press


I am always stunned and grateful when reviewers like the music I release, and the response to Game Day has been particularly heartening. Here are a few reviews and articles that have come down the pike this week.

The INDY (Durham NC)
Coachella Valley Weekly (Coachella Valley, CA)
Ink 19 (online)
Penn Live (PA online)

The PH Combo has been rehearsing for our upcoming shows on Saturday and Tuesday, and the band is sounding tight and ready. I think you all will be most pleased with what you hear--my 10-year-old attended today's rehearsal and felt we were playing well and singing harmoniously. She was not paid for that opinion.

More to come--we're hanging in there in the Amazon charts. Hopefully, you've told at least one friend about the record today! And also hopefully, they'll pick up a copy of their very own.


Saturday, July 28, 2018

Oops, I just released an album.

The smart old rock-and-roller, the one who's been in the business for decades and has released records many, many times, would certainly be on top of his own career enough to make a blog post commemorating his brand new CD's release...

(borrowed from the INDY without permission)

Hi, welcome to day 2 of the post-Game Day world. I managed to miss blogging on the release date which was yesterday, but I can tell you it was a fine day. Lovely reviews from several sources which I'll link below; friends exhorting other friends on Facebook to buy the album; decent numbers for a small-potatoes kind of guy on Amazon. I was well pleased.

Whatever misgivings I may have had (and I may have had fairly many) about releasing this record were washed away with the warm and sweet things people have said to me about it. Where I had thought that my songs were too weird and personal and obscure, I was assured by many folks that I was speaking their language, that they could relate to what I was singing about and that it mattered to them. The sonic places I had believed would get savaged by recordists have not bothered anyone but me, and even I'm getting used to them. The joy I had making and listening to these tunes has been shared by almost everyone who has heard Game Day. Who could ask for more?

I went to sleep after spending about 20 minutes running instrumental mixes for the songs. I slept peacefully, got some good rest and woke knowing that the job was largely ahead of me with the album. The Peter Holsapple Combo makes its debut at the release parties at the Cat's Cradle Back Room (August 4) in Carrboro and the Gas Hill Drinking Room (August 7) in Winston-Salem; Glenn and Will are navigating my songs with dexterity and sensitivity, and I think people are going to enjoy this band as much as I am. My friends in Los Angeles will get two chances to see the PHC as well before the end of August. Then we start the business of getting around to the other cities we want to hit, like New York, Boston, DC, Atlanta, Athens, Columbia, Charleston, Savannah. After that, hopefully, we can expand our scope to include the Midwest, deep south and other points west. But that's a way off, and I'll let you know as the crystal ball clears. 

Thanks to everyone who has made this all possible. I'll save the list for my Grammy® acceptance speech, but you know who you are. 

No Depression
All Music Guide 
Americana Highways 
The Vinyl District



Sunday, July 15, 2018

Game Day arrives - a short tale


On Friday, while my wife was showing our real estate agent around the house on Wilbon Street that we've recently moved from, a package came. It was a box of CDs. It was a box of Game Day promo CDs, in fact. I'd spent the better part of the last two weeks internally screaming and weeping with the silent knowledge that there were pressing plant issues that might delay my release day of July 27. It sounded so familiar, like many of the release tragedies I'd experienced in the past (label loses distribution, no records in stores for in-stores, etc.) so I went to that dark place for a while. And then this. The pall lifted, I felt renewed and ready to start the process again with a new solo record. 

Sarah and I both thought it was particularly poignant that the CDs were delivered to the house where I recorded and mixed the entire record but had vacated. It was a wonderful house, full of creative spirit and love, and I hope whoever ends up owning it will feel some of that vibe as well.

Remember, you can pre-order it at this link if you want to beat the crowds at your local record emporium 7/27.