Thursday, June 25, 2020

Ghosts out in the Rain -- Hound of the Buskervilles releases new album.

Hound of the Buskervilles is pleased to announce the release of a new album. 

If that's all you need to know, you can skip everything below, head straight to youtube, and Listen to the album right now on youtube.   (While you're there, hit the subscribe button. It doesn't cost you, but it helps us.) 

We (that is Dan Boone, Mandolin; Eddie Hysinger, harmonica; Phil Ragland, lead guitar; Marty Rosen, vocals and guitar) sat facing one another in the upstairs parlor of a Victorian house in Old Louisville and we played a bunch of songs.

There are thirteen of them on the album.  We figured that was enough. So we stopped.  

We recorded live, no overdubbed instrumentals or vocals. Dan spent an inordinate amount of time editing each individual track to adjust the volume and mix. That was a lot of work because we were not social distancing (this was well before the epidemic), and we didn't use any sound isolating techniques. 

This is Marty writing, and I could go on at length explaining what I think are the distinctive features of this album. But the music speaks for itself, and you can stream (or, if you are so inclined, purchase) the music via the links below. If you can find the time, my recommendation is that you listen in track order. But I know you're busy. And in the old days, this album would probably have crowded onto three vinyl discs... 

I do want to mention the cover art. 

The title of this album comes from the first line of the first track, "Guadalupe," by the great American singer-songwriter and painter Tom Russell.  

I think it's among the most evocative first lines in all of American song. One morning back in January, when we were still thinking about whether to release an album at all, I woke up with the idea that the line would not only make a great title, but also conveyed something about the tone of the album. 

Then I wondered whether Tom, who had just published a book of his paintngs called The Ballad of Western Expressionism (and who had not long before shared on his Facebook page a youtube video of us covering one of his songs), Tom might let us use an image of one of his paintings for a cover. 

I emailed Tom's office - not really expecting a response to my extremely modest proposal.  But Tom's wife, Nadine, sent an encouraging response. And John Yuelkenbeck, the President of Tom's label, Frontera Records, followed up. At that time, Tom was touring - not painting. 

But we all know what happened in March. In the aftermath Tom and Nadine holed up in Switzerland, where Tom has been painting up a storm.  One day John sent me a .jpg of the painting above (without the text that we later added) and asked what I thought. I spent a long day watching that painting before I started to think I understood it. I think it's a painting worthy of your gaze.   

Right now, the easiest way to find the album in various places is to follow this link to the Hear Now Ghosts out in the Rain page --  which is described below in excruciating detail.   

If  you wish, you can listen to short snippets right there. Or you can buy the album on itunes (if you like the music, it's a steal at $9.99), or you can stream on Spotify, Apple Music, or the French streaming service Deezer. 

You can also listen to all the tracks by heading downscreen to where you will see five icons: Facebook, Youtube, this blog, Instagram (though none of us have figured out how to use it), and our other youtube channel, where you will find a dusty digital attic of assorted youtubes that people would find enormously interesting if we were famous.   

The first youtube channel, though (the one linked at the top), is the one for easy immediate listening.  

By the way, Phil Ragland created a back cover for this album - just in case we someday release it as a CD.  Here it is. The great photo on the back was taken by our friend the photographer Lou Tingle.  

Titles, times, and writers:

1. "Guadalupe" (9:35), by Tom Russell
2. "Pharaoh" (10:58), by Richard Thompson
3. "Handsome Molly" (8:03), by Bill Morrissey
4. "Ashes and Smoke" (5:48), by Marty Rosen
5. "Dry River Bed" (8:24), by Stephen Pigram
6. "Coyotes" (8:22), by Bob McDill
7. "Church of the Long Grass" (6:43), by John Wort Hannam
8. "Bitter Angels" (4:15), by Marty Rosen
9. "American Hotel" (6:32), by Carl Brouse
10. "Get Along" (4:47), by Don Walker
11. "When Sinatra Played Juarez" (4:41), by Tom Russell
12. "Y'all Means All" (4:47), by John McCutcheon
13. "Navajo Rug" (5:50), by Ian Tyson and Tom Russell