True/False was exhausting but awesome. Here is a photo dump to prove it. The first few photos are by festival photographers; the rest were taken by Ethan Cordray.
And here's a video of us doing a cover of the traditional tune "God's Gonna Cut You Down." Video shot by Ethan. It's such a joy to play with these talented folks!
We've been practicing hard the past few weeks. Why? Because we're going to launch our album at True/False! You can pre-order the album here in digital or traditional form. (If you order the physical CD, you automatically get the digital download.) Supplies are limited, so order yours ASAP!
The whole band will be playing on Friday, March 3 at 7pm at Landmark Bank. The show is free and open to the public. Invite your friends!
In addition, Olivia and Martha will be busking before several film screenings at the festival. They will be playing mini-sets of both Olivia's and Martha's original songs. Check out some of Martha's here on Bandcamp!
Owen and I were both featured in an article in the October 27 issue of Vox Magazine. Below are some of the photos and the write-ups on us from Rachel Philips. The article featured two other local musicians as well, and all of us were interviewed on the subject of the Songwriter's Guild, which has helped bring our music to the Columbia community. Click over to read the full article at Vox's website, or check out the excerpts below. Thanks to Stephanie Mueller and Evan Cobb for the photos.
Cordray was raised in the church and has a standing gig at Christ Our King Presbyterian in Columbia. “I grew up with a hymnal in my hands,” she says. She learned to harmonize with her sister and at age 13 and became interested in learning to play the acoustic guitar. She also plays the piano, mandolin and dulcimer. At 18, she recorded her own album of slightly updated traditional hymns, sold copies for $10 each and used the money to buy books for college. She describes her style as Americana and is working on an album titled The Juniper Tree after a fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm. By day, Cordray works in MU’s Department of German and Russian Studies. She knows she will always make music in one way or another but doesn’t want to give up her day job. She hopes to continue collaborating with musicians. “I love that we have this vibrant community in Columbia where we can network,” she says.
Originally a classically trained pianist, Owen Stroud wanted to improvise and make up his own music. He would listen to different artists then write his own songs. Stroud says his goal is “imitation with the purpose of development.” Eventually, Stroud developed his own unique style and combination of musical genres. “I am folk, country, rock and blues in a blender,” he says. Stroud is a native Texan and often writes about life there. He has absorbed a lot of history and stories from Texas and believes songs should communicate a message but leave the listener with a bit of ambiguity. Currently, the 23-year-old is interning with Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) and considering a career in ministry. He is working on expanding the list of places he has performed and says the Songwriters Guild gives him a chance to get experience.
Last Wednesday, Owen and I played a gig at the Social Room, opening for peripatetic folkster Joe Johnson. The venue is über-cool: it's a speak-easy, and you need a password -- changed weekly -- to get in. For us, it was a virtually stress-free experience thanks to their sound and light guy. We showed up with our instruments and he took care of the rest! (I gotta say: the mirror ball might not be a traditional part of the Americana aesthetic, but I dug it.)
We were preceded onstage by Molly Adamson and followed by Emma Wicks, both currently Columbia residents. The event was organized by the Songwriters Guild of Columbia, MO. Founded in 2010, they provide "a platform for Stage Worthy Professional Musicians, songwriters, virtuosos, artists, to promote their craft" and "build a fan base." I don't know about building a fan base, but we had a solid show of support from local friends and colleagues, despite the fact that it was 9:45 on a weeknight.
Thanks again to the folks at the Social Room, to everybody who came out to listen to us, and to Meredith Hood, who snapped some pics (below) and shot some video (above).
Juniper Tree (Cordray)
Gas Tank Astronauts (Cordray)
Creek Road (Stroud)
Million Mile Blues (Stroud)
Crazy (Patsy Cline)
The Ballad of Red (Cordray)
Snow Don't Fall (Townes Van Zandt)
Wayfaring Stranger (trad.)
Helter Skelter (Lennon/McCartney)
Last night was our debut performance of five songs from The Juniper Tree at Stephens Lake Park amphitheater. Despite some technical difficulties and the typical midsummer Missouri heat, we had a blast on our first time out. It was a delight to share the stage with John Galbraith and Anna Duff and their ensembles and to see so many friends and family who came out to support us.
Above is a video (captured by faithful band historiographer Ethan Cordray) of the second song in our set. If you enjoy it, share it!
Above: Rocking out with Martha. Photo by Ethan Cordray.
Check us out, playing together and making noise and stuff! (My cats were not amused.) We played from about 8:30 until after one, but I was having so much fun I barely noticed the time passing.
Reminder: we're playing TONIGHT at Stephens Lake Park amphitheater at 7. I think y'all are going to love the set we've put together. Holler if you're planning to be there!
In June, I submitted one of our new tracks to 102.3 BXR's Acoustic Artist Showcase contest, and Wednesday I received the excellent news that the Reliquaries were among the three local bands chosen to play at the showcase.
We'll be performing a 20-minute set at the Stephens Lake Park Amphitheater next Thursday, August 4 at 7pm. The show is FREE, and Lily's Cantina and Kona Ice will be there. Bring lawn chairs or a picnic basket and join us for some live music! You can RSVP at the Facebook event if you feel so inclined.
PS: This will be our first live show as The Reliquaries! Get excited!
After a semester of back-burnering the album, I’m in the studio again with Wil Reeves to put the finishing touches on The Juniper Tree. Last Wednesday we mixed and bounced five tracks, and in my opinion they’re more or less finished (minus a couple of tweaks and mastering, of course).
Another (disproportionately) thrilling announcement: I’ve officially earned my first dollar for the album! A whole $3.45, to be exact. It’s not profit, and in fact to break even just on recording costs, I’ll need to earn another $1378.55. (Oof.) But that's another post in itself, and it'll probably go up once I've decided whether or not to Kickstart this baby.
Other updates thus far:
I've also started researching digital distributors. Symphonic looks cool. They'll also distribute physical copies if you provide them. But I'm going to experiment with independent distribution for now, to wit -- an extremely non-exhaustive to-do list:
I'm pretty sure #3 has something to do with flinging download cards at random strangers like confetti.
I have another studio session coming up this weekend, which I can only hope is as productive as the last one.
Also, last night I had a highly enjoyable jam session with some folks from work, which was the perfect opportunity to field-test the Marshall AS50D with an SM58 I picked up last week. It was more than adequate for bedroom-level blues rock (even a slightly jazzified -- but no less loud -- cover of the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army").
The Vibro Champ XD was glorious, as always, especially with the fresh tube. Toasty!