15 December 2010

"Elegy" Official Album Release

"Awesome.  Unique, emotional and different from pretty much anything you've ever heard."  This is how Elegy, Shawn Crowle's quasi-conceptual debut album, available now on CDBaby and Itunes, is being described.  With comparisons to Tom Waits and Bob Dylan, the album is a portrait of the human condition, scattered with moments of heartbreak and hope, love and loss and a search for understanding.

 is as intentionally rough-edged and lovely as the characters that populate it.  Formed around a base take of guitar and voice, the songs are made up of simple, sparse arrangements falling in around the words, always keeping the story at the forefront, creating a stark musical picture of ungainly beauty.

The songs resonate with a delicately played guitar, lyrics powerful in their simplicity and a weary voice, drawing the listener into the world Shawn has created, if only for a while.  With tours planned throughout 2011 and radio plays on  digital radio stations such as the "Amazing Folk Roots" show on Amazing Radio,Elegy is steadily reaching out to listeners, demanding their attention.

For more information or to listen to the album for yourself, visit Shawn at www.shawncrowle.com or www.reverbnation.com/shawncrowle  For promo-requests or to set up an interview, please write Shawn at shawn@shawncrowle.com.

-- Kindly written by Thane Satyr, former drummer and vocalist for the Naughty Divas and (Rawlco Radio Recording Artists) Dean Lonsdale and the Ramifications.  Opening quote by Dave Gibbons of the Monobandits.

Listening to:  This American by Joe Purdy.  His latest release, which he's kind enough to give away for the month of December.

2 December 2010

Amazing Folk Roots Radio Show

"Once...", the first track from the new album, "Elegy" is going to be featured on the Amazing Folk Roots radio show on Amazing Radio hosted by Frankie Ward this Sunday, December 5th at 7pm GMT and again on Wednesday, December 8th at 6pm GMT.  This week Frankie will be joined in the soapbox by poet and comedian John Hegley.

You can listen to a live stream of the broadcast at www.amazingradio.co.uk or listen live via DAB Digital Radio.  If you miss the show, you can catch it again via Amazing Radio's rewind service from Tuesday on at www.amazingtunes.com/users/amazingrewind

Listening to:
  Music from the Big Pink by The Band.  From Eric Clapton to Elton John, one of the most influential albums of all time.

  Clapton.  The autobiography of Eric Clapton.  Brutally honest and insightful.

24 November 2010

Operatic Pretensions be damned...

With the launch of the new site and the impending global release of the new album, Elegy, I thought I’d take a few minutes to talk about the album and what it meant to me.

I grew up in a small prairie town, and if anyone’s every spent a great deal of time there, it’s very much like it’s own little world, with it’s own set of almost archetypal characters.  More than anything I wanted to tell their stories.

Right around the time I was piecing together the material for the album, I happened to take a little trip back home (or was pulled back, depending on your view of fate).  As I made my way from one old haunt to another, it became painfully apparent that hard times had come down hard, and that thought more than any colored every aspect of the album, from the writing to the recording, and everything in between.

I deliberately set out seeking to make the album as raw as possible, with the story presented at the very forefront, with extremely sparse musical arrangements falling into place around it to paint the very specific musical picture I saw in my mind.  Likewise, I wanted the actual sound and feel of the album as a whole to be as lofi as possible.  I was very concerned with capturing the honesty of the songs, with as little production as possible to get in the way.  The world these characters live in is dirty, rough and breaking, and that’s what I wanted the music to be.

I wanted to be able to pick up my guitar and play, no frills, no studio, just music, and that’s how I wanted it to sound.  I wanted the listener to see what I saw.  An empty room somewhere, maybe a bar, with a handful of guys sitting down to play.  Dust on the guitars, beer-rings on the piano, and a single hazy spot to light the way.  It’s a feel and an image I’ve always experienced listening to recordings such as Wait’s Bone Machine, Dylan’s Basement Tapes or the recent work of Kristofferson (The brilliant This Old Road and Closer to the Bone especially), and it’s something I wanted desperately to capture.

The one thing that’s divided listeners more than any other is my voice.  I’m not a singer, I’m a storyteller, and I wanted to tell these stories the best way I knew how, with raw feeling and plenty of grit.  No pretty harmonies, no melodic voicing, just the truth of the song as I saw it and my heart on my sleeve.  I wanted to create something unique, and I think I’ve done that, 
operatic pretensions be damned as a good friend had said.

Listening to:
  Bone Machine by Tom Waits.  Absolutely Brilliant.

  The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.  The folk singer’s bible, I swear to God.  
Ghost of Tom Joad by Springsteen, Here Comes that Rainbow by Kristofferson, Tom Joad
 by Guthrie, “Broken Plow by Knight…the list goes on.

  Boardwalk Empire.  Hooked me from the start.  Great set pieces, great music, intriguing characters and a superb multi-prong story.  Also, Steve Buscemi is such a charming bastard in this show.