We couldn’t be more excited to do this show. Its a break in between runs of our Cats & Dogs & Bastards Tour that we have been playing with The Neighborhood Dogs, and Ernie Clark & The Magnificent Bastards. We have some hired guns helping out as BCB builds up back into a full band after a year of being a one man band. Brett Booher from Ernie Clark & The Magnificent Bastards has been holding down the bass for us while Jay Jankowski from Saint has been laying down the drums. We are also contemplating bringing in a surprise guitarist, and our go-to harmonica man, if things work out for everyone.
Bloodshot Bill will most likely play solo again when he comes to town. When he plays as a one man band he is like a man possessed! Drums are wailing, guitar is squealing, greasy hair is flying everywhere, and the sweat is pouring as Bill makes sweet, sweet love to the microphone. Its a whirlwind of beer soaked psychobilly feakout. John Waters said Bloodshot Bill is like “Roy Orbison with a head wound”. We think thats a compliment…. and its pretty damn accurate!
The new album “The 4-track Tapes”has been released on our Bandcamp account today, June 13th. 2019. The album is also available on our site, as well as Spotify and other streaming services.
Featuring 11 tracks captured with a Tascam 4 track digital recorder and a Behringer cardiod microphone. All tracks were exported to Cakewalk and mixed down with a minimal amount of production in an effort to maintain that “analog tape recorder” vibe present on old school cassete tape porta-studios.
Those analog tape recorders were cheaply made. They didn’t have anything visual to inform you of what you were recording, except a few LED indicator lights to keep you from clipping the sound while recording. Mixing down was a matter of running an RCA cable into another tape deck to record what your recorder played while you manipulated a few volume or tone knobs in real-time. You physically had to adjust the knobs to bring down the bass while you raised the guitar up for a solo, or smoothly turn all four volume knobs at the same time to achieve a full band fade at the end of the track.
The primitive design of the machines left plenty of room for mistakes. But that was kind of what made everything so fun. Those mistakes made for some pretty interesting sounds.
“The 4-Treack Tapes” invokes the spirit of when I first started to learn open tunings and using the bottleneck slide. I was sitting in my tiny apartment with a broken Tascam tape recorder that I dug out of the trash and repaired. I started layering tracks to see what combinations of guitar riffs I could throw together to make sense of that brass slide bottle. Eventually I found my true voice on the guitar, and figured out how to write songs in the process. That crappy tape recorder was what allowed me to transition from just a guitar player to an actual songwriter.
Before I started Black Cat Bone, I had nobody to help me make the kind of music I make today. The 4-track tape recorder was my band.
A few years later I started the band with my wife Jewly, on cajon and djembe, using the material I created on that old 4-track Tascam as the starting point of what this band would eventually evolve into. The band I wanted had finally become a reality, transitioning from the tape deck to the stage (at Mulligan’s!). She was the first of a dozen friends/band members to come over the years. That is why I released this album today, June 13th, our anniversary.
Currently, Black Cat Bone is operating as a one man band. Our work schedules weren’t lining up, and I was ready to take a step back from the routine we had been maintaining as a band for the last few years. So while I figure things out, I decided to just focus on writing new songs, and playing shows whenever the mood hits me. I am just taking the time to enjoy going back to the woodshed and getting ready for whatever the next step in the evolution of Black Cat Bone brings my way. I hope you enjoy the new music.
We are on most of those sites under the moniker “Black Cat Bone 616”, using the Grand Rapids area code to separate us from the other artists out there using the name Black Cat Bone. There’s at least one in every country…. The oldest seems to be from the 70’s in Canada, the current big deal is out of the UK… but the best Black Cat Bone is from the heart of the Rust Belt…. dirty ol’ Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA!
We ran into Farmer John who helps out with a lot of the shows at the Tip Top Deluxe. Farmer John is also the founder of the Cowpie Music Festival in Alaska, Michigan. They host some of the best live music to be found around yonder parts and are something you should check out.
He asked us to do a short interview, which he then posted on his Facebook account. Farmer John also captured our first song in the set in a separate video.
Black Cat Bone has just released our new recording on Bandcamp for immediate streaming and download. CD’s are in the plans for the near future.
Jealous Is Poison was recorded live at a local screen print shop, Bad Mojo Design, in Grand Rapids, MI.
The album consists of 9 tracks. The album was recorded by our drummer David Schofield. Every track was captured in less than 3 takes to maintain the intregity of Black Cat Bone’s rough cut style, with minimal overdubbing, and minor post-production editing to clean up the tracks
Eric Engblade is a fabulous singer/songwriter from the Grand Rapids MI area. Known for his insightful lyrics, topnotch banjo plucking, and furious guitar rhythms. I first met Eric in 2009 at an Earth Day Festival in West Michigan that I was helping produce. We have shared a bill three other times after that, and I have seen him perform on a few other occasions around the Grand Rapids area. I have always been appreciative of his abilities and style. He is definitely one of the more capable, and accomplished musicians in this town. Also, he is probably one of the most genuinely decent human beings I have ever met.
So when he asked me to guest on his semi- impromptu Sunday Songwriter series on Facebook Live, I jumped at the chance immediately. We discussed the mechanics of resonator guitars, my favorite open tunings for slide bottle guitar, and how we approached our different songwriting styles. We touched upon the origins of the black cat bone in voodoo/hoodoo magic, and discussed the infamous deal that Robert Johnson conducted at the crossroads many years ago. We also played a few songs and were visited by his baby daughter Naomi, who was not so impressed with our racket as we had hoped. Below is the video for your enjoyment