Tributary Now Available!
Tributary is now available everywhere digital music is sold! Please take the links above to download the album. The price should be about the same everywhere, but for what it's worth, more of the purchase price makes it's way to me when you buy it at Bandcamp. To sweeten the deal, I've added a digital booklet and video to the album exclusively at Bandcamp.
If you would like a CD, you can still pre-order and get the download today. I am working hard to raise the rest of the money needed to fund CDs, so your orders are greatly appreciated. Plus, you can get a cool looking T-Shirt designed by Philip Manning, inspired by the album, and even some custom Junior's Swamp Sauce Hot Sauce with your pre-order. Check out the deals on the pre-order page!
Tributary is my third full length album, and the first I feel is an honest effort to create a complete work. To me, this isn't just a collection of songs. Each tune is a tip of the hat to one or more of the musicians that have influenced me since I began seriously studying the guitar, and music as a whole. That journey started with jazz, but took me to funk, soul, hip hop, blues, Americana, folk, rock, country, and back. I've recently realized most of the music I love rests on the shoulders of Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, and Charlie Christian.
Tributary is also a nod to St. Louis, Missouri, the town where I was born and raised. The city has an incredibly rich cultural history, largely because its location on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers allowed it to become the second largest port in the US during the mid 19th Century. Major travel routes that criss-cross the country have always stopped through St. Louis, bringing many musicians, artists, and writers to and from the city--not to mention the many who are from the area, including Miles Davis, Grant Green, and Chuck Berry. St. Louis has always been a music town, closely linked with jazz, blues, and rock & roll. However, there's no defining genre associated to the city, like Chicago blues or Memphis soul, instead the music of St. Louis is very much a melting pot of styles from everywhere else--much like a musician funneling a wide range of influences into a personal sound.
I wrote the music for Tributary gradually during a two year period, introducing the tunes to Brad and Kenneth one at a time over the course of many gigs. The three of us broke them in and exposed the weak spots, giving me a chance to adjust the arrangements until they felt natural. The long incubation period also granted me time to realize my larger vision of composing tunes that fit together, borrow from each other, and hopefully paint a bigger picture for the listener.
Part of the bigger picture, for me at least, was to incorporate some of the sounds, textures, and people I've worked with in my other musical outlets. After two days of tracking the trio, I brought the tracks home and added some additional instrumentation. I also enlisted the help of two very talented singers to add some background vocals. Erika Lloyd, who Brad, Kenneth and I all play with in the band Little Grey Girlfriend, and Lauren Zettler, a singer/songwriter who I've been writing, recording, and touring with since '08, contributed layered vocals on one track each. The sum of these parts has made Tributary truly representative of the last several years of my overall creative output.