We are finally finished with our new record:
Listen to the whole thing HERE :) Start Howlin while you read this! :)
Now, let's begin with a little story :)
Two years ago, we were bumming through Lincoln Nebraska at the end of a very fun, but long tour. All the big shows, that we always look forward to, had taken place, and the tour had taken on a sort of nonchalant feel as we began practically bumming our way back to Texas. We had booked a house show in Lincoln, and well...to be honest we weren't even sure if it was going to happen. We pulled in to a coffee shop and posted up...figuring that if we didn't hear from our contact (whom we had never actually met in person) we would just spring for a hotel and get some much needed rest.
Well our contact, who turned out to be one of our future best friends, Jon Dell, showed up somewhat randomly about twenty minutes before the "show" and directed us to the stoop of his apartment where twenty people or so were hanging out, listening to a blue grass band tear through some standards. As it would happen, these front porch pickers turned out to be members from two of our future favorite bands: Jack Hotel/ Bud Heavy and the Highlifes. But that day, we were just a tired out of town band, and these strangers set about making us feel welcome. We had a few beers, swapped a few songs, and made a little money by passing the hat. Good enough for us, sincee the Lincoln cops shut us down promptly.
But, Jon came to the rescue and told us that if we wanted, we could post up on main street in front of the bar he worked at. We were several drinks in at this point and easily agreed, and so did the other band(s) and next thing you know, we had us a makeshift super band playing out in front of Duffy's Tavern. Vinyl and CD's were flying out of our merch trunk as fast as folks could throw down twenty dollar bills. And, as if that wasn't enough, Jon stumbled out the front door, and informed us that his boss had taken notice of our impromptu street affair,.... and invited us to play for his patrons out back in the beer garden! After this third (sloppier) rendition of tunes, we had earned enough smiles and money to consider our venture in Licnoln the climax shows of the whole dang tour! THe other two bands told us to take all the dang money, and we fell asleep that night on a tiny couch in a hot apartment feeling like kings!
I guess there are two lessons we learned from our experience that year. Never turn down an opportunity no matter how small it may seem at the time, and never underestimate the power of friendship.
We kept in touch with our new best friends from Lincoln, and even made a trip or two back their way. It turns out those fellas had a little project of their own. They had formed a small record label called Sower Records and it was doing well. Every band on it sounded amazing, and they were also working hard, and making friends of their own!
When we called the next summer to ask if we could play on Jon's stoop again, he said...no....But he informed us that they were putting together a festival that we could play, which landed us in front of a crowd of 1500 or so cheering people.
Then, this Christmas our phone rang, and it was Gunter Voelker (one of the pickers that had played with us on that stoop) asking us if we would like to put the record out with Sower Records. We didn't hesitate. It made perfect sense, as we pretty much adore every band they got. It also appealed to our core values of making music for and with our friends as often as we can. You see, really what Sower Records is, is a strong collective of talented friends with different skills to offer, who inspire each other, and who pitch in and help each other out! What they have going on in their hometown, is what we have been trying to build all across these here United States!
Over the past four years, we have been on a journey. We have tried our hardest to take you guys with us on it! This goes back to that "power of friendship" thing.
Sometimes we hear other bands complain that "the only people who showed up to their show was their friends."
We absolutely understand feeling discouraged. Making music is hard. But, we find this interesting because we actually take so much pride in the fact that we can look out into an audience and recognize almost every face! As our fanbase has expanded across the country, so too has our friend base. And, every fan we make is someone we want to have a connection with!
We used to tell people that we were "Building Americana", a play off of Union Pacific Railroad's slogan "Building America." But what we are really doing is building an amazing community of people we know and love. You guys inspire us on a daily basis and keep us going! It's funny how all those roads we go down seem to eventually connect! It is absolutely amazing!
So, like last time, we are extremely excited to give you our third record, "Howlin Room." ...And, like last time, we need your help getting it to you. Sower is going to help with lots of things, but we are still a hard working band on an independent label. We have worked incredibly hard on this record. We poured our souls into it, and we want to make sure it is the best product you can receive! (We think we nailed it.) We also want to do lots of special things for you guys in the coming year!
We still have alot to do to get this record out to yall, and it is gonna happen! Our community has grown to be bigger than we could have ever imagined but, we aren't finished growing. We look forward to starting another chapter with you guys! Keep in touch! We will, as always, be sure to keep you updated about our progress every step of the way!
One more time, we can't say enough how much we appreciate everything you guys have done for us. We have shared so many memories together and we want to raise our glasses (that we are holding right this instant) to laying some more tracks. Go ahead and give the whole record a listen, and if you like it, please help us continue making music for and with our friends! Stay gold!
- Shelly Rasberry-Thwing
- Chris Ladika
- Margo Klaasen
- Ian Egenberger