A Decade of Traveling Mercies
This month marks 10 years since the release of the first Shane Tutmarc & The Traveling Mercies album, I’m Gonna Live the Life I Sing About in My Song. The journey began with the passing of my grandpa, Bud Tutmarc. I wrote Across The River to sort of help me through that time, and it started me down a path digging through my family’s roots in country and gospel music. After 10 years of experimental pop music with my band, Dolour, I was looking for music with more blood and guts and humanity. Music I could grow old with. I was fortunate enough to have my brother Brandon on drums and cousin Ryan on bass to help legitimize this trip through our shared family history. The scope eventually developed into a full-blown excavation of American roots, and a personal journey that led to my first trip to Nashville and my eventual move. I wrote the songs, and found the covers, in a feverish few months, and we recorded the album live to tape in one day, other than a few notable over-dubs. For such an idiosyncratic mix of country, blues, gospel, folk and garage rock, we were so surprised how well it ended up being received in our home town. The album reached #1 on KEXP’s Americana chart and #10 on the overall variety chart and NPR named it one of the “13 Great Musical Discoveries of 2007.” This album helped make me who I am today, and I will always look back warmly on this period as one full of intense light and energy.
For more information about this album and era, check out this Seattle Times article with includes interview quotes.