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.

 

Twenty-Sixteen in Review

After last year’s break-neck schedule of putting out a single-a-month, I didn’t expect to get even more music out this year.  2016 started out with pouring my energy into a new project, Solar Twin.  In September, the first single from the project was released with Slow Motion coming out on my birthday.  I’m getting a couple more songs mixed for release very soon.  I hope to be recording a full-length Solar Twin album in the first half of 2017.

2016 also marked the 15th anniversary of Dolour’s first album, Waiting for a World War.  Dolour’s debut hadn’t been available for download or stream for over a decade, and New Old Friends (Dolour’s third album) has been off digital formats for a number of years, so I took the anniversary year as a chance to get Dolour’s full catalog back online.  This is just the beginning of an Dolour archives project I plan to continue next year, which will see more rarities and radio performances released.

There was also an album that had never been given a proper release which has finally seen the light of day this week.  Borrowed Trouble was recorded over the course of 2012-2013, but ended up being shelved for various reasons.  It’s one of the albums I’m most proud of, and it makes a perfect companion to Shouting at a Silent Sky.  With Dolour’s catalog, and my solo catalog now all available for the first time – I’m more ready than ever to explore the future with Solar Twin and see where this goes.

Aside from my own music, the last few months I’ve been touring the country playing bass with The Grahams.  I’ll be hitting the road with them again for the first couple weeks of December, and there’s a UK tour happening in late Feb/early March.  I wish you all happy holidays, and keep up with me here and on my socials for more news soon!  xo Shane

WAITING FOR A WORLD WAR – AGAIN

Dolour’s long out-of-print debut album “Waiting For A World War” celebrates it’s 15th Anniversary with a full re-release.  It is now available thru iTunes, Amazon, and streaming sites like Spotify.  CD copies are still exclusively being sold right here.  There’s nothing like your first, it’s great to have this album back out there.  Here’s a little trailer for the re-release.

Meet Solar Twin

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Well I guess it’s time to spill the beans on this secret project I’ve been working on for the past 6 months or so. I’ve been waiting for the right time and now that we’ve got our first show under our belts, it’s time! I’d love to introduce you to Solar Twin. Last year’s single-a-month series was a real palette cleanser, since then I’ve been following my muse down more electronic/pop/hiphop vibes and rediscovering my love for psychedelic sounds and groovy arrangements. After a decade of exploring roots music, this feels very refreshing and very honest. For those of you who have known me since my Dolour and United State of Electronica days, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, and for those of you who followed last year’s single-a-month series – it’d be easy to connect the dots from songs like “Suicide Weather,” “Out of the Dark,” and “I Never Said Anything” to where I am taking my music with Solar Twin.  Check out some of the live and studio clips I’ve shared via social media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat: solartwinmusic. 

2015: A Retrospective

Happy New Year!  I hate how nearly every post I do on here requires an apology for my lack of updates.  But, as you may already know, 2015 was a busy year for me.  I released a single-a-month all year long (other than September for reasons out of my control) and I co-hosted “Date Nite,” a weekly live rock-n-roll revue in Nashville for most of the year.  I played a handful of regional shows around TN and KY, as well as back home in the NW.  Most of October was spent on the road (NY, NJ, and FL) playing bass with Florida-native soul singer, Kim Logan.

A few other releases came out in 2015 that included songs I co-wrote with other artists.  On March 24th, Seattle-based band Pacific Gold released their debut album, “Sing My Welcome Home“, which features six tunes that I co-wrote the music for.  On July 20th, Chicago-based Brian McSweeney released “Love Me Down” which features, “Black Friday” and “She Says #1 (Come Back Home),” which I co-wrote the lyrics for.  On October 27th, Tanya Montana Coe – who I’ve been playing guitar with for the last couple years – released her debut album, “Silver Bullet,” which I produced, co-wrote “Let My Love,” “Did I,” and “You’re Gonna Love Me,” and performed many instruments on.  I’ve also directed three music videos for Tanya, the third should be out soon.

I spent the winter holidays home in the NW, performing a week-long residency at Al’s Den in the Crystal Hotel in downtown Portland, OR.  I’m now back in snowy Nashville preparing for upcoming regional shows as well as a trip back to the NW in April.  My plan is to continue getting music videos made for the remainder of the single-a-month series (we have videos out for the first 6 songs so far), and hopefully start work on a new album in Spring/Summer.  Keep checking here (and on my social media platforms) for more up-to-date news!

Latest premieres and Seattle show…

With “So Hard to Make an Easy Getaway” released last week, we are now closing in on the final quarter of the singles series.  Here’s a great review from PopMatters.com which premiered “Easy Getaway:”

“The best thing about good power-pop is the immediacy of its rewards. When a musician totally nails a power-pop tune, it connects instantly, which is exactly what happens on Shane Tutmarc‘s wonderfully humorous new single “So Hard to Make an Easy Getaway”, which brilliantly echoes classic Nick Lowe in both lyrical wit and infectious melody.”

And just today American Standard Time premiered the latest video, “Til Daddy Gets Paid,” featuring a quick run-down review of the previous singles as well.

“Tutmarc delivers a perfectly pop country two-stepper about them dog days just prior to payday when we all suffer “microwave dinners, no-name whiskey, and sneakin’ into movies.” Shane’s string of quality singles accentuate his songwriting chops, and–as if he wasn’t already doing enough–his videos show off another dimension of his creativity.”

I’m looking forward to returning to my hometown of Seattle in a couple weeks to play at Conor Byrne Pub on Thursday, September 24th.  It’s gonna be a special night, as it’s the eve of my birthday.  But what makes it even more special to me, is sharing the stage with my old Dolour cohort Eric Howk handling the lead guitar with me.  If you’re in town, be sure to catch this great night of music.  I got my good friend, Billy Joe Huels (Dusty 45s) opening the night with his new trio, as well as The Demon Rind.  Not to be missed!

Quarter Past: Updates

Hey y’all – we are now nearing a quarter through this year which means the 4th single in our monthly series will be released at the end of the month.  So far we’ve made every deadline!  And, while the music videos are slightly staggered behind the single releases, my director (and good buddy) Mick Leonardi and I are determined to make one for every song.

Let me catch you up on some of the exciting press that has come with these releases.  Poison Apple kicked the series off in January, but it was quite a hustle to get everything together for that first release, so it was released with little fanfare… but for February’s release of Tennessee Girl, it was premiered through Glide Magazine with this feature: SONG PREMIERE: SHANE TUTMARC “TENNESSEE GIRL”

Shortly after Tennessee Girl was released I did a short, and very unique, interview with 5280 Roots Review for Jeffro’s Dirty Dozen: JEFFRO’S DIRTY DOZEN GUEST IS SHANE TUTMARC!!

For March’s release of When You Found Me, the Examiner gave a little backstory on the series and reviewed the first three singles with: NASHVILLE’S SHANE TUTMARC RELEASES NEW SINGLE ‘WHEN YOU FOUND ME’

By mid-March, we had our first video premiere for our flagship song, Poison Apple via No Country for New Nashville: [VIDEO PREMIERE] SHANE TUTMARC DROPS VIDEO FOR ‘POISON APPLE’ FILMED AT FRAN’S EAST SIDE

As word started to spread about the singles series, AXS reviewed the first three, as well as pulled some quotes from me on the subject: SHANE TUTMARC FROM DOLOUR RELEASES NEW SINGLE FOR SINGLE-A-MONTH RELEASE PLAN

And finally, our local rag Nashville Scene got in on the action and shared Spotify links for the first three singles and wrote a very sweet blurb about the series.  [FRESH TRACKS] ‘POISON APPLE’ ‘TENNESSEE GIRL’ ‘WHEN YOU FOUND ME’

In other news, I’m very honored to be performing in not one, but three of the sets for local fashion designer icon Manuel‘s surprise birthday party on Thursday, April 23rd.  I’ll be playing a set of my originals, as well as backing up Tanya Montana Coe and closing out the night with my rocknroll party band, Date Nite.  And keep your eyes peeled for the Tennessee Girl music video which should be premiering any day now!  Suicide Weather will be the next single released, coming out April 28th.  Keep checking here, Facebook and Instagram for more updates!

 

 

The best is yet to come…

You may have noticed Poison Apple did not get it’s January 20th release date, but it should be available everywhere within a week.
While you wait, check out this very comprehensive interview I just conducted with Ear Candy Magazine for their February issue. Here’s a few excerpts:

EC: You recorded 4 albums with Dolour. How did you come up with the band name and what good and not so good memories do you have of this time?

Shane Tutmarc: I was reading Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, and I saw the word “dolorous,” which seemed beautiful to me. The way the word looked and it’s meaning. But I didn’t want an adjective name, so I went with Dolour… adding the European-style extra “u.” I don’t think back to Dolour very often, but there “were” many highlights. When I was writing Suburbiac and New Old Friends those songs were just pouring out of me. I got such a high when I was writing back then. I was writing about 100 a year during that period. The hardest thing was that it was a pretty lonely pursuit. Most people from the outside thought it was a “band,” but it was pretty much just me and a rotating cast of players. So I wasn’t able to share the good times as much as I’d like to have.

EC: After Dolour you took a sabbatical from music. Why?

Shane Tutmarc: My relationship with music was not always very healthy, especially by the end of the Dolour era. I was relying so heavily on music and songwriting as my identity and my main source of happiness that it became like a drug addiction. I quit playing music for about a year, got into meditation, took a normal job, and tried putting music in my past. But meditation actually brought me back to music, in a purer, less ego-driven way. Taking a more stripped down approach with the Traveling Mercies was a new challenge and it felt very fresh after spending years making very layered albums with Dolour.

EC: I read in an article about your first solo album “Shouting At A Silent Sky” (2009): “It was written as he was exploring his soul” Looking back on it now, how much truth is in this?

Shane Tutmarc: Well, to a degree every album of mine could be described that way. After dealing with my grandpa’s passing with a lot of the Traveling Mercies material, I was ready to dig deeper with Shouting At A Silent Sky. The themes of almost every song were mortality, aging, and darker sides of life. This record was written very fast, right on the heels of the Traveling Mercies albums… but it felt like a new, deeper, heavier chapter…

EC: At the beginning of 2015 you wanted to release a new album. Unfortunately, this will not be happening. Can you tell me the story of “Borrowed Trouble”?

Shane Tutmarc: It should have probably come out in late 2013 or early 2014, actually. It was recorded between mid-2012 to mid-2013. I don’t want to say too much, because who knows what the future brings… but long story short, the guy who financed the record decided to pull out of the project at the eleventh hour and left me with a finished record that I don’t legally own. It’s a lot more complicated than that, but that’s the basic story. It’d be nice to see it released someday. I’m really happy with the album, it’s probably my favorite album I’ve made.

EC: At least you will release in 2015 a single-a-month series. Can you tell me more about it?

Shane Tutmarc: Yes, a great label out of Portland, OR called In Music We Trust will be releasing a series of singles throughout 2015. The plan is to do a single-a-month. Poison Apple comes out January 20th [sic] to all digital retail outlets, and Tennessee Girl follows on February 17th. These will be a wide variety of songs, all self-produced independently. And the idea is that by the end of the year, it’ll be a full album’s worth of songs. The hope is that releasing one song at a time might help the listener feel more connected to each song individually. I need to get back in the studio to keep up with this goal of one-a-month!


To read the whole interview go to EAR CANDY MAG: The Best is Yet to Come: Interview with Shane Tutmarc.

Silver Bullet, Radio Host & Date Nite

As usual, I’ve waited till there was way more than one post’s worth to talk about. But I’m gonna try to catch y’all up real quick. Last December I started working with Tanya Montana Coe on her debut album, and by July we were finished. I produced the album, played most of the instruments and helped with the writing. And I couldn’t be more proud of the results. It should be available in the first half of next year. Until then, check out the music video (which I also directed) for the title track, Silver Bullet.

On October 17th, I drove up to Evansville, IN to open up for Shooter Jennings with a solo set, and as part of Tanya’s band. It was a really special show, and we all had a blast. It was the first time I’ve played a Casino, and I definitely can see the appeal. Here’s a clip of one of Tanya’s songs from the show (I’m on keys).

And if you want to know more about Tanya and her journey with life and music, read this recent interview conducted by her brother, Tyler Coe.
Rebel Heart: The Tanya Montana Coe Interview

In other news, in late August I started hosting a monthly radio show on East Nashville Radio. With only a few rare exceptions, everything I play on my show is by East Nashville artists. It’s been a very rewarding show, seeing local musicians getting excited about it and sending me new songs. My fourth show will air in mid-December. You can check out the archives of my first three shows on my Soundcloud page: Shane’s East Nashville Radio shows.

On November 18th, Red Jacket Mine released their new EP, “Pure Delight.” It features a song called “Crow,” which is a duet with me and singer, Lincoln Barr. The EP is available to stream and purchase through Bandcamp: Red Jacket Mine’s Pure Delight

And for my final piece of news – last month I started a residency at one of East Nashville’s favorite neighborhood bars, Foobar. We call it “Date Nite,” and it features originals of mine along side classic blues, country, garage rock, rockabilly, and just about everything in between. I have Zach Ryan on lead guitar and taking the lead vocals occasionally, and Isaac Anthony (AKA Twon) on bass and singing a few as well. We’ve had a rotating chair on the drums, but it looks like we’ll have Lemuel Hayes as our steady drummer for the next few months. It’s been great having a gig every week, and the night has been growing in popularity each week. If you’re in town, come check it out. Tuesdays, 10pm at Foobar. And there’s no cover!
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I’ll be back in Seattle for the holidays and may sneak in a show or two while home. I will keep you posted.

Rattling the Cage

The past 6 months I’ve had a number of outside projects keeping me busy. I produced and performed a number of instruments on Patrick Kinsley’s debut EP, Rattling the Cage which was just released last week. You can download it via iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, etc. And you can stream it via Spotify. Take a listen.