Damaged Goods – 16 Questions and Answers

Today marks the release of Damaged Goods, and the culmination of a decade of work.  Damaged Goods collects all 11 single-a-month songs originally released in 2015, with 3 additional tracks.  These songs come from various points throughout the last 10 years of writing and releasing other albums.  So Hard to Make An Easy Getaway was written in early 2008 (before the release of Hey Lazarus!), The Basement in Nashville was recorded on my first trip to Nashville in June 2008, and 5 of these (I Know I Should Know Better, What is This Love?, Southern Pines, When You Found Me, and Easy Getaway) were originally made available on a very short-lived EP, released in December 2010.  The other half of the tunes were written and recorded after the Borrowed Trouble sessions between 2014 all the way up to the title-track, Damaged Goods, recorded earlier this year (although written back in 2012).  So how do all these songs fit together?  Is this a “collection” of songs, or an “album”?  Damaged Goods was released by In Music We Trust, based out of Portland, OR, and the head of the label Alex Steininger sent me a list of questions to answer which were used for press releases relating to the album.  Here is the full interview, where I attempt to shed a light on the writing and recording process, and how I see this album fitting in with the rest of my catalog.   And at the end of the interview you’ll find links to stream and download.  Enjoy! – Shane Tutmarc

1.  What does the album’s title mean as a representation of the album as a whole?

Damaged Goods is a band of misfits and loners.  Songs that refused to play nice with other songs.  And the title “Damaged Goods” seemed to sum up this batch of songs perfectly.

2. How is it similar and then how is it different from your previous records, both solo and with other bands?

With most of my previous albums I’ve tried to reign in the variety of songs I include. I’m usually aiming at a theme lyrically and musically that feels like an “album statement.”  But that is not the case with Damaged Goods whatsoever.  If I were to compare this album to anything I’ve done in the past, I think the closest would be Dolour‘s third album, New Old Friends (2004).  They both have a wide variety of songs that all stand on their own, and there’s no production tone or theme that any of the songs are forced to adhere to.  They both feel like a killer playlist of songs on shuffle, as opposed to an album where there is a set mood that carries through the whole thing.

3. What is the most significant lyric on this album to you?

I’m never good with choosing favorites.  There’s special lines in every song for me.  And it doesn’t show much humility on my part, but if I had to choose something, I might say “why’s everything bad taste better than it should” from Poison Apple, or “I’d rather live in my head, sometimes I’d rather be dead than faking it” from the title-track, or “it’s a secret passed lip to lip, it’s a mystery I never could get, the answer must be deeper than blood, what is this love” from What is This Love?  But if you asked me tomorrow, I’d have three different answers for you.

4. Did you go about this one differently than you did your last album?

Yeah, most albums I’ve gone into the studio with a batch of songs and recorded them all within a short period of time.  With this album, the songs are from various different periods throughout the last decade, and they were recorded at a number of different places, with different players and collaborators.  It’s the only album I’ve done this way, except for Dolour’s New Old Friends – but even that record was done over the course of maybe 2 years – versus 10 years.

5. What did you do differently on this record that you haven’t done on previous records?

Everything.  When the idea of doing a single-a-month came up, I knew I had a ton of songs that could work for a series like this, but I really didn’t know what songs I would include, and had no idea of what songs I’d end up writing during the series as well.  It was very much a choose-your-own-adventure approach every month.  So I think there is an immediacy to this album, that would be impossible to match doing a more traditional album recording.

6. Did the record come out how you heard it in your head?

Yes and no.  Going into this project, I wasn’t even sure it would end up being an album.  It was essentially one-song-at-a-time.  Whether it was an old song or a new one, each month I decided what song I wanted to work on.  I guess I knew with that approach, it would lead to a lot of variety.  I like to think of it as more of a collection of “short stories” versus a “novel.”

7. What surprised you about the record that you didn’t envision?

I guess the biggest left-turn for me during the process was songs like Out of the Dark and I Never Said Anything.  I started experimenting with more midi and electronic sounds on those songs, and they directly influenced me to start a new project, Solar Twin –  which I now have a few singles out, and I’m almost done with my first full-length for.

8. What are the highlights of the record for you?

Again, I don’t usually like to pick favorites.  They all ended up on this album because I love these songs.  But to pick a few, Out of the Dark, Suicide Weather, I Know I Should Know Better, and the title-track are songs I’m really glad to have out there.

9. How do you think this record fits in in the musical landscape of today?

That’s a tough question, because it implies I have an understanding of the musical landscape. Haha.  But I suppose it fits in with other artists that follow their muse and don’t try to get pigeonholed into a sound to fit a certain demographic.  I don’t know many artists who are as free spirited, musically, as I am.  But I’m sure there are some kindred spirits out there, and I hope we can connect with this album.

10. Is there a theme or message running throughout this album?

This album is a bouquet of wild flowers.  They are all individuals, but maybe it’s their loner status that make them all relate.

11.  How do you think the lyrics and the music work together on this album?

Really well!!  Haha.  I suppose because they didn’t have the constraints of trying to fit a production mold, they were all able to be more free to be themselves.  The music and lyrics of each song were able to go wherever they wanted, so maybe that makes them all a bit more honest.

12. How would you describe the sound of the album?

I would say there’s a little bit of everything.  Not a lot of artists are willing to offer this kind of variety.  I’m a big Beatles fan, and albums like Revolver or the White Album have such massive variety and I’ve always admired that.  You can’t pinpoint “the sound” of those albums.  If you like what I do at all, you’ll never get bored, I can promise you that!

13. Being a collection of singles, how did you get the album tied together, to come through as an album, not just individual songs?

Well, when it came time to sequence the album – I decided to not put them in chronological order.  That would have felt a lot more like just a “collection.”  i spent time putting them in an order that I hope takes you on a cool journey.  Plus with the 3 bonus tracks, I didn’t want them to just feel tacked on at the end.  I put them where they felt right. Opening with Damaged Goods felt like a good statement to kick off the album, and closing with Goin’ Goin’ Gone felt like a good way to sign off.

14.  What bands do you think people will compare you to?

Well, I guess I’ve already compared myself to The Beatles!  Haha.  I have no idea.  That’s a thought that maybe should cross my mind more often, but I never think about that.  Who do you think?

15.  What are your goals with this record?

The single-a-month series was an experiment to give people a chance to follow my music in a more intimate way.  But now with this expanded album release, I hope this exposes the scope of my musical output, and maybe lead folks to explore all the different directions I’ve gone over the nearly two decades I’ve been recording.  There are ties to my early Dolour years with songs like Suicide Weather or the title-track, there’s bits of the Traveling Mercies vibe with The Basement in Nashville or Til Daddy Gets Paid, and there’s songs that foreshadowed my latest project Solar Twin, like Out of the Dark and I Never Said Anything.

16.  Anything you want to point out/discuss that I left out?

I think we covered it!

Stream Damaged Goods on Spotify

Download Damaged Goods on iTunes

Download Damaged Goods on Amazon

Full ‘Seattle Magazine’ interview with Shane Tutmarc and Eric Johnson

Seattle Magazine recently interviewed Eric Johnson and I about our collaboration on the documentary Demon at the Door: Our Heroin Crisis which aired a couple times earlier this month on Seattle’s KOMO News.  Johnson is a longtime anchor at KOMO, and he and I have collaborated a couple times now with me composing the score for his documentaries.  Other than ambient soundtrack work, this is the first time he’s also asked for an original song to close the film.  I wrote Solar Twin‘s new single, The Big Sleep for the end credits, and Seattle Magazine asked us a number of questions about the process.  Once the article went live, it was in a very truncated presentation.  You can see the article here.  And now I’d like to present the full unedited interview that Eric and I had with Seattle Magazine writer, Victoria Uhl.

Name of Band: Solar Twin

Name of Track: The Big Sleep

In three sentences or more, tell us the story of the band:

Tutmarc: Solar Twin is a bit of a 180 for me after nearly ten years down a path of American roots music, but it’s also a full circle for me if you go back to my early work with Seattle indie experimental pop bands Dolour and United State of Electronica.  Over the last few years, I found myself drawn more and more to electronic, experimental and melodic music, further and further away from the bluesy-country-gospel sounds I had been focused for most of the previous decade.  Of course, there are a few of these flourishes throughout my rootsy records… but suddenly I found myself wanting to go deeper and deeper down this path.  Like my Dolour days, Solar Twin is essentially a solo project, that I occasionally bring collaborators in on.  I released the first Solar Twin single, Slow Motion, last September, and a follow-up single Black Sky Revisited in December.  The Big Sleep is the third single, and I’m busy finishing up more singles with a full-length on it’s way.

In three sentences or more, tell us the story of the track: 

Tutmarc: This song would not exist without the film.  Initially I was just working on atmospheric/ambient stuff for the soundtrack, but then Eric requested a song for the end credits.  Although, I’ve had a number of film and TV placements over the years, I’ve never written something specifically for a film before.  Between some of the dialog he had emailed me, and a few clips of video, I had a pretty good sense of the project, and I even found a few lines to make reference to in the lyrics.  The song came very fast, which is always a good sign.  Unlike the first two singles, which were very auto-tune heavy and hip hop influenced, this song took a more ‘70s route with it’s production.  That approach seemed to suit the song, and the film, better.

What’s next?

Tutmarc: Well, Solar Twin is not my only project.  In addition to the occasional soundtrack work, I’m also an active producer.  I’ve got a couple projects I’m working on right now with some Nashville artists.  I’m also continuing to release music under my name as well.  On June 30th I have a solo (“Shane Tutmarc”) full-length coming out on Portland, OR label, In Music We Trust.  It collects my single-a-month series from 2015, with three bonus tracks, including the title-track, “Damaged Goods.”  And I should have another Solar Twin single out this summer.  After that, I’d like to see a Solar Twin full-length coming out by Fall.

Can you tell us a bit more about how you came to work with Eric Johnson?  

Tutmarc: Eric and I go back a decade now.  Although he was a familiar face from my TV screen, originally as the sports guy and then eventually as one of the lead anchors on Seattle’s KOMO News, I got to know him as a regular at Easy Street Records in Queen Anne where I was working.  Every week on release day, he’d be there buying a stack of albums.  His thirst for new music was impressive to me, even as a music obsessed twentysomething at the time.  Our big connection came when we discovered our mutual love of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys. He ended up picking up a few of my Dolour albums and solo records, and our friendship grew from there.  We stayed in touch, even as I’ve been living in Nashville the last 7 years.  This is the second soundtrack I’ve done for Eric.  Our first collaboration was back in 2012, for a documentary called Touch the Wall.  It had been a while since we’d worked together, and I was itching to do some more film work, so I was excited to hear from him early this year asking me to do the soundtrack for this new documentary.  

What inspirations did you draw from for this particular track?

Tutmarc: Relating to the topic wasn’t very hard, as I’ve been through some heavy addictive/destructive periods in my life, and as anyone who’s been through stuff like that knows, it’s something that is part of your daily thought process whether you are still living that way or not.  So my goal with the song was to try and write it from the perspective of the user.  The challenge of trying to be the best version of yourself, while being a slave to the power of the substance.  I think it’s a very similar power that music has always had on me as well.  “Chasing highs” is something all songwriters or performers do, so it was relatable in that sense as well.  And like most of the Solar Twin stuff, I played all the instruments and recorded it all myself, so it is something I’m very connected to.  This song gave me a chance to dig into some early influences like Pink Floyd and The Flaming Lips to try and capture that dreamy, classic psychedelic vibe.

Any Seattle plans or shows coming up?

Tutmarc: For the last few months I’ve been trying to get out to Eastern Washington to produce a record for my great-grandma, the Northwest music icon, Bonnie Guitar.  She recently turned 93, and I’m really hoping to get out there and record her soon.  If I can make that happen, I’ll definitely take the opportunity to play in Seattle as well.  Since living in Nashville the last 7 years, I’ve made it back to Seattle for shows usually twice a year.  But I’m especially excited to do my first Solar Twin show in Seattle as soon as possible.

How’s Nashville these days?

Tutmarc: Nashville has definitely been experiencing a major boom over the last few years, and it’s really changed a lot from the small town I moved to 7 years ago.  I recently re-located to Hendersonville, about 30 minutes away from East Nashville where I had been living the whole time since I left Seattle.  Most of my regular haunts in East Nashville have changed so much, and there’s so many new people in town, it really isn’t the same place I moved to and fell in love with originally.  But these are all sentiments that I’m sure are familiar to Seattleites. It definitely felt like a Seattle deja vue when the boom started to hit Nashville a few years ago.  

-end of interview with Tutmarc, beginning of interview with Johnson-

How did working relationship start?

Johnson: It started at Easy Street Records on Queen Anne. I was buying a special 40th anniversary release of the Beach Boys’ Good Vibrations. I’m a huge Brian Wilson fan. And the guy behind the counter said, “You like Brian Wilson? I went to see the premier of SMiLE in London!”  Right then I thought, “Here’s a guy with exceptional musical taste!” I’d gone to see the same show at Carnegie Hall.  Shane and I talked about Brian and Pet Sounds and what his music meant to us.  From there, it just evolved. I loved his work with Dolour. Fantastic stuff. And, as it turned out, he’s a really cool guy.  I went to a couple of his shows, and admired the passion with which he attacks his career in music. The guy is legit.

Fast forward a few years, and I was working on a documentary about a local swimmer named Marin Morrison. It was called, “Touch the Wall”, and I needed music. I also had zero budget for music.  I talked to Shane about it, and he said he’d love to try doing some soundtrack stuff. He worked up several different “moods” and sent them to me. I paid him a couple hundred dollars out of my own pocket.

We developed this little system where I would describe the feeling I wanted during a particular scene in very vague terms. “I want it to be sad, but not syrupy. It should be slow, and feel like you’re remembering a friend that is gone,”… stuff like that.  And then, in a day or two he’d send me something, and it would be perfect. As if he’d already seen the piece (which he hadn’t).  And so we were off and running.


What’s the best and worst things about working with him?

Johnson: Well, the worst thing is the distance. He’s in Nashville, or else touring with a band, or going to visit John Lennon’s birthplace or something. And I’m here in Seattle. It’s hard to bring him into the equation and show him something as it’s being built. But we work around it.

    The other thing is, he’s very much an artist, and he’s very protective of the integrity of his work.  He had a song called “Across the River” that we used in “Touch the Wall.” I figured that since it was about a swimmer, maybe he could change it to “Across the WATER”… since she swam in a pool, not a river. But Shane nipped that in the bud right away.  He said something about how being too literal can kill the universality of the message.. something artsy like that. And I knew right then and there that the lyric would not be changed. I respect that. The man’s an artist.

 The best thing is that when I have an idea for a musical texture in my head, and I describe it to Shane… almost 100% of the time, what he delivers is better than what I imagined in my mind.  In other words, the REALITY of his musicianship is better than the FANTASY of my own!

Case in point, the song, “The Big Sleep.”  I said, “Shane, I’d like to have a song for the end credits of the special I’m doing about heroin in Seattle. I sent him some raw interviews with heroin addicts talking about what their lives are like… the downward spiral they inevitably take, and what the drug steals away from them in the process. It was gritty, desperate soul crushing stuff. “Can we do something from their point of view?” I asked.

A couple weeks later he sent me this beautiful, fully produced song. I was stunned. He had listened to those interviews and pulled out little details and stuck them into the lyrics. And if you listen to that song, you’ll hear the optimism and euphoria of heroin, followed by the sense of loss that always follows.  It sounds like a lost Beatles song, eerie and hypnotic.  I jokingly called it, “Lucy in the Sky With Heroin.” It couldn’t be more perfect.


How did the idea for the documentary hatch?

Johnson: The show is called, “Demon at the Door: Heroin in Seattle”.  A year ago I did a 1-hour program called, “There But For The Grace of God…”. It was about homelessness, and it consisted of me just talking to homeless people and having them tell their stories. Pure and simple. And the reaction was overwhelming. I had people from all over the country reaching out and telling me that it changed the way they think. The reaction was unlike anything I’ve seen in my career as a broadcaster.  In any case, I realized while working on that show just how intertwined homelessness and drug use is. In particular, heroin.

 So, I decided to do an hour documentary about the stuff. It’s the raw and personal stories of addicts, some alive, some now departed. It’s also through the eyes of police officers on the streets, trying to get a handle on the epidemic. It features addiction experts, and politicians and parents. I’m trying to look at this thing from every angle… to get a no holds barred look at the immense toll that heroin is exacting from our city,  our youth, our families.  It is devastating, heart-breaking stuff. I also think it is incredibly important to learn about.  I’ve been working on it for about 8-months.


When/where can we see it?

 Johnson: It airs for the first time June 1st, right after Game-1 of the NBA Finals.  10pm.  It will air again Sunday, June 11th at 3pm.

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


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


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.