Year in Review

In January, I released a cover of Lana Del Rey’s “Ride,” the first in a series of covers. Nashville Scene called it “a rad little bit of Americana-stalgia, and to be perfectly honest, I vastly prefer Tutmarc’s version of “Ride” over Del Rey’s.” The series continued in March, with my take on Rilo Kiley’s “Portions for Foxes,” and concluded in May with my reworking of Nirvana’s “Aneurysm.”

This year I also did more co-writing than ever. Releases with co-writes from this year will continue to be released well into 2014, but what’s been released so far is Star Anna‘s incredible Go to Hell album, which features “Let Me Be,” which I co-wrote with Star, and “Mean Kind of Love” which I co-wrote with Nashville singer-songwriters Derek Hoke and Zach Broocke. I collaborated with my multi-talented buddy Ethan Luck on “The Drug Has a Voice,” the closing track to his debut EP. Last year I met Dan Koch, formally of Sherwood, who is now doing an interesting project called Pacific Gold, which takes ancient hymnal lyrics and sets new music to them. I’ve co-written about 7 or 8 songs with him over the last year, including their single, “Sweet Rivers of Redeeming Love“, which allowed me to dig into my love of Brian Wilson chord changes for one of the first times since my Dolour days.

There were also a couple things that happened this year that shined some light on some older tunes. In July, the feature film Assassins Tale prominently featured “Idle Hands” over the opening credits (and on the DVD menu). And in October, Kenny Rogers released a duet with Dolly Parton called You Can’t Make Old Friends… which has been bringing A LOT of new people to my old Dolour song, You Can’t Make New Old Friends.” Thanks Kenny 😉

As the calendar is about to turn another page, one thing I can promise is – more music in 2014!

Summertime is Finally Here

Hey y’all – so again, a lot has happened since I’ve set aside the time to write on here. Hopefully you are all connected with our facebook music page, so you can see the more bite-sized updates on the reg. Since my NW tour with Star Anna in March/April, I’ve released the third (and probably final) installment of my cover series. I dug back into one of my initial inspirations, Nirvana. After discovering Elvis at 10, the Beatles at 11, it was really Nirvana at 12 that really brought it all together for me. “I can do that!” was my 12-year old response. Well here we are decades later, and I still haven’t done “that,” but it definitely got me started on my own musical journey. So it was with great pleasure that I dug into “Aneurysm,” which I first heard from 1992’s Incestide. I really wanted to stretch the arrangement as far from the original as I could. There’s musical references to Angelo Badalamenti’s work with David Lynch (Twin Peaks), Bernard Herrmann’s work with Hitchcock (Vertigo), as well as a little Michael Jackson Thriller vibes, which I couldn’t help but include. I always found it interesting that the background vocals on “Aneurysm” screamed “Beat it, beat it!” Again, I utilized the video editing skills of my brother and long-time right-hand-man, Brandon Tutmarc, this time using Jan Svankmajer’s claymation masterpiece “Darkness Light Darkness” as the visual backdrop to the song. Check out the video here…

Some of you may be wondering, “whatever happened to the next full-length album?” That is a very fair question, since I posted that we finished the album last September. Well, long story short, after some change-ups in our management team, we have now begun re-mixing the album which I promise will make it worth the wait. I am so pleased with the new mixes I am getting from Nathan Thomas (another long-time collaborator). He’s really bringing out the magic of the performances that Jason Miller so beautifully engineered. While a release date is still a ways off, the record should be in a much better place by the end of the month. As always, I will keep you up-to-date here. And keep checking our tour dates, we are focusing mainly on out of town dates this summer, with another trip to the NW this fall. See y’all at the shows!

New Single + NW Tour with Star Anna!

On Tuesday, the 2nd installment of my “cover series” was released. With Aaron Tosti on drums, Justin Ward (of Scotty McCreery’s band) on pedal steel, and long-time collaborator Nathan Thomas doing the mixing, we took on Rilo Kiley‘s modern classic, Portions for Foxes. Nashville Scene named it one of their weekly “Fresh Tracks,” as well as saying “Cover master Shane Tutmarc… and a couple of his pals covered RK’s “Portions for Foxes,” and I’d say they did a nice job of it.” See the full feature: HERE. You can download it via iTunes, Amazon, or CD Baby.

And while Portions for Foxes was being released digitally, I was on a plane returning to Seattle for a series of shows with my long-time friend and NW sensation, Star Anna. Check out the banner above, and the show listings to the right to see if we are playing near you! As the shows progress, I will share more with you along the way. If you live around the NW, i will be seeing you soon!

RIDE goes digitial & Nashville Scene Photo Contest!

Just wanted to keep you up-to-date with some cool stuff happening..

RIDE Single
Our cover of Lana Del Rey‘s Ride, which has enjoyed near-“viral” status on YouTube garnering 2K views in less than 2 weeks, is now available for digital download! Nathan Thomas did a fresh mix/master for the download version, which has a much improved sound over the unmastered mix that’s been on YouTube. Featuring a cover photograph by Lauren Napier and a design by my brother Brandon Tutmarc, Ride is currently available via iTunes and CDBaby, but will be available thru Amazon and other digital outlets within 48 hours. Preview/buy: RIDE via iTunes,
RIDE via CDBaby.

Also – my good friend, Mary-Beth Blankenship has a photo of me is currently in the top 10 (out of 30+ photos) for Nashville Scene’s Photo Contest… but there is some stiff competition, so please share the link via email and social media to help out! The winner, apparently, gets the cover of Nashville Scene! How cool would that be?? See photo/vote: Nashville Scene Photo Contest.

Our second cover, in this series begun with Lana Del Rey’s Ride, has been sent to Nathan Thomas to be mixed. And look out for a special guest on this upcoming track!

Been Trying Hard Not to Get Into Trouble…

After falling in love with Lana del Rey’s song and video for Ride, I decided to tackle my own version. I mostly recorded it at home by myself, but I brought in my longtime buddy and collaborator Aaron Tosti to provide the drums. Another longtime collaborator, Nathan Thomas mixed and mastered the song. We will have a digital release very soon! Check out the video for now…

EPK for Upcoming Album

Take a look at the EPK for our upcoming album. There’s interviews, photos and live footage that tells the story of the making of the album and the personal growths that came with it. Keep checking the sidebar for upcoming shows. There’s some Nashville stuff coming up as well as some more NW dates in late March/early April! More soon…

The Album is Finished!

On Friday, September 14th we completed the mix for the still untitled next album. I couldn’t be happier with the results. It’s really a leap forward from any of my previous work. It’s been a busy summer since I last updated. Between finishing up the record, we also had the privilege to open a string of out-of-town shows for – the “Queen of Rockabilly – Wanda Jackson! I also made a cameo in her new video, Tore Down directed by my friend, Seth Graves. Look for me towards the end.
Backstage before our Birmingham,AL show opening for Wanda, I was interviewed by Birmingham’s Shine Spring Farms Podcast. You can listen to the interview HERE, which also debuts 3 songs from our upcoming record. Look forward to some changes around this website as we gear up for this heavy fall of working to get this record out.

The Songs that Have Leaked Out…

It’s looking like we are down to the last session (maybe two) before finishing this new record. Mostly just background vocals/harmonies is all that’s remaining. While you wait to hear these recordings… here’s all the live videos I could gather that have songs from the next record. While some of the songs have changed drastically before being recorded, you should be able to get a good idea of the direction of the record. Enjoy!

Mini-tour with The Cave Singers begins today!

Hey friends – I’ve been slacking on the website again. That usually is a good thing though, meaning I’ve been busy. I just got back last night from a great week and a half in Seattle. Played a string of shows with The Dusty 45s, visited Sharlese at KEXP and debuted some new songs on the air, helped Three Imaginary Girls celebrate their 10th anniversary at Chop Suey, and wrapped up the trip playing the beautiful Columbia City Theater. Here’s a video from Saturday night’s Columbia City show…

Tonight kicks off our mini-tour with the Cave Singers. We play Caledonia Lounge tonight in Athens, GA and tomorrow night we open for both Dan Sartain and The Cave Singers at The Earl in Atlanta. Ticket info is available on our shows page… and here’s our facebook event for the show.

Studio Stories and Pictures!

We are over halfway done with the record now. After the initial whirlwind day and half which gave us all our basic tracks (drums, bass, organ/piano, and some guitar) we have since gone back and tracked more guitars, which we will continue tomorrow in the studio. After we get all the guitars done, we bring in the horns and the backing vocals, and at some point in between there I will be finishing up my vocals.

"the key players"

“the key players”

But let me back up and tell you a little about the players on this record. I brought in my good friend, Zach Setchfield on lead guitar. who has been playing live with me since about January. He’s one of the best guitarists I’ve ever worked with. And I’ve worked with many good players over the years, but Zach has a way of knowing exactly what to play with very little direction. I appreciate that. On keys
(mostly Hammond B3) we have Josh Shilling, who in addition to being a versatile singer/songwriter has also toured with Tower of Power and more recently he joined the acclaimed bluegrass ensamble, Mountain Heart. On bass we have the studio legend, Michael Rhodes, who can be heard on recordings by everyone from Rodney Crowell and Conway Twitty to Etta James! And on drums, we have Chad Cromwell, who has been Neil Young’s drummer since the late ’80s, as well as playing with Mark Knopfler/Dire Straits and many others. With this amazing “wrecking crew” we were able to track 12 songs in a day and half. The most takes we ever had to do was three, and that was on only one song! If everything continues to cruise as smoothly we should have this album wrapped up by early May.

Click HERE for a photo gallery from the sessions via our facebook page.