Archives for posts with tag: California

Celebrating Nashville Vinyl store finds and stating digital pundits are all wrong!

courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

If you haven’t noticed, collecting vinyl records is becoming a huge thing among all age groups in Nashville. United Record Pressing has become so backlogged that they are expanding into another space. Record Store Day is like a city wide holiday with bands playing all day long at Grimey’s, The Groove and Fond Object.

*many hyperlinks go back to vinyl videos*

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

I caught the bug a few years ago after getting an original copy of Jerry Lee LewisBreathless” on 7 inch Sun Records while going through Bee Branch Arkansas on the way back from Branson, Missouri that I found at a vintage and junk shop.

I didn’t even have anything to play it on, since I have not owned a turntable since 1988. I even sold off my collection which was really large and deep and full of imports in the late eighties for practically nothing. I know I wasn’t the only one to do that.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

It wasn’t until I started buying some vinyl over at Third Man Records that I finally bought a turntable and the venerable receiver and speakers to go with it. It all started on Craigslist where I went through two old well-heeled Marantz and Sony Receivers that burned out after about a year each. The JBL near field monitors and home theater Subwoofers that I located have stood the test of time. I went through one Sony turntable where the line level pre amp fried before going back to Amazon and settling on a reasonably priced yet better sounding Audio Technica turntable. The Sherwood receiver I purchased through Amazon has specs right out of 1990 with 100 watts per side and has a great protection circuit that has stood up for two years.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Ever since that has been resolved, I have been able to concentrate on collecting. Most Collectors are going for the twelve inch 33’s and prices are increasing. I do have a paltry 100 or so “long-play” twelve inch records but I really wanted to hear the sound of the seven inch [45’s] records like I remember.

Post Sex Pistols, Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Post Sex Pistols, Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Post Sex Pistols, Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Post Sex Pistols, Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Just like 16 bit CD’s and 24 bit hi-def, analog has some rules to tone and bigger mid-range. Twelve inch 45’s are a whole other thing entirely that became popular in the eighties but I’m not going there. Let’s just talk about seven inch records. Although 12 inch 45’s are best known as dance remixes from the 80’s, my first experience was a French Sex Pistols release of “Anarchy In The UK” on that format in 1978 at a Punk Rock shop in Santa Cruz, California.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Seven inch records could be made with more bass and increased output without worrying about the needle skipping on the record. The 45 mix often will be a lot different than the album mix. The flip side or “B” side may be a song that is not available on a record. The mix may be different in other countries. I remember owning a French Polydor copy of Jimi HendrixVoodoo Chile” where the mix had been cranked up and the guitar sounded like you were standing with your ear up against the grill cloth. I used to play it for friends back in the eighties and watch their jaw drop.

The Beatles used to release songs either on albums or on seven inch singles. Eventually the singles showed up as a collection like the Hey Jude album or the double gatefold red and blue albums.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

In my own collection, there was a huge difference between the album cut of The Rolling Stones’ “Get Off Of My Cloud” where Brian Jones’ snaking lead notes were pronounced and the single where Keith Richards’ crunchy rhythm guitar is cranked up and really drives the song playing off of Charlie Watts’ snare. It made the difference between good and great.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

The Sweet talked about how when they found out that “Fox On The Run” was being released as a single, the members of the band went in and completely remixed the song with a much harder edge akin to Motley Crue than the album version. Sweet did this behind Management and Producers backs. They knew what it should sound like and took things into their own hands. They got everybody upset and mad even though the record did well. I’m glad that Sweet did that.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Another good thing about singles is that it was formatted for AM radio where three minutes was the goal and there were limitations to time versus physical size. While some edits were a little annoying some were appreciated if you just wanted to groove and not go into a “space-out mode” like the deleted bridge in the single version of “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin. Not to mention, if you haven’t heard Led Zeppelin on seven inch like original cuts “Living Loving Maid” or “Black Dog” than you are in for an experience full of Bonham’s snare cracks and home stereo speakers that will turn into a Jimmy Page Marshall half-stack.

As far as actual tone, I read all the garbage between vinyl and analog buffs and digital hi-def die-hards and it really comes down to whether you like a lot of high frequency stuff that only dogs can hear in a world where a computer doesn’t recognize playing on top of the note or stretch tuning and changes the actual information as well as removing all the bits of sound that define a mid frequency instruments’ personality versus a couple of snaps or crackles and something that sounds very dynamic, alive and in your living room.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

You can take the test for yourself. I own a copy of Bob Marley: Legends on CD and a new old stock copy of “Is This Love” by Bob Marley & The Wailers. I did a side-by-side. The most important aspect is Bob Marley’s voice. If you only heard it on CD, you would never recognize the grit and air that make up his actual voice texture. They are gone in the digital realm. While digital is supposed to be more accurate, it actually sounds like a comical cheap imitation.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Another side by side would be Parliament’s “Tear The Roof Off The Sucker (Give Up The Funk) regarding the groove aspect. Not only does the vinyl single sound thicker and richer in the mids but the sharp edged funk of a tight group gets lost in the digital conversion as the numeric digital world has different numeric values for different frequencies and the groove of all the instruments locking together becomes nothing more than a cool drum pattern with a bunch of instruments that seem to clog undeniably slightly loose at every juncture. The true groove is gone in the digital realm.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

One more major complaint is what digital did to Duane Allman. I own digital versions of “Layla” and Duane’s slide sounds sharp and out of tune thanks to digital algorithms. If you listen to the vinyl album or single you’ll notice Duane is playing on top of the note [not out of tune] and it gives a lift to the mood at that point in the song. It is absolutely beautiful. Too bad Duane didn’t know that computers were going to make his slide out of tune and unlistenable.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Okay, enough of my own observations that seem to defy the logic of quantized digital junkies. If it is all about sounding “real”, “in your living space” and with a wide sound field then that needle dragging through a frequency groove like a work of art is the way to go. If you like snappy eighties style keyboard loops and auto tuned vocals then the current state of shared files should work for you just fine.

My Mother's favorite before she passed away in 1966, Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

My Mother’s favorite before she passed away in 1966, Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

When I started collecting, one of my friends here in town thought I was going to just go back and buy everything I used to own. I did go after some of that but there were a lot of things I missed growing up and there are songs that did well regionally here in Nashville and are readily available as opposed to many songs that I was into growing up in California.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Collection

For the most part, I grew up in Fresno, California from the last half of 2nd grade through my junior year in high school. That time spent in Fresno meant that my tastes are eclectic, all over the place and really just defined by musicianship, groove or originality.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

If I had to define Fresno during the seventies by five groups, it would probably be Tower Of Power, Supertramp, The Tubes, Sly & The Family Stone and Buck Owens. My personal taste goes way beyond that, but those would be five groups that anybody who grew up there would say, “Oh yeah, for sure they were big in Fresno.” I can name a song by every one of those bands that I liked as well as anybody from Hoover High School Class of 78 could as well.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Collection

You could add any horn band like Chicago, Malo or Blood Sweat & Tears. The biggest cover band was called March Hare [scan of Fresno City College school newspaper circa 1978, see page 4 , article on group called Windfall for more on March Hare members]. They had a full horn section and could play just about anything popular at the time and got paid the most money. They had a four piece, guitar, bass, drums and keyboards group called Spare Hare for a fraction of the full band cost.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Collection

My own personal taste ran the gamut of Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Funk, Jazz, Punk and so on. I even liked some Country although it really was my parents’ music at the time. To give you an idea, I listened to Judas Priest, The Ramones and liked Power Pop like Raspberries and Pezband but my dream gig would have been to play guitar for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers in 1977.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Collection

If I tried to collect everything from my past, I would be in deep for years and years.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Collection

There are particular records that I look for such as the three dominant records I remember from my earliest days in San Jose before my parents died in San Jose, California. I have purchased the trio. The Rolling Stones “Get Off Of My Cloud” was the first record I purchased at age 6, by myself, after my mother said I could pick something out. It is still one of my favorites. The other two were San Jose regional records that went onto the national charts, The Syndicate Of SoundLittle Girl” and Count FivePsychotic Reaction.” I did get to watch Count Five practice two blocks away from my Orchard View childhood home back when.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Just about any War single reminds me of Fresno, especially “Me And Baby Brother” which is in my 400 plus and building singles collection.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

In the mid-seventies, I was really into what was modern metal or Hard Rock at the time and singles like UFO, “ Too Hot To Handle” found in Louisville, Kentucky as well as Sweet flipside “Burn On The Flame” remind me of my early band years playing guitar.

As far as collecting goes in Nashville, the biggest amount and the most variety of seven inch records would go to The Great Escape on Charlotte Pike. Pricing is really reasonable. There are loads of $1.00 singles as well as collectables that for the most part are not over $10-a-piece. They put out their new inventory every Thursday and it is kept in bins by date if not in any kind of alphabetical order.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Record Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Record Collection

The Great Escape in Madison may not have as big a selection but will usually have different records then the ones found at the West Nashville store. The best thing to do, regarding The Great Escape, is to sign up for their email list and get notification when records will be off 20% or when they have their sidewalk 25 cent sale including the Bowling Green, Kentucky location.

I usually go for the 25 cent sales including Bowling Green, Kentucky and start digging around. It is important to go with no preconceived notions. It also helps to have some in-depth knowledge of decades of music. They used to have 10 cent sales but I don’t think that will be around again.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Examples of things I have found at 25 cent sales include a radio copy of Pat MethenyNew Chautauqua” which I never knew was released as a single until I found a brand new old stock copy at The Great Escape in Madison. I also found a brand new old stock seven inch copy of “Taboo” by Arthur Lyman. I remember “Taboo” from my Dad’s twelve inch long play records. He had installed a built in system in the living room and this was Hi-Fidelity recording. It was meant to show off frequency response and clarity but it would now be categorized as Lounge Music. It would fit in with a Martin Denny collection. I don’t think any of these records sold well in this format but it is so cool to have them on seven inch.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

In Nashville, there are a lot of radio copies around that ended up in retired DJ collections as the format declined and now they are all over town. A rule of thumb on seven inch radio copies is that in the 50’s and 60’s they actually spun the record numerous times and there can be a lot of wear on a very popular record and little wear on a record that did not take off.

In the 70’s and 80’s, AM radio used a tape cartridge similar to 8 track tape and would record the cut to be played multiple times on tape till it wore out and then would re-record on a new “Cart”. It is possible to find near mint radio copies from the 70’s and 80’s. I have found a few. My gem is a radio copy from the late 60’s of Big Brother & The Holding CompanyPiece Of My Heart” where Janis Joplin’s live performance rings clear and gives a front row seat of her performance. It gives me the chills. I paid less than $10 almost two years ago at The Great Escape.

Apple Records from Portugal, Courtesy Brad Hardisty Collecton

Apple Records from Portugal, Courtesy Brad Hardisty Collecton

Although it is easy to find several Excello record titles in Nashville, I have yet to find any of the three Marion James “Nashville’s Queen of The Blues” singles that were released here locally after years of searching. I guess I will have to resort to Ebay.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

There is no problem finding all the Country you want, especially mint new old stock copies of deep catalog Artists. I don’t know enough about that to make an educated guess. I do have Patsy ClineI Fall To Pieces”, plenty of Buck Owens and some Kris Kristofferson. Kristofferson singles are plentiful even on the smaller labels as he was really popular in Nashville as a songwriter. A good place for deep catalog new old stock Country would be Lawrence Record Shop down on Lower Broadway although I did find a Wreckless Eric single on Stiff Records as well as the previously mentioned Bob Marley copy of “Is This Love” at Lawrence Record Shop.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Collection

With current interest in Muscle Shoals, Fame Records can be found easily and I definitely look for Candi Staton and other Jimmy Hall produced gems. The Great Escape on Charlotte Pike usually has plenty of Fame Records along with all things Beatles and Elvis.

Since Nashville was a big hub for actual Music “Business”, there was manufacturing, distribution, recording, management and publicity that all had copies of material. There were warehouses and backrooms of vinyl that never got sold that now has found its way into used vinyl stores all over town. It’s not all Country either.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

While Grimey’s would be ranked number one for new vinyl in town, as far as used seven inch records, it’s best to go the to the Grimey’s Too [Preloved Store] and go through the two boxes on the front desk. That would be the most recent purchases. I recently found a radio copy of Blind MelonTones of Home” by doing just that. I was surprised to even see a vinyl radio copy release from 1992. I found a vintage radio copy of Judas Priest’ “Living After Midnight” as well for $1.00.

Grimey’s does stock the largest selection of local label seven inch releases. It is possible to buy a new record from GED Soul along with Infinity Cat and Third Man Records all in the same trip.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

The Groove is great for new vinyl but also has a decent stock of used seven inch vinyl. Because of its East Nashville neighborhood location, they have quite a few used copies of Alternative and Punk bands from the 90’s to the present day. If that is a specific thing, this would be a great place to check out. For me, I’m primarily looking for 60’s and 70’s but there usually is an 80’s record worth getting every time I stop by. This was the only place in town that I saw a single by The Jam. It was an import. I am looking for stateside releases since they are even harder to find.

Fond Object is an interesting place. This started from the owners’ own private collection, I believe, he was based out of Austin so, this store has a lot of late 80’s and 90’s Punk. Fond Object had stuff that probably was never available in Nashville in a retail used vinyl store. They actually had a copy of The Sex PistolsPretty Vacant” American release on Warner Brothers but they wanted $20 for it, so I passed hoping to get at a place where it would mean nothing like Lawrence Record Shop.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Third Man Records has just about every Third Man seven inch release in stock at any given time at their company store. My favorite non-Jack White single, Dan SartainBohemian Grove” was easy to find. Dan Sartain with Matt Patton [Model Citizen, The Dexateens, and The Drive By Truckers] on bass was part of the Birmingham Scene when I lived there. Third Man has been releasing a few Sun Records seven inch re-releases as well. The Raconteurs cut “Old Enough” with Ricky Skaggs still has never been released on vinyl at the home of the world’s fastest record.

Infinity Cat opened up their office to visitors with new vinyl behind United Record Pressing after having numerous fans show up at the door wanting to say “hi” on their visit to Nashville.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

That’s about it for seven inch records, except for, maybe the occasional find in an antique mall. After all, most of these records would be considered antiques.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

It’s always worth checking out the local shop when you’re out on the road. I stopped by Rasputin Records in San Jose when I was out in California recently and found the Record Store Day release of Junior Kimbrough and The Black Keys both doing “Meet Me In The City” [Fat Possum] which was impossible to find here after they were all immediately snatched up. Hill Country Blues is well known in Nashville, but the single had little value in San Jose, California. Apparently, the locals are clueless about Junior and there was a stack of copies available.

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

Courtesy Brad Hardisty Private Collection

It was also easier to get a copy of Simo’s single through Amoeba’s website in California.

  • Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN
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Interview With Ryan Hurtgen

ReneBreton.Headshot.1[1]“I’d like to share with you all the new Rene Breton album Between City and Country.  For those of you that haven’t heard from me in a while, in the last year I moved from Nashville to Los Angeles.  These songs are all impressions of this journey.  In many ways the album is auto-biographical, however I do think it resonates with many young people migrating around between cities, through country, looking for their place, a new adventure, love, and the American Dream.  I’ve chosen to release the album now because I feel it is a summer album and will be good to listen to while traveling and doing summer things.”  – Ryan Hurtgen – Rene Breton

Ryan Hurtgen left Nashville in July 2011, less than a year after the release of Rene Breton’s Asleep In Green for what looked like would be another stepping stone in the album’s success.   

It has been almost two years and on the eve of Rene Breton’s new release, Between City And Country, The Nashville Bridge caught up with Ryan after watching the new videos, “Left Coast” and “Connection” that shows a departure from their first release that kind of showcases an almost M. Ward hangs in Laurel Canyon soaked in a post “OK, Computer” pop environment with a real prog keyboard twist and shiny happy “Eureka, I have found it!” California vocals.

Brad Hardisty / The Nashville Bridge: Why did you head out to California?

Ryan Hurtgen: Originally, the reason was I was in a relationship and she was from L.A. I moved out here to be with her and start a new music career. I had already been in Nashville five years and I was ready for a change. So, we did it.  We arrived here. That was the original reason to just find new adventures, new types of people, cultures, thinking that kind of thing.

TNB: What did you find out in California?

cali postcardRH: All that’s proven to be very true. Some people have a very progressive mindset out on the West Coast. Really, the West Coast is a very spiritual place. Its very open- minded and it’s very, like, about not seeing the rules of things or the borders of things. It’s about a kind of free your mind with no rules attitude. The spirit of the 60’s still does really exist here. I think it’s definitely more of the underbelly of things like the way it was back in the 60’s.  The mentality still does exist here in the art and in the culture.

It’s different than Nashville because Nashville is very traditional. Nashville is very stuck in tradition. You know like in songwriting. There are rules to things and there are ways to doing things; more practical. You know both ways of approaching things are great. I think that Nashville was very good for me in that sense. It taught me a lot of rules, but, I think I reached a point where I needed a change. But, I think it is kind of ironic because this album is more “poppy” than the Nashville project, but, for me as a person, I definitely expanded my world a little bit more out of being about the necessity for my own self and like something more.

TNB: Tell me a little bit about what happened after you got out there.

RH:  I guess I’ll tell you the whole story. I just made a cup of tea. I got up and went surfing at like 5 AM and then I just dozed off on the couch.

TNB: Where do you surf?

topanga canyonRH: I go to Topanga Canyon. I surf there, but, I live in Echo Park; pretty much downtown. I’m going to go outside and find a place to get in thought mode.

Well it’s about 82 degrees. It’s one of the reasons I definitely stayed. Alright, I found a place in the shade here. So, basically I hit a wall in Nashville. Okay in the last interview I said I was going out to California and I didn’t know what I was going to find there. I was finding a new direction and I think I was talking about how in songwriting   I was really into the “surreal” thing there with Asleep In Green. That was the direction and method I was using for that album, but, I wasn’t totally set on keeping that theme with the next record and I then I said in that article that I wanted to go more towards more Pop songwriting which appeared to be very true. I ended up going in more of a pop direction.

I moved out here and just completely lost everything. I lost the band that originally was on tour. We had a record label and a booking agent and I was in a serious relationship and all of my ducks were in a row and it was lining up to be this nice perfect music life. Then the bottom fell out.

It was kind of hard because I felt responsible for everything. I was the main songwriter of course on everything and then it just unwound. I found myself out here and my girlfriend and I just went out in a bad way. It was a ball of fire, crash and burn. I left and I was living out of my car out here. I was determined not to leave. I was determined to stay out here and see what it had to offer and try to use this opportunity to draw on more of a path of solitude and I did that.

I moved into this sailboat and I lived there for two months. I didn’t have anything. I didn’t have phone service there. I couldn’t even talk on my phone from the boat. I could go onshore and get service there, but, where I was actually at I couldn’t get service. I didn’t have internet. I just had a journal. I had an acoustic guitar. I had a little Casio keyboard with some drum samples.  So, I set up a little studio in this boat.

topanga surfI found this broken surfboard on the side of this guy’s house. I was working odd jobs at the time like painting or I was working on people’s yards and just anything I could find and I found this surfboard that was broken in half and I fixed it up and had that with me.

So, every day I could go out and surf with those waves which proved to be really good, like, healthy for my mind and everything I was going through. But, it was a real time of reflection and what are you doing? I didn’t know any one out here.  I just holed up in the boat and read books and did a lot of meditating. Thinking about what direction I was supposed to go as an artist.

At the time it was kind of sweet because I was being played on the radio out here and I didn’t have a band.  I didn’t have a label. I didn’t have anything. Everything we had worked so hard to get to… it was like, we were starting to see the fruits of our labor and I wasn’t really able to act upon it. I was just a witness to it.

So, I was thinking a lot about where I wanted to go and what direction I wanted to go and I thought well, jeez man, look where I’m at? You should just be telling your story as an artist. Especially nowadays, it takes a certain kind of person to say I am going to live the life of an artist; to say I’m going to do that for my life and I might not make a living from it or I might not get anything from it, but, it’s a journey that is important to take on.

Art is not that important, but, at the same time it is the most important thing in a lot of ways.  I was thinking: well, you know, there are all kinds of people just like me that are going through this same situation actually. There are a lot of people that are leaving their homes and leaving town and losing their friends  and they are getting in relationships and they are confused about love and wondering where they need to be and all caught up in between something.

Topanga Road 1930sYou know I grew up in the country. So, like moving from the country to the city was a big change for me. I think a lot young people in this nation are having those kinds of experiences. They are moving around. They are migrating.  So, that’s when I came up with the album title Between City And Country.

topanga above sunsetI was thinking I was living in Nashville, “Country City Capital” of the world and now I’m living out here in the big city, L.A. and wow so that title struck me, that’s a good theme.  That says a lot about our modern day critique of modern technology, cell phone technology, how we connect with one another and rural life and city life and what all that means and how we are changing as a culture.

I kind of wanted to make it an autobiography about myself because I couldn’t really hold back the emotions I was going through and expressing myself as a songwriter that way because that was all that was on my mind. I couldn’t really create any kind of a fictional surrealist thing. It was all very like I got to say this. I got to get this out for myself.  In a way I’m not doing this record for anybody but myself right now.

At times, I thought, isn’t that really a narcissistic kind of thing to do as an artist to be all consuming to yourself and be all about your story? But, in actuality, I think I kind of made peace with that and I think one of the things I learned as a songwriter is that you can’t try to force something. You don’t have control over your own expression. You can say, well, I want to try to write a really happy song. But, if you are not feeling happy or sad, for that matter, than it is probably going to be hard to write something that is that way. You know what I mean.

I think we are just vessels for whatever is coming out of us is actually a pretty good experiment at looking at yourself and seeing yourself in writing a song and then going back and looking at it and see where did these words come from. What do they mean? You can sense a lot about yourself that way. So, that was one of the issues I was going through in writing these songs.

ReneBreton.020.BW[1]Then I met Collin and Jackie out here. Collin knew Jackie and they both knew about the band from before they met me. They already knew Rene Breton and I’m like, I don’t even have a band now and I’m looking.

Collin builds synthesizers. He’s a scientist. He works on a particle accelerator. He’s totally smart, like a Whiz kid and he is a classically trained pianist.  So, we hooked up together and he was bringing all these electronics out and ideas I was never exposed to. I thought, well, wow, this guy is really into the idea of Between City And Country. Not only lyrically, but, emotionally. He was talking about these topics and we connected musically too.

We took electronic instrumentation and meshed it with acoustic instrumentation and that is kind of the theme of the record as well. Musical instrument wise, it ties onto modern technology mixed with traditional acoustic guitar and drums and piano and that kind of thing.

So, then we started playing shows. We have been playing all year. We have been working on this record.  It’s kind of weird for me now because I’ve kind of moved passed it in a lot of ways. But, it still rings true, a lot of the sentiments on the album.

TNB: Have you played shows with the new material?

RH: Oh yeah, we have been playing all year.

TNB: Where do you play at in California?

RH: We play at The Bootleg Theater in Silverlake. We’ve played at The Satellite, at the Echo. We’ve played in Venice Beach. We have been up to San Francisco. We played two shows at The Hotel Utah, a really awesome place. I just want to become, just like an L.A. scene band at this point.

TNB: The new music is available now as a download.

RH: We’ve decided to release this project as a name your own price download.  Please support us with whatever you can, every bit helps.

rene breton new 01http://renebreton.bandcamp.com/

–          Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com