The Budapest Sessions – EP Available Now! Free!

The Budapest Sessions will be released on January 10th, 2011 for “pay what you want download” at johnstatz.bandcamp.com.

In the early months of 2009, singer-songwriter John Statz embarked on his first European tour, playing shows in five European cities, including Budapest, Hungary. He was fortunate there to meet Adam Szabo, a local producer (Budabeat Studios), and during the few days in town they recorded some new songs, hoping to use them on a future album release. In November of that year, tracking started back in Wisconsin for Ghost Towns, John’s first full-band album. Though that project was already underway, another recording session was undertaken at Budabeat with Adam, from which two tracks made it on to Ghost Towns: “Julija” and “Night Train to Sarajevo”. After that album’s release, there remained six unreleased tracks from the “Budapest Sessions”, comprised of two new songs, unheard on any other recordings, and four alternate, acoustic versions of released tracks.

Though the recordings are sparse in production, a couple of them feature some local Hungarian musicians on electric guitar and percussion, and even a child’s harmonies on one tune. Budapest is an amazingly resilient and beautiful city, having been utterly destroyed in World War II, yet rebuilt, lovely on the banks of the Danube, and fascinating in its differences to most other places in Europe. Those influences were constantly internalized during the two visits, and projected outwardly during The Budapest Sessions.

Track Listing:

1.Call Me Last (new song) – 2010 session
2.Jackson Hole (Budapest version) – 2009 session
3.Our Love Was Made For Canada (Budapest version) – 2010 session
4.Dear Friend (new song) – 2009 session
5.Disclaimer (Budapest version) – 2009 session
6.Everything To Me (Budapest version) – 2009 session

*cover artwork by Heidi Keyes (www.heidikeyesart.com)

Updated: Praise for Ghost Towns

I was extremely honored to have Ghost Towns take the #2 spot in The Isthmus‘s (Madison, WI) list of “The 10 Best Madison Albums of 2010”.

“When Statz moves away from social commentary, his best songs still brood. “Wichita Waltz” reflects on lost love with a twang that’s high on pathos.”

“The 10 Best Madison Albums of 2010” – The Isthmus

“The whole thing [Ghost Towns] is packed with tasty full-band americana…”

“john statz is a fantastic americana / singer-songwriter…”

Vocal Nerd Rodeo – Chicago, IL

“…a hard-chugging roots-rock record in the tradition of Neil Young and Tom Petty…”

Shepherd Express – Milwaukee, WI

“Westword” Press + Bandcamp Orders

Ghost Towns received a write-up in Denver’s weekly entertainment rag, Westword. Here is a quote:

“The singer-songwriter’s unquenchable wanderlust has taken him from Colorado to Wisconsin to West Virginia to Hungary, and during his travels, he wrote Ghost Towns, a full-length dripping with folk-rock immediacy and the kind of grit that cooled heels never gather.”

For the full review, visit Westword.com.

Also, all physical CD orders from the Bandcamp website will now be signed personally by John because, well, why not? He mails them out himself, anyways 🙂

Thanksgiving Midwest Tourdates Posted

John will be returning to Wisconsin and the Midwest in November, just in time for Thanksgiving! Here is the complete list of tourdates, for more info visit the calendar page:

Nov. 19th – Cafe Semolino, Hays, KS
Nov. 20th – Californos, Kansas City, MO
Nov. 21st – Common Grounds, Fayetteville, AR
Nov. 22nd – The Gramophone, Saint Louis, MO
Nov. 23rd – The Red Line Tap, Chicago, IL
Nov. 24th – The Art Bar, Milwaukee, WI
Nov. 26th – Kavarna, Green Bay, WI
Nov. 27th – Stumpjack Coffee, Two Rivers, WI
Nov. 28th – High Noon Saloon, Madison, WI

Praise for Ghost Towns

Ghost Towns has been out for nearly a month now, and here is some of the early praise coming in from different review sources:

“…a collection of beautiful songs…”

“…musical fireworks…”

AltCountryForum.nl

“…dense arrangements and ramshackle jalopies like “Disclaimer” make riding through a demilitarized zone in an old junker sound surprisingly comforting.”

The Onion – Madison, WI

“Though yet to be released, Ghost Towns may just be one of my new favorite albums of
the year.”

“I literally cannot say a bad thing about this album.”

“everyone is bound to find a song on Ghost Towns that they will fall in love with.”

The Scene – Appleton, WI

“Statz has built a reputation as one of Madison’s most adventurous touring musicians”

“Ghost Towns makes it clear that Statz takes his art seriously. The album is a collection of rootsy folk-rock that travels through places, time and emotions.”

“The guitar twang on “Wichita Waltz” is halting and subdued, like the despair of lost love the song expresses.”

The Isthmus – Madison, WI

“Statz has really grown into a distinct sound since his last release and I expect he will continue to produce some great music as he keeps touring and taking inspiration from his travels.”

Nomad’s Playlist – UK

“The title is dark, but this release achieves a perfect balance between those upbeat folk-rock gems and the subdued singer-songwriter tracks. It’s great to hear John’s music fleshed out with a full band.”

5 Score Pachyderm – St. Louis, MO