The time is rapidly approaching, and I’m getting very excited to start recording my fourth studio album, “Old Fashioned”. I have a batch of brand new tunes, all written in the last year, and am hoping to write a few more this summer before recording starts to have a nice selection.
In late August, I’ll be heading to Iowa City to work with legendary producer Bo Ramsey (http://www.boramsey.com/), who has worked with folks like Lucinda Williams, Greg Brown, Jeffrey Foucault, Calexico, Pieta Brown, and The Pines. Not only will he be producing the record, but he will also be playing guitar throughout. Bo Ramsey is a badass. I am pumped.
Because I don’t have a record label, I’m using Kickstarter to help fund the album. A lot of costs go into releasing a record, with the big one this time around being Bo Ramsey’s fee for producing the album. In addition, I’ll be paying musicians to play on the record. I’m hoping to bring some talented Wisconsin folks from previous releases down to Iowa to record with us, and also enlist some Iowa City musicians as well. After the recording sessions are over, the album will need to be mixed and mastered (mastering will be done by Justin Perkins in Milwaukee), and then printed and pressed, and promoted. All of these things cost a lot of money, and that is where this campaign comes in.
John’s first album, Dusk Came Slow, was released 5 years ago tomorrow (2/03/06), back when he was a college student at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh in his last semester. Dusk went on to receive the Madison Area Music Award (Madison, WI) for “Folk/Americana Album of the Year” in 2007. So much has changed since this first, humble release, including two more full-length studio albums (Our Love Was Made For Canada and Ghost Towns), a live album (An Evening With John Statz) and this year’s new EP (The Budapest Sessions). Also, John went from playing shows around Wisconsin’s Fox Valley region around the time of the first album’s release, to, at present, having played in 31 states (including Alaska), 5 Canadian cities, and 8 European countries.
A lot has, indeed, changed. In honor of the first batch of songs, download your copy for pay-what-you-want (or nothing at all), or order a physical copy for a mere $6 from John’s Bandcamp store.
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.
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