20 April 2018 | Jeffrey Foucault
“The first single from the new album BLOOD BROTHERS is streaming today on Apple Music, Spotify, or Pandora, and Amazon Music, and though I have what might be described as complicated feelings about streaming technology and the philosophical architecture of the digital economy, these are better saved for later.
They are anyway reminiscent of the brave Cheyenne who rode down and roped the first train that passed through his country, which promptly dragged him to death.
If you use these services, I’d appreciate it if you’d go find the song, add it to a playlist, and share it with your people.
The internet concentrates the dynamics of capitalism more broadly, in that the more you have the more you are likely to get, and success is often rewarded with success.
Every time you stream a song you make it more likely that other people will be recommended that song. These are algorithms and they work (Amazon once recommended me my own first album when I was ordering a John Steinbeck novel). I’m inviting you to join the confidence game, and your kickback will come in the form of my indefinitely postponing retirement.
Perhaps as important to me, as a mortgage-holder and the owner of two vehicles from the twentieth century, the pre-order campaign for the new album is now underway, and you can pre-order BLOOD BROTHERS right now, and own it before the official release.
As part of the campaign we’re also making available two unreleased albums: JEFFREY FOUCAULT, LIVE IN PORTLAND and the original HORSE LATITUDES SOLO/ACOUSTIC DEMOS, along with a variety of limited-edition and hand made stuff that didn’t bum me out too hard to think about. Playing cards for example. I can get behind playing cards.
With any luck the weather finally changes this week, and I can spend some time considering the other kind of stream.
BLOOD BROTHERS is my 6th solo record in 18 years on the road.
We cut this album last spring at Pachyderm Studios in Canon Falls, MN, in the middle of a tour. Tape reels rolling, everyone taking their meals together at the long table, laughing, working.
To the band from the Wolves record, we added Eric Heywood on pedal steel, so this time we have essentially both versions of the road band in one room together: Bo Ramsey in your left speaker, Eric Heywood in your right, Billy and Moses top dead center.
What is commonly referred to as an embarrassment of riches. One hundred and fifty years on the road between us. We left the blues out this time, and there’s a touch more light coming through the window.
What we came up with is reverie: the collision of love and time, the almost palpable sense of dislocation on waking from a strong dream, or the sharp stab of knowledge attached to the smell of woodsmoke, or perfume. Every one of these songs tells a story, but through a frame, like a portrait. My story, your story, either one. I invite you to hear them.
Did I mention the back-up singers? We are, by and large married to them. In some cases entangled. I’ll let the engineers in the audience work out the wiring diagram, but Kris Delmhorst sings, as does Pieta Brown, and Tift Merritt, and Laurie Sargent, and Kate Lorenz.
If this band were to embark on the road all at once and together, we would call it ‘The Company Picnic.’ Kenneth Pattengale from the Milk Carton Kids shows up to play an acoustic guitar duet with me on the last track, though he’s not married to any of us, so far.
BLOOD BROTHERS will be available everywhere music is sold on June 22nd of this year. You can pre-order it now on CD and vinyl to own it before the release, and get access to other things, including the original demo recordings sent to the band; single premieres; weekly updates; stories; and a variety of limited edition and hand-made items not to be found elsewhere.
You can get one of the six vinyl test-pressings, a page of coffee-stained and scarcely legible hand-written lyrics, or one of 30 beautiful calligraphy pens made from the butt sections of split-cane bamboo fly rods by my friend Jimmy. Or, perhaps even a deck of playing cards bearing my likeness. ‘There are so many things to buy,’ the poet sings.
In addition to all of that, we’ll be offering two brand new, and unreleased Jeffrey Foucault albums: JEFFREY FOUCAULT, LIVE IN PORTLAND (recorded at the Alberta Rose Theater in Portland, Oregon, 11/5/15, with Billy Conway on drums and Eric Heywood on pedal steel and electric guitar, a righteous outing, even without bass) and the original HORSE LATITUDES SOLO/ACOUSTIC DEMOS, featuring solo versions of the songs from that album, a few songs that didn’t make it onto that album, and alternate versions of songs that did. These are not just downloads friends, but actual printed record albums in the compact disc format.
A pre-sale campaign like this is both an adjunct to the the formal publicity campaign that attends the release, and a chance to raise money to pay down a variety of expenses both incurred and looming, from printing the record to touring it.
If the prices seem steep, they are intended to bridge the gap between the annual income now lost to streaming – which as yet does not pay fairly, and keeps people from buying albums – and the actual expenses of a working musician trying to keep a band on a road on wages that have not changed figure but only value in 30 years. A cup of coffee on the street in downtown Chicago or San Francisco costs 5 dollars. An album that costs tens of thousands to make can’t sell for 15. If it seems like you’re paying a premium, you are, and we’re grateful as hell.
The AccessPass comes with any level of purchase and includes access to the digital download of the album and to the exclusive updates from me, track premieres, backstory, etc. By pre-ordering the album – and by sharing the campaign with you friends – you increase the chances that this album gets enough traction to keep us on the road, working.
I don’t care about being famous, and if I did I would have made other decisions in my life until now. I want to make enough money to write songs, make records, tour behind them, and pay my everyone fairly along the way. I believe in music, and what it’s meant in my life, and I want the music I make to mean something in the lives of other people.