We have super exciting news...we recorded a (kinda) record! Really, its two 5 song EPs, "Patty" (pre-order here) and "Paddy" (pre-order here) that will both come out the same day (October 23rd) but they add up to 10 songs, coming your way!
You don't need me to tell you how insane 2020 has been, but I hope these songs will be a silver lining for you like they were for me. To cope with the madness, Tim and I got to work reimagining songs by two of my favorite artists, Patty Griffin and Patrick “Paddy” Costello of Dillinger Four. We recorded all of the basic tracks at our homes, and my friend Jon Miller here in Santa Barbara added some synths and atmosphere on 5 of the songs as well. I asked a bunch of old and new friends to sing on a few of these, and we ended up with Brian Fallon, Will Hoge, Jake Blount, Lilly Hiatt, Laura Stevenson and Bartees Strange all lending their voices. Pretty terrific list, eh?
You can check out the first song we're releasing- “Long Ride Home” from the Patty EP featuring my old pal Brian Fallon here and hey, while you're at it, save the song here, it goes a long way. (Fun fact, I think this is the first time Brian and I have ever put out a recording where we are both singing on it!)
I've always been fascinated with the idea of artists dedicating full records to covering an artist that has shaped their work – Bruce Springsteen’s The Seeger Sessions, Steve Earle made a Townes Van Zandt and a Guy Clark record, the band Discount put out an EP of Billy Bragg covers, etc. – and I've wanted to do something like that for years. With the pandemic rolling in and all of our touring plans cancelled, Tim and I agreed that now was as good a time as ever to try something new, and we had a blast working on this.
When approaching the music of Patty Griffin, Tim cautioned early on that trying to record her songs the way she recorded them might be too big a hill to climb - she's one of the greatest singers you can find. He suggested maybe trying to record them the way I would’ve performed them when I first started to play solo, with an electric guitar and the vocal as the basis for the track. I’ve loved her songs for so long, and have covered a few of them over the years, so I’ve had it in the back of my head for awhile that if i got the time, I'd dig deeper.
Dillinger Four has been a favorite of mine going back to the late-Nineties, and Paddy’s songs in particular always felt like folk anthems for the working class, just played maniacally. A few years ago I covered 'Minimum Wage Is A Gateway Drug' and someone commented that I should "make a whole record of these" and a lightbulb went on... two of my favorite songwriters go by "Paddy". Or..."Patty"...you get the point.
Getting to live inside Paddy’s songs was a big inspiration, and the frustration, humor, sadness and truth that he wrote into those lyrics was cast into a new light when they were played more gently and slowly.
By virtue of recording songs by both songwriters at the same time, certain parallels emerged, the main one being that you never go wrong with three chords and the truth. I hope this brings you some joy in this great time of uncertainty, it sure felt good to make some music and tune out the rest of the world's noise for a few weeks. Take care, wear a mask, and hope to see you all soon.