Michael Rank, Ron Bartholomew, and Marc Smith play songs from In The Weeds and a new song from Michael's “Valentine's Day Trifecta.”
Plus rockabilly from Semi-Twang, southern rock from the Tim Lee 3, new rock & roll from Carrie Rodriguez, country-rap from Alex Culbreth, travelin' music from the Electric Rag Band, newgrass from the Howlin' Brothers, a new ballad from J Shogren, and hepcat jive from Li'l Mo' and the Monicats.
Michael Rank is joined by Ron Bartholomew and Marc Smith in the WCOM studio for a live performance.
Michael Rank runs through the full band line up. On the album John Howie Jr. on drums Marc Smith acoustic and electric guitars and lap steel. Nathan Golub on pedal steel and banjo, Billie Feather and Jesse Huebner on bass. John Teer on fiddle and mandolin. Emily Frantz on vocals with Michael. Alex Iglehart plays electric guitar. Calvin asks how he managed to arm-twist and cajole people into joining him on the album. He's it took, “Different techniques for different people.” In the studio, Michael is joined by Ron Bartholomew on mandolin and Marc Smith on guitar.
Michael Rank sets up the opening track from In The Weeds, “'Round My Head.” Michael says “It's the only uptempo song on the album so we thought we'd get it over with first.”
[Calvin plays “'Round My Head” from In The Weeds by Michael Rank and Stag]
Michael Rank says there's a “guest vocalist” on “'Round My Head.” His six year old son chimes in on the vocals on the second verse.
Calvin asks Michael Rank why he started Snatches of Pink. Michel says “I didn't want to go to college. Andy McMillan asked me if I'd start a band with him. He said if we started a band, I got to be Keith and he'd be Mick. So those two things are pretty much it.” Calvin asks Michael why he started Stag. Michael says “I'd pretty much stopped playing when my son was born. I still played around the house but that was about it. And then it just seemed like I really didn't have interest in playing electric guitar any more.”
[Michael Rank, Ron Bartholomew, and Marc Smith play “Field Song” from In The Weeds by Michael Rank and Stag.]
Calvin asks Michael Rank how “Field Song” came to be written and Michael says, “Oh you know, I don't know. Just sitting on the writing chair.” Calvin asks if that one has a folk song structure. Michael says “Yeah, probably with Steve Earle looking over my shoulder.”
Michael Ranks talks about the production of the album.”I kinda got to the point where I write the songs and demo them. And then traditionally you'd go into the studio and cut it for real. I got to this point where I always like the demo so much better than the final album. So I decided to cut out the middle man. So I write the songs and do what would be my demo. I do all my guitars and vocals at home on an old 8 track TASCAM cassette recorder, and then I'm done. And then I dump it all into Pro Tools and take it around. All the drums I did at Rick Miller's (from Southern Culture On The Skids) studio. Rick's got this gray cinder block studio that makes drums sound awesome. And then we dump all those files on the hard drive. And then I go to Jesse Huebner's studio in Pittsboro. And everyone else comes in and has their day with fiddles and mandolins and adds their tracks to it. Not together. Everyone's just playing to my original home demo. And then I go mix it in Durham at Over Dub Lane.”
Michael Rank sets up “Confederates.” He says, “This is probably my favorite song on the album. One of my big thrills on this album was having Emily sing on some of the vocals on this album and this is one of them.”
[Calvin plays “Confederates” from In The Weeds by Michael Rank and Stag.]
Michael Rank sets up a new song that will be on next year's album called “Stray.” He says “You know I have this vision of a Valentine's Day Trifecta where I'm putting out three albums on three Valentines Days in a row.” “Stray” is a song that will appear on next year's Valentine's Day album.
[Michael Rank, Ron Bartholomew, and Marc Smith play “Stray” by Michael Rank and Stag.]
Michael Rank says the working title for next year's album has a working title of Mermaids.
- The Wrong Side Of The Tracks / Semi-Twang / The Why And The What For / 2:41
- Devil's Rope / Tim Lee 3 / Devil's Rope / 3:20
- I Cry For Love / Carrie Rodriguez / Give Me All You Got / 3:41
- Mercy Me / Alex Culbreth & The Dead Country Stars / Heart In A Mason Jar / 3:56
- The M Rag / The Electric Rag Band / The Esoteric Ramblings Of The Electric Rag Band / 2:54
- Gone / The Howlin' Brothers / Howl / 3:24
- Rolls her own / J Shogren / God Bless These Crooked Little Songs / 2:57
- Real Gone Jive / Li'l Mo & The Monicats / Whole Lotta Lovin' / 2:54
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