On episode 79 of the Americana Music Show, Snatches of Pink front man Michael Rank and Marc E Smith join Calvin in the studio live to play some acoustic versions of songs from Kin, the debut release from Michael Rank and Stag. Michael talks about the amazing line up of area musicians he’s got on the new CD, why he decided not to do this as a CD as a Snatches of Pink CD, the challenges of coordinating so many band mates when recording the tracks, writing songs for both acoustic and full band performances, and how he finally caught up with Taylor Swift in the break up CD department.
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The Americana Music Show is copyright 2012 by Taproot Media. The music and interviews in this episode are used with permission of the artists. The Taproot Theme music is called “Meltdown Man” by Derek K. Miller of Penmachine.com.
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Michael Rank and STAG
Michael Rank and Marc Smith open the show with an acoustic version of “Straw Man” from Stag’s first CD Kin]
Michael Rank talks about “Straw Man.” John Teer from Chatham County Line plays fiddle and mandolin on the song.
Michael Rank says the last time he did a solo album it was for Caroline records about 17-20 years ago and he decided to do another “solo.” But the backing band, Stag, has a who’s who of area rock stars as guests on the CD. He talks about the band members including duo drummers with John Howie Jr (Two Dollar Pistols, John Howie Jr and the Rosewood Bluff,) and Sara Romweber (Dexter Romweber Duo), Marc Smith (Patty Hurst Shifter, Snatches of Pink) on lap steel and slide guitar, Daryl White (Trailer Bride) on upright bass, John Teer (Chatham County Line) on fiddle and mandolin, Alex Iglehart (Calico Haunts) on electric guitar, Nathan Golub (Rosewood Bluff) on pedal steel, and of course Michael Rank on vocals, piano, and guitar. Recording duties were split between Jessie Huebner (Maldora, Small Ponds) and Rick Miller (Southern Culture On The Skids).
Michael Ranks set up “On The Bleed” and says there’s a video for the song on You Tube and it’s one of his favorite songs on the CD.
[plays “On The Bleed” from the CD]
Michael Rank talks about the ache in “On The Bleed” and how this CD was born out of starting to write music again after having become a father five years ago and having his wife walk out on him. He says it’s in some ways a cliché’ break up album and that “break up albums aren’t just for Taylor Swift anymore.”
[Michael Rank and Marc Smith play an acoustic version of “The Goat” from Kin.]
Michael Rank talks about how he does an acoustic version and full version of the songs. He and Marc play a lot of acoustic shows together. He subscribes to the idea that if you can sit on a stool and perform a song acoustically, it’s a song.
Michael Rank sets up the song “Arrowheads” from their first CD, Kin
[Plays “Arrowheads” from CD]
Michael Rank talks about coordinating so many people on a CD. He talks about how he creates demo tapes and shares them around with the band mates. Or in some cases he springs it on them at the studio. He talks about the advantages of playing with people who are “above your weight division.” He tells the story of how he emailed some demo tapes to John Teer but “Arrowheads” somehow got lost. In the recording studio John Teer had never heard the song but was able to pick it up as they played along the first time.
Michael Rank mentions the CD release party at The Station in Carrboro on Saturday March 10th. He says it’s their favorite venue in Carrboro and that members of Magnolia Collective will open for them.
Michael Rank set up “Numb Into You” from the Snatches of Pink CD, Love is Dead.
[Michael Rank and Marc E Smith play an acoustic version of “Numb Into You”]
Michael Rank talks about the Love Is Dead CD being the highlight of the Snatches of Pink era, at least musically.
Michael Rank sets up “The Eye Teeth” from the CD Kin, notes that Nathan Golub plays pedal steel on this track.
[plays “The Eye Teeth” from the CD]