Red Jacket Mine
From Red Jacket Mine’s origins as a bedroom four-track project through two studio albums (including 2009′s Ken Stringfellow-produced Lovers Lookout) and a plethora of high-profile shows, bandleader Lincoln Barr has displayed a restless stylistic curiosity and unique command of his influences, masterfully whittling shards of soul, country, blues, rock, and pop into a coherent whole. 2012 finds Barr (who also serves as guitarist in Seattle power-pop heavy hitters Stag) marrying that band’s penchant for the three minute pop gem with his love for vintage soul and ’70s British pub rock. A series of releases on Fin Records will hit stores this year – February welcomed a 7” on chocolate vinyl of “Listen Up” b/w “Rosy Days”. The video for “Listen Up” features the most joyous display of barbaric animal overlords manipulating their human underlings in recent memory. View it here and consider Easter from a far different perspective (you’ve been warned): http://youtu.be/NxCxJIu7mv0
May 29th, a second 7” arrives for “Bellar and Bawl” b/w “Grow Your Own. It will be followed by a third single and a full length album in early 2013.
“Bellar & Bawl” is a pub-rock rave-up, while “Grow Your Own” is a groovy pop number, replete with doo-wop backing vocals and a savage fuzz guitar solo. Both songs sport a wry, cynical take on matters of the heart – “Bellar & Bawl” details a man decimated by a domineering spouse, but the tables are turned for “Grow Your Own,” with the narrator sharing the secret behind his swagger (“If you ain’t got a lot of soul, you’ve gotta grow your own”).
The results are thrilling, infusing Red Jacket Mine’s trademark commitment to song craft with a welcome dose of humor and devil-may-care kineticism. Longtime drummer Andrew Salzman thrives in this context, propelling the songs with a Stax-y swagger and strut, while bassist Matthew Cunningham artfully snakes his way around, over, and through Barr’s sophisticated changes. Veteran producer Johnny Sangster (The Tripwires, Cobirds Unite) proves the perfect foil for this rejuvenated lineup, contributing his trademark sparkle and peerless pop sensibility as the project’s producer and guest guitarist.
The Stranger said, “Barr’s compositions for Red Jacket Mine are beautifully put-together objects” while Blurt Magazine wrote, “These guys have the kind of songs and chops that will weather any level of scrutiny.” But these songs have depth and dimensions, first listens show off shiny hooks and crunchy guitars – after a spin or two, the more cynical lyrics feel like a flashlight shining down a dark alley.
A Seattle resident, Lincoln Barr spent much of his youth in Memphis, Tennessee, where influences like Big Star, Al Green, Sun Records and Delta blues swirl around in the drinking water. After attending college in the St. Louis area, he began releasing music under the Red Jacket Mine moniker. Barr moved to Seattle in 2005 and assembled a full-band lineup anchored by drummer Andrew Salzman. Over the past 7 years, Red Jacket Mine has shared the stage with bands like Chuck Prophet and Alejandro Escovedo as well as enjoying frequent rotation on indie rock powerhouse KEXP, which has grown from a Seattle institution into a national entity.
Recommended if you like: Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello & the Attractions, Nick Lowe, Alex Chilton, Garland Jeffries, Steve Forbert
For more information on Fin Records http://finrecords.com/
For more information about Johnny Sangster http://www.sangstermania.com/
For more information on Red Jacket Mine, visit http://www.redjacketmine.net
Check out their live session on KEXP http://kexp.org/live/liveperformance.aspx?rId=33889