Thursday, March 17, 2016

CXCW2016 - Jay Stott

Colorado's Jay Sott was a three-year vet of Couch By Couchwest. He has notched a fourth year on his gun with this year's submission to the micro-couch edition from his new record, Dirt & Headache.

The new album was officially released less than a week ago, and it's a good 'un. The opening to Jay's submission from it - Gotta Fool The Devil - reminds me a bit of another devil-titled song: Todd Snider's The Devil You Know.

Twitter: @jgstott
Instagram: jgstottmusic
Facebook: JGstott

Jay's performances from prior years of CXCW:

CXCW2015 - The River Don't Care
CXCW2014 - After The Flood and Stolen Cars
CXCW2013 - Remember When


Sunday, March 13, 2016

CXCW2016 - The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow

A couple of years ago, I was introduced to the music of Greg Smith and The Broken English. The band had just released a new album, and I liked it from the start. I encouraged them to participate in Couch By Couchwest. They did, and CXCW was better for it.

I reached out again this year to gauge their interest for a new CXCW2016 video. While Greg's band didn't have new music or a video to share, he did tip me off to a side project in which he is involved.

The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow is a collaborative effort of five songwriters from Massachusetts - Billy Keane, Tory Hanna, Chris Merenda, Dave Tanklefsky, and Smith. A novel way of helping underwrite the costs of their recent live album release, Heart of the Run, was partnering with New York distiller, Hudson Whiskey.

Twitter: @WhiskeyTreaty
Instagram: whiskeytreaty
Facebook: whiskeytreaty

Though these videos weren't specifically recorded for CXCW such that it is in 2016, I felt like the spirit (spirits?) of them fit the CXCW vibe quite nicely.

For those who may not be familiar with Greg Smith and The Broken English, I blogged a review of their last album, Ramblin' Road. And here are their performances from CXCW2014.


CXCW2016 - Charlie Harrison

Charlie Harrison is back for another year. After a couple of years of performing at Couch By Couchwest with his band, Charlie & The Regrets, Harrison has returned to a solo performance as he did in 2013 for his CXCW debut.

I'm also digging his Sun Records lid.

Charlie just wrapped up a Kickstarter campaign to help fund his next record. His pitch?
We need your help to record & promote a great sounding country record about everything from pot to prison, love and loss and politics.
Twitter: @CharlieHarris0n
Instagram: charlieharris0n
Facebook: CharlieHarrisonMusic

Charlie recently had a really cool gig. He got the opportunity to open for Joe Ely at the iconic Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe in Galveston, Texas.

Charlie's performances from prior years of CXCW:

CXCW2015 - The Gavel (Charlie & The Regrets)
CXCW2014 - The Company Song / Ease Away (Charlie & The Regrets)
CXCW2013 - Prison Song (solo)
CXCW2013 - Don't Know Why (solo)


CXCW2016 - Sci-Fi Romance

Sci-Fi Romance was a four-year vet of CXCW - missing only the inaugural year when the site was hosted on Tumblr. Though CXCW isn't being formally hosted in 2016, Sci-Fi Romance is back nonetheless with another original and striking video.

Twitter: @SciFi_Romance
Facebook: scifiromance

And for those now saying Yeaaahhh, gimme more of THAT, here are the band's performances from previous years.
Sci-Fi Romance released a new album earlier this year - Dust Among The Stars - and it is really, really good. The following video wasn't done specifically for CXCW, but it is indeed original. Vance Kotrla from the band did the incredible illustrations, and it is the official release video for Goodbye At The End Of The World from the new album.


Farewell Couch By Couchwest. Oh wait...hello!

For the past five years, a good time was had by all at the Couch By Couchwest on-line music festival. Though I had nothing to do with its operations, I've been all-in with the CXCW vibe:

  • learning about new bands and songwriters
  • taking random pics of tacos, French toast, and co-workers - though never in the same shot
  • developing new friendships, and
  • drinking beer. Plenty of beer.

The fine folks who ran CXCW did a helluva job soliciting original videos, collecting and watching them all, playing the tough guy role the few times when folks didn't adhere to just a handful of basic rules, building a page for each featured video, scheduling each video for its right time release, monitoring comments on the website and social media channels, etc. For a group of folks that celebrated slacking as an artform, they sure worked their collective asses off each March for our enjoyment.

But... all good things must come to an end. Or at least a pause. As announced recently on the CXCW website, it just ain't happenin' this year. The couch has been taken to the curb.

But...the absence of a formal CXCW in 2016 doesn't mean the discovery of great new music and bands end. I along with others believe it's the right thing to do to keep the spirit of CXCW alive in whatever meager ways we can.

I'll plan to feature videos sent to me or that I find along the way that would have been in the wheelhouse of CXCW had it continued. I'll do so through blog posts and tweets. Others are encouraged to do the same. Use Facebook, Tumblr, Snapchat, etc.? If so - leverage it. Those aren't my things, but I'd certainly recommend others use them to help spread the word for deserving music.

So how about getting things started with a couple of back in the day John Prine videos that would have fit perfectly with Couch By Couchwest ... had it existed in 1983.