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State Radio - Chadwick Stokes

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The "Walter" advance stream has ended. We'll be posting another song soon.

Chad was in Europe last week with Dispatch and took a moment in Graz to write a little something about the new song "Walter (First Hello)" which he premiered on the living room tour. 

Here's a note from Chad about the evolution of the song...

"I got a call from my friend Tiago, Bradigan's long time friend and band member. He told me about the story of Walter and his friends. How they live in an orphanage in Uganda and all have various disabilities. I think because he knew of my involvement with How's Your News and connection to Africa, he figured I'd be interested. He asked me if I could write a song about Walter and he sent me a children's book that was being written about this young boy with severe burns. The children's book is called Walter and The Flying Bus. Recording it was a blast - lots of percussion and clapping and throwing some subtle synth in there too.

Graz! Great city, beautiful river and clock tower, ancient architecture, Austrian people so sweet - so much fun. We did a Brown Couch Session in which we played our "Bob" version of "The General" - reggae style a la Marley but sang like Dylan. Group of dudes film bands playing on their brown couch, in this case the middle of river would've been too wet so we did it on roof top."


As always, be sure to shoot Chad a tweet (@chadwickstokes) letting him know what you think.

The "Prison Blue Eyes" advance stream has ended. We'll be posting another song soon.

Today we're sharing another song from the new album. Much like "Mother Maple," this one will be available to stream for the next 48 hours. This song is one that you should be very familiar with, "Downtown Prison-Blue Eyes Baby" aka "Downtown" aka "Prison Blue Eyes" aka Title May Still Evolve.

Some of you might remember it from the demo that was posted here on the patron page. Others may have seen Cara McGrath's video recording from the Jamaica Plain house show.

Here's a note from Chad about the evolution of the song...

Early on, I asked about the title to this one at living room shows and "Prison Blue Eyes" edged out the others. "Downtown" was the original working title and too generic while "Prison Blue Eyes" didn't seem to inhabit the lightness of the tune which to me always felt more like a ditty than a song (although now I quite like "Prison Blue Eyes Baby" for a title - classic indecisive Pisces). Speaking of light, some of my friends thought it was "Prism Blue Eyes" which also worked, but not what I meant.

It was the first song we recorded in the studio - during one of those well below freezing January days in Chicago - so cold, cars wouldn't start or if they did, they froze at stop signs - happened to me in the van. Besides "I Want You Like a Seatbelt," which was recorded in California, it's probably the most summery song on the record.

Young Lane is on upright bass (from band Kids These Days), and Jim and Joe on electric and drums and then Sam Beam on backup vocals. I was looking for a sound somewhat akin to The Harder They Come soundtrack and I think the sounds Brian Deck (producer) got on this one are especially raw and lush or...rawnlush or lushnraw or rush limbaugh... new title?

Sam and I retooled one of the verses replacing the "blink/fate" verse with the "wind blowing the gate". Thanks for helping out with this one and your early support of the tune.

cheers and happy summer ~
Chad

Be sure to shoot Chad a tweet (@chadwickstokes) letting him know what you think.

Chad is putting the final tweaks on the album master so we're hoping to have a release date very soon.

The "Mother Maple" advance stream has ended. We'll be posting another song soon.

A handful of fans and patrons dropped by the office last night to hear early mixes of Chad's new album. Since it wasn't possible for all of you to get to Boston on a Wednesday night, we thought that we'd post one of the songs on the patron page this morning. It'll be available for the next 48 hours. The song is called "Mother Maple" and here's a note from Chad about the song:

"I was walking around with my Uncle Tots in the woods in Vermont and he was showing me some old maple trees that had since died but had given life to much of the forest around it. It reminded me of a friend of mine whose mother had died some years back; she was always giving to everyone else and never paid attention to herself.

It's the only song on the record that I wrote on piano, it was really not meant to be on the album at all, more of a last minute addition when Sam (Beam), Brian (Deck) and I were hanging about trying to figure out what were the 12 or so best songs out of the 17 I was playing to them. The Berklee Student Gospel Choir sang on the choruses - recorded right here in JP up the street at Dimension Sound Studios.

The mystery instrument is a Sudanese homemade guitar, traditionally made with a gourd but mine is made with a frying pan. Much of the drums is Joe's original drum track played through an old sample machine called Dr. Beat."

Be sure to shoot Chad a tweet (@chadwickstokes) letting him know what you think.

There were a few folks from the messageboard at the listening party last night so head over there if you're interested in getting some more details about the album.

Tuesday April 22nd

April 2014 Patron Update

Hello Patrons,

It's been a few months since you heard from us so we're aiming to make this one a biggie. We've got some free tunes, behind the scenes footage from the recording of the new album and info on an album listening party.

First off, here's the latest on the new album:

Chad and the family headed to Chicago in January to begin recording the album with Brian Deck and Sam Beam. He recorded the majority of the album before heading out on the February living room tour (which was awesome!), but still wanted to do a bit more work on the album when he returned home. He flew out to LA (where it wasn't freezing) in late February to record a few more songs including a yet to be announced Grease cover with producer Noah Georgeson. After he returned to Boston, Chad met up with a Berklee gospel choir to record vocals for "Indiana Fall," "Horse Comanche" and "Mother Maple." It's pretty grainy, but here's some footage of them recording their "Indiana Fall" vocals.

So here we are, in mixing mode. The mixes aren't totally finished, but they're far enough along that Chad wants to start sharing them with patrons. The first opportunity to hear them will be at a listening party at Team Chadwick HQ in Cambridge, MA on Wednesday May 7th. If you can get to Davis Square that night at 5PM, send an e-mail to chadwickhouseshows@gmail.com with your name, where you live and how you'll get here. There's only going to be room for 20 patrons so only reply if you can definitely make it. Patrons will be picked to attend at random. We'll also be showing a short mini-tour doc at the listening party. Chad won't be at the listening party. Note, Chad won't be at the listening party.

If you don't live near Cambridge or can't make it, worry not, we'll begin sharing new songs every three weeks via e-mail. Keep an eye on your e-mail inbox because the songs will only be up for about 48 hours.

Until then, you can hear some of the new songs by downloading this 2 hour recording of the February 21st Indianapolis, IN living room concert. Huge thanks to Josh Mueller for sharing and recording.
 

THE SECRET, NEVER BEFORE SEEN, PREVIOUSLY CLASSIFIED "CROWBAR HOTEL" MUSIC VIDEO

We were going through the Chadwick vault last week, as we often do, and realized that we'd never released Mike Gill's "Crowbar Hotel" video that Chad and the Pintos recorded in Sherborn. Well today we're righting that wrong and sharing the video with all of you before the rest of the fan community gets to see it.



The song comes from the album Simmerkane II which you can download for free right here. If you have any friends that don't have Simmerkane II, feel free to share the link with them as well.

Until next time,

- Team Chadwick

Wednesday January 29th

Ask Lefty + New Video

Welcome to the first Patron Update of 2014!

After testing out songs on the road, Chad hit the studio in Chicago on January 5th to start recording the new album. He’ll be in the Windy City for another week as he wraps up the first round of tracking and then he’ll be heading out on the winter 2014 living room tour that starts on February 13th in Toronto.

Speaking of the patrons, we closed up the patron store on January 1st and can now say that 1,554 fans have come on board as patrons. The album and community around it wouldn't have been possible without each and every one of you.
 

LIVING ROOM TOUR MINI-DOCUMENTARY COMING SOON

Videographers Ryan Mastro and Colleen “Mags” Reilly spent two weeks in September touring with Chad, and Colleen Hennessy at Sopa Productions has been hard at work on a mini-documentary about the living room tour. We will have that in the coming months, but in the meantime we’ve got a patron-exclusive performance video of Chad performing “Dead Badger.”

We’ve also embedded a videographer in the studio with Chad so we’re hoping to have something from there very soon.
 

ASK LEFTY: QUESTIONS FROM FANS, ROUND #2

Chad took a few minutes in the studio yesterday to answer some of your questions for the 2nd edition of Ask Lefty. If you have a question for Chad, send it over to chadwickhouseshows@gmail.com and he may answer it in an upcoming edition of Ask Lefty.

Scott Schalk asks...

Chad, by far the best show I've ever been to (on any scale) was State Radio at the Student Union in Iowa City. 2004 or 2005 I think. Bright Eyes was playing in the ballroom so you guys were in a public use type room. The crowd was only about 20 people or so and you still brought so much energy! I remember you jumpin' and knocking a ceiling tile down with your head! Do you approach a show differently when you know it's gonna be especially big or small?

" I try not to -- the big crowds are a bit more nerve wracking but sometimes the small shows are the most fun."

Anna Lee asks...

What is the meaning of the song 'Keep Sake'?

"Life is going to beat you up here and there; but if you can give your soul to your lover than they can protect it."
 
Stephen Devine asks...

When preparing for a show or recording session (solo/sr/dispatch) is there a particular approach you like to take, as far as getting yourself and everyone else prepared, and how long does it usually take?

"I'd say it takes about 5 hours a song to get prepared."

Adam Nicolais asks...

Do you see State Radio continuing as a priority? I can tell you that many RLT's are very nervous that the best days of SR are behind us. With your solo career strengthening, gigs with Dispatch increasing, and the loss of Maddog, can you blame us for thinking this way? Please tell me we're wrong!
 
"There are half-written songs that in are in the wings for the next SR record, but there are other things happening at the moment. State Radio is not a priority right now, but it will be again. Doing the solo thing now and then probably Dispatch and then State Radio -- that's the pattern right now. State Radio is on a bit of hiatus at the moment, but we will return."

Kara Carpenter asks...

I was wondering if there are any plans to tour with a full band after the album is completed?

"Depends when we can get the album done, but I'd love to do a full band tour similar to Chadwick Stokes and The Pintos in the fall."

Jordan Gerow asks...

What's the story behind "Back to the Races?" I always heard a dying civil war soldier.

"Hmm... 'Back To The Races' is about a few things -- we had this Ram named George that locked my grandfather Big Poppa in the shed and then draws on the tragic story of Orpheus and my own early experiences trying to find love - coming so close and then something happening."

Peter Booth asks...

How do you (and musicians in general) pay for health care and do you save for retirement or do you just live gig-to-gig?

"For a while we lived gig to gig but now that some of us have families it's more serious so we hunt for a good plan like all the other self employed folks out there."

Ray Stacy asks...

During the show in Jamaica Plain, I had a memory triggered of a question I've been wondering for a while - are we ever getting a Story of Benjamin Darling Part II? The original has always been a favorite of mine, and I've been patiently awaiting the sequel for years. So, does it exist in any form, and is there a chance of it finding its way onto the next solo album?

"Unfortunately, not this album - I started it once years ago around the time I was writing part 1 -- sometimes songs take a long time incubating and this one hasn't made it too far."

Andrew Schoenfeld asks...

How do you keep all of the material straight between your different projects? Do you pick and choose what to practice? How do you keep from forgetting the nuances?

"I try to compartmentalize things so that whatever project I'm in at that moment, I'm totally devoted to it as if it was only thing I've ever done - that's the idea anyway - doesn't always work. For the 'patch shows we get together and practice for a day or two -- and for State Radio shows we didn't even need to practice for one-off gigs because typically (though not the case now) we had been playing so much and knew each other so well. Before a tour, there's a bunch rehashing some of the trickier tunes so that we're on top our shit. But basically i try to separate things best I can."

Jon Wilkins asks...

Whether or not you intended too, you're doing some very unique things in regards to the distribution and promotion of your music, as well as the writing, recording and performing of it. Case in point this living room tour. I can let you know that from my end it has been great. I am wondering how you are feeling about it? A lot of this has never been done before, aka risky. There is no "process" or guarantee in what you're doing, yet it seems to work, thoughts?

"I don't know, I feel like I've toured in a bunch of different ways and it's always good to do something that feels fresh -- it's hard to stay on top of where the music industry is going.. i'm just really grateful folks still come out to shows and are listening. I think is our world gets more digital and blurred it's nice to do something that feels grounded- the living room tour feels more 'real' to me than any other touring because it's so stark and intimate."

Sunday December 15th

New Demo: “PAC”

To celebrate the new round of living room shows going on sale this Tuesday at 3PM ET, we're posting another new song for patrons. Fans who attended living room tours earlier this year might have heard this one:



P.S.  We're finally ready to announce that Chad has booked studio time and will be recording the new album in January! Chad and the family will be heading to Chicago to work with Brian Deck and Sam Beam.

Wednesday October 23rd

Webcast Performance Archive

We have to begin by thanking everyone that tuned into the webcast last night. It was our first forray into webcasting and was unfortunately frought with some A/V sync issues. However, we got the kinks worked out after a little while and a ninety minute set commenced. You'll notice that the video seems slightly out of sync with the audio throughout the broadcast. We aren't sure why that happened, but made sure to capture the best quality audio throughout. If you weren't online to watch it last night, you can watch the webcast in these two clips:

Thank you as well to the 30 or so fans who saw the tweet and Facebook post and got to Chad's house on such short notice.

The first opening 10 minute clip (ran into some freezing issues - first song starts at about 4:10):


The longer 90 minute show:
 

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