Announcing the Good Sponge Sampler Vol. III

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Good Sponge Records is pleased to announce the release of the Good Sponge Sampler Vol. III, a compilation of 18 freshly-minted songs from southeastern Connecticut-affiliated bands/artists.

Following up on 2012’s Good Sponge Sampler Vol. I, and 2013’s Vol. II, the Good Sponge Sampler Vol. III offers a diverse sampling of original roots rock/Americana/singer-songwriter/blues artists from, or with close ties to, southeastern Connecticut. Many of the tracks are from the individual artists’ forthcoming albums and EPs, and serve as “samples” of the individual artists’ music, however, the album is carefully sequenced and mastered to work together as a whole, seamless listening experience.

A CD release party will be held Saturday, April 4, 2015 at The Eugene O’Neill Rose Barn (305 Great Neck Road, Waterford, CT 06385 – (860) 443-5378, http://www.theoneill.org/), in conjunction with their Cabin Fever Music Series. Beginning at 7:00 pm, featuring most of the artists from the comp performing live on two stages (an “acoustic” stage and an “electric” stage). There is a suggested donation of $10, and beer and wine will be available for purchase. CDs and other merchandise from the artists will also be available for purchase. Find more info about the event on Facebook.

Several of the artists on the sampler have ties to world-renown rock and jazz musicians; some of which are featured on their tracks. Musician/producer Carl Franklin (Track 3, “Underground”) recorded a single last year with jazz guitar legend John Scofield at his studio in New London. Former New London native Jeff Slate’s track (Track 7, “She Was a Princess”) features performances from former members of the Byrds, Wings and John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band. Trumpeter and composer Doug Woolverton (“Track 12, “A Typical Day”) is a member of Roomful of Blues, and has performed with They Might Be Giants, The Temptations, James Cotton, John Lee Hooker Jr. and J. Geils, among others.

In 2013, the Good Sponge Sampler Vol. II took home a Top Critics Award at the 2013 Whalie Awards in New London for “Best Americana Album of the Year,” while several artists featured on the CD also brought home individual awards. Singer Josi Davis brought home a Whalie in the “Best Singer/Songwriter Performance” category, the Rivergods took home the honors for “Best Blues/Country Rock Performance,” and Dirt Road Radio won for “Best Folk/Bluegrass performance.”

For more information, and to download songs from the comp, visit http://goodsponge.bandcamp.com.

New EP “Never Grow Old” from The Rivergods

We’re pleased to announce new EP from The Rivergods “Never Grow Old” is out now, and the reviews are starting to come in!

Blood on the Tracks-era Bob Dylan and Harvest Moon-era Neil Young in a poppy, less guitar centric, package … Ben and Nancy Parent both have wonderful voices that work incredibly well together … 60’s folk rock and pop influence mixed with a more modern tonality, song structure and recording techniques …  It’s channeling your forefathers through the lens of your own life and experience.” —Wailingcity.com

Read the full review here.

“Beckons with wise words, memorable melodies, and a five-piece ensemble sound that makes listeners rock in their seats … Parent’s lyrics pack that hard-to-find combination of power and poeticism. Nancy Parent’s harmonies, as always, elevate the vocals … a timely and yet timeless arrangement of music and words that will never grow old.” —Useorloseit.wordpress.com

Read the full review here.

A great night for Good Sponge!

whalie Where have we been?! Well, recently, at the 2013 Whalie Awards for one thing… and Good Sponge and several GS-affiliated artists put in a stellar showing at the fourth annual music awards show, held Saturday, May 25, 2013 in New London, CT.
 
The Good Sponge Sampler Vol. II took home a Top Critics Award– ‘Best Americana Album of the Year’ , while several artists featured on the CD also brought home individual awards. Singer Josi Davis brought home a Whalie award in the ‘Best Singer/Songwriter Performance’ category, for her song ‘Ivy Grows’. The Rivergods‘ song ‘When Times Were Good’ took home the honors for ‘Best Blues/Country Rock Performance,’ Dirt Road Radio won for ‘Best Folk/Bluegrass performance’ for ‘Cold Hearted Man’ and the Burnouts from Outer Space took home an award for ‘Best Alternative/Garage Performance’ for ‘Queen of the Angels.’

Several other artists on the sampler were nominated, too: Sue Menhart Band, Vince Tuckwood, Nancy Parent, Dogbite, Chris Mackay & the Toneshifters, Carl Franklin & Doug Woolverton, Matt Gouette and Ken Atkins & the Honkeytonk Kind. A huge congrats to ALL the nominees and winners!

Below, Good Sponge founder Ben Parent donned a giant ‘good sponge’ helmet to present awards with Bob D’Aprile, host of WPKN’s Connecticut Rocks! show:

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It’s official! CD Release Party March 29

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Good Sponge Records is pleased to announce the release of the Good Sponge Sampler Vol. II, a compilation of 18 freshly-minted songs from 18 southeastern Connecticut-affiliated bands/artists.

( Reviews are coming in… check ’em out! )

There will be a CD release party Friday, March 29 at The Bulkeley House (111 Bank Street, New London, CT 06320, 860-444-7753) beginning at 7:00 pm, featuring many of the artists from the comp performing live. The CD release party will feature two showcases: an acoustic-leaning “dinner set” downstairs, followed by a more rocking “dessert set” upstairs. CDs and other merchandise will be available for purchase.

Set times announced for 3/29!

DINNER SET
Dogbite 7:00
Dirt Road Radio 7:20
Nancy Parent 7:35
Vincent Tuckwood 7:50
Josi Davis 8:05
The Rivergods 8:25
Carl Franklin and Doug Woolverton 8:40

DESSERT SET
Black Marmot 9:00
Chris MacKay & The Toneshifters 9:25
Amalgamated Muck ‘Electric’ 9:50pm
Ken Atkins & Honkytonk Kind 10:15
Sue Menhart Band 10:40
Matt Gouette 11:05
Burnouts from Outer Space 11:30

About the Good Sponge Sampler Vol. II:

Following up on last year’s Vol. I, the Good Sponge Sampler Vol. II offers a diverse sampling of roots rock/Americana/singer-songwriter/rock artists associated with the region. From the opening New Orleans-fueled blues of the Sue Menhart Band, to the warm country lilt of Hannah Fair, to the groovy, theremin-tinged space rock of the album’s closer by Dave Rave, the Good Sponge Sampler Vol. II offers a consistently solid musical ride throughout. The individual tracks stand on their own, but are also meant to work together as a whole. The overall listening experience is not unlike coming across your favorite FM station on the dial: you may not know all the songs or artists, but it’s all music you should enjoy listening to.

The Good Sponge Sampler Vol. II features new or current tracks from:

Sue Menhart Band http://suemenhart.com/
The Rivergods http://www.therivergods.com/
Josi Davis http://www.sonicbids.com/josiwails
Chris MacKay & The Toneshifters http://www.toneshifters.com/
Hannah Fair http://www.reverbnation.com/hannahfair
Carl Franklin http://www.pwop.com/
Amalgamated Muck http://www.amalgamatedmuck.com/
Ken Atkins & Honkytonk Kind http://www.kenatkins.com/
Dogbite http://www.myspace.com/dogbitegrrr
Matt Gouette http://www.reverbnation.com/mattgouette
Lauren Agnelli https://sites.google.com/site/laurenagnelli/
Vincent Tuckwood http://www.vincet.net/
Doug Woolverton & Carl Franklin http://www.pwop.com/
Nancy Parent http://www.nancyparent.com/
Burnouts from Outer Space http://www.facebook.com/pages/Burnouts-from-Outer-Space/128504343862190?ref=ts&fref=ts
Dirt Road Radio https://www.facebook.com/dirtroadradio
Black Marmot http://www.blackmarmotband.com/
Dave Rave http://www.dave-rave.com/

The Good Sponge Sampler Vol. II is also available for digital download NOW at http://goodsponge.bandcamp.com/.

Enjoy, and please share!

The Good Sponge Sampler Vol. II

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Good Sponge Records is pleased to announce the forthcoming release of the Good Sponge Sampler Vol. II, a compilation of 18 freshly-minted songs from 18 southeastern Connecticut-affiliated bands/artists. Featuring new tracks from:

Sue Menhart Band http://suemenhart.com/
The Rivergods http://www.therivergods.com/
Josi Davis http://www.sonicbids.com/josiwails
Chris MacKay & The Toneshifters http://www.toneshifters.com/
Hannah Fair http://www.reverbnation.com/hannahfair
Carl Franklin http://www.pwop.com/
Amalgamated Muck http://www.amalgamatedmuck.com
Ken Atkins & Honkytonk Kind http://www.kenatkins.com/
Dogbite http://www.myspace.com/dogbitegrrr
Matt Gouette http://www.reverbnation.com/mattgouette
Lauren Agnelli https://sites.google.com/site/laurenagnelli/
Vincent Tuckwood http://www.vincet.net
Doug Woolverton & Carl Franklin http://www.pwop.com/
Nancy Parent http://www.nancyparent.com/
Burnouts from Outer Space Facebook page
Dirt Road Radio https://www.facebook.com/dirtroadradio
Black Marmot http://www.blackmarmotband.com
Dave Rave  http://www.dave-rave.com/

This just in… The Good Sponge Sampler Vol. II is available now for digital download at goodsponge.bandcamp.com. Details on the (physical) CD release party coming real soon! Last year, most of the artists from the Good Sponge Sampler Vol. I performed live at a huge show the Eugene O’Neill Rosebarn in Waterford, CT. We’re hoping for a repeat performance this year. So stay tuned, enjoy the music and help spread the word!

‘Even death can’t stop us from dancing’

Big Takeover founder Jack Rabid penned his own heartfelt review of ‘Rave On: A Tribute to the Reducers Vol. I‘ in the magazine’s most recent issue (#71):

red“Based on 34 years of yeoman service with the same lineup (remarkable), New London, CT institutions/rockers/nice guys The Reducers deserve any tributes, let alone tribute albums. So bassist Steve Kaika’s sad cancer death June 12, 2012—the only thing that could cause the foursome to part—adds layers of poignancy to an already terrific collection. (Additionally, profits go to Kaika’s family.) Like the feted, these 24 bands rambunctiously rock; the originals are such fun, that most (beyond a Mark Mulcahy/Chris Harford project, Birdfeeder) shadow the heroes’ workingman’s R&B/rock/punk/pub rock/power-pop reinvigoration—Americanized, like what Cheap Trick did to The Move. I.e., think of The Reducers as tough New England foils to Ducks Deluxe (whom they covered), Dr. Feelgood, Eddie & the Hotrods, Vibrators, 999, and Raw and Stiff label acts, with the explosiveness of early Ramones, Clash (another cover-ee) and Replacements, whom they opened for—a meeting of the (like-) minds. All these facets are heard here, such as the bluesy harmonica-hop of The Manchurians, the “Tonight We’re Gonna Rock You” tack of Paul Brockett Roadshow, the Ramones-ride of The Rattlers (early contemporaries, with Joey Ramone’s bro Mickey), and raunch ‘n’ roll from old faves, (Teenage Head’s) Dave Rave (& Lauren Agnelli) and Tim Lee 3 (Windbreakers). Everybody got the bug—this music can’t die any more than Chuck Berry’s, and when played with pummel guitars and big-time backbeat, even death can’t stop us from dancing.

Here are links to download or purchase a copy of the CD.

Debut album from Nancy Parent drops Oct. 26

Vision of Angels,” the debut CD from singer/songwriter Nancy Parent drops Friday, Oct. 26, featuring 12 brand new songs written by Nancy and produced by Hugh Birdsall (The Reducers, Dogbite) with an all-star line-up of musicians. Parent has sung for more than a dozen years in the southeastern CT-based band The Rivergods, but this is her first album of all-original material. There will be a CD release party at All Souls Unitarian in New London, CT at 7:30pm with Dogbite and other special guests also performing.

‘Rave On: A Tribute to The Reducers’ available now!

The grand finale, video by Rick Randall

First off, a huge THANK YOU to everyone who came, danced, cried and celebrated at the “Rave On: A Tribute to The Reducers Vol. 1” CD release party on Saturday, Sept 22, 2012. It was a quite a night. Peter, Hugh and Tom (of the Reducers) were in attendance, and sat in with many of the bands throughout the evening. There are some great videos/photos from the evening… check them out here (and feel free to add your own!)

Rave On: A Tribute to The Reducers Vol. 1” is available for purchase at CD Baby (CDs and download) and Bandcamp (download only). All proceeds (beyond those outfits’ modest fees) go the family of Steve Kaika. The CD is also in stores around southeastern CT (Mystic Disc, The Telegraph). If you pick up a copy, please let us know what you think by comment here.

‘Rave On: A Tribute to The Reducers’

“Rave On: A Tribute to The Reducers: Vol. 1,” a 24 track tribute to New London, CT’s The Reducers hits September 22

New London, CT — Once dubbed ‘America’s best unsigned band’ by CMJ, New London, CT’s The Reducers spent much of their 34-year career skirting the edges of wider mainstream popularity. But what they lacked in broader exposure, they made up for in critical acclaim and influence on generations of musicians and music fans around the world.

A brand-new international compilation, “Rave On: A Tribute to the Reducers Vol. 1,” coming Sept. 22, features 24 tracks that pay sound tribute to the band’s longstanding musical legacy.

Formed in 1978, The Reducers released three very well-received power pop “pub rock” records from 1983-1986 that propelled them to the national spotlight, where they found themselves touring the country opening for bands like The Ramones and The Replacements. (The Replacement’s front man Paul Westerberg spoke openly of his appreciation for the band’s songwriting.) Later albums like “Shinola”, “Redux”, “Old Cons” and 2010’s “Guitars, Bass and Drums” only cemented their reputation as staunchly reliable rockers, and their influence as elder statesmen of rock n’ roll continued to grow across the United States and beyond.

In 2004, 25 years into their career as a band, the Reducers were invited to headline a ten-day tour of Japan, playing with like-minded Japanese bands that had grown up adoring their music. The band came back to the U.S. more energized than ever. Together for 34 years, the Reducers’ long run ended earlier this year with the death of bass player Steve Kaika, who died after a courageous battle with cancer. The original members, Peter Detmold (guitar/vocals), Hugh Birdsall (guitar/vocals), Tom Trombley (drums) and Kaika had been the only members of the band throughout its entire span. More info on the history of the band can be found here.

“Rave On: A Tribute to the Reducers Vol. 1” features brand new music performed by bands and artists touched by the The Reducer’s music at some point during the band’s long tenure. Some tracks are reverent, almost note-for-note covers (particular care is paid to bassist Kaika’s renown “lead bass” lines), others are re-imagined in ways that showcase the timeless impact of the band’s songwriting. The disc opens with perhaps the Reducer’s best-known song, “Let’s Go,” performed by New York City’s The Rattlers (featuring Mickey Leigh, brother of the late Joey Ramone). No less than five Japanese bands put in hard rocking tributes, including Rockbottom and Firestarter, two of the bands The Reducers toured with in Japan.

Miracle Legion’s Mark Mulcahy joins old pals Chris Harford and Andrew Weiss (Rollins Band, Ween, Jello Biafria) in a new outfit called Birdfeeder, turning in what can only be described as a front-porch soul version of the Reducer’s song “Sound of Breaking Down.” Canadian rocker Dave Rave (Teenage Head) shows up with old pal Lauren Agnelli (The Washington Squares), sneering their way through the romper “Company Man.” Boston’s Frigate lays down one of the fiercest tracks, “Boys Will Be Boys,” fronted by bassist/vocalist Linda Bean, as do fellow Beantowners The Dogmatics, who deliver a growling version of “Black Plastic Shoes.” The Reducers’ label mates Heap also make an appearance, as does Fresno, CA’s The Backstabbers, fronted by Jes Farnsworth, nephew of the late Steve Kaika.

Fellow current New London artists Paul Brockett Roadshow, Matt Goeutte and The Rivergods add hometown flavor to the disc, as do a few reunited New London bands that were peers to the Reducers at earlier times, The Clothespins and Blonde Furniture. The latter delivers a beautiful, forlorn version of the Reducers’ song “Closing Time” toward the album’s end. The once-bustling New Haven scene also represents with contributions from the Manchurians, the Big Bad Johns, the Del Crandalls, and the aforementioned Mulcahy.

There will be a CD release party for the album on Saturday, Sept. 22 at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center Rose Barn in Waterford, CT (305 Great Neck Road, Waterford, CT 06385, (860) 443-5378). The Oneill’s Rose Barn was the first venue the Reducers played together as a band in June of 1978. The CD release party will feature live performances from Heap, the Dogmatics, the Manchurians, Paul Brockett Roadshow, the Rivergods (w/Steve Elci & Lauren Agnelli), the Clothespins, Jes Farnsworth, Matt Gouette, Blonde Furniture and Missy Roback, and will focus on Reducer’s (and Reducers-related) music. Following the CD release party, the album will be available at http://goodsponge.com and via other local and national retailers.

Doors open at 6:30pm. The show runs from 7:00-11:00pm. There is a suggested donation of $10, and CD copies of “Rave On: A Tribute to the Reducers Vol. 1” will be available for purchase. All profits from the event and CD sales will benefit the immediate family of Steve Kaika, who continue to work through medical bills and other challenges incurred during Kaika’s illness. Beer, wine and other refreshments will be available for purchase at the show.

Track listing for “Rave On: A Tribute to the Reducers Vol. 1”:

1. Let’s Go – The Rattlers
2. Life In The Neighborhood – The Backstabbers
3. Better Homes And Gardens – Heap
4. Boys Will Be Boys – Frigate
5. San Antone – Rockbottom
6. Fashion Of The Times – The Manchurians
7. Nothing Cool – Paul Brockett Roadshow
8. No Ambition – The Gimmies
9. Company Man – Dave Rave & Lauren Agnelli
10. Out Of Step – Fran Fried w/The Backstabbers
11. Fistfight at the Beach – The Del Crandalls
12. Black Plastic Shoes – The Dogmatics
13. Rocks – P.C.2. (a.k.a. Paychannel)
14. Real Gone – Missy Roback
15. My Problem – The Rivergods
16. Sound Of Breaking Down – Birdfeeder
17. Don’t You Wanna – Tim Lee 3
18. Yeah Yeah – Big Fat Combo
19. Meltdown – Firestarter
20. All About You – Matt Gouette
21. Avoidance Factor – The Clothespins
22. Scared of Cops – Frantic Stuffs
23. Closing Time – Blonde Furniture
24. Endless Bummer – Male Curriers

Following the CD release party, the album will be available for download and purchase.

The little label that could.

 Good Sponge Records is a music recording/promotion label based in southeastern CT. Our current artist roster includes the The Rivergods, Nancy ParentSue Menhart, Amalgamated Muck and Steve Elci and Friends. Our latest project is “Rave On: A Tribute to the Reducers Vol. 1,” due out Sept. 22.

Check out our sampler!  The Good Sponge Sampler Vol. 1 – 15 tracks from sponge-worthy SECT artists. Preview songs from the album and download it here.