So it turns out that there is another band on the bill tonight, as well as for the shows in Nijmegen, the Hague, and Amsterdam. Hells yeah.
The title of this post pretty much says it all. Except the part where I’m all like “WOO YEAH WOO THIS IS GOING TO BE THE BEST COLLABORATION EVER. WEEEEE.”
I just want to curl up inside this song and live in it forever.
This is rather lovely too.
And their harmonies! Mmmmm.
We love playing Holland. Hurrah!
Grosse Bühne Theodor Heuss
Infoladen linker Projekte
Hoffest “alternative kulturtage”
with Blackbird Raum!!
Slochteren (near Groningen)
I’m particularly excited about the June 11th show with Blackbird Raum, who are the funnest.
That’s right. Thanks to Kink Records, we now have a cassette tape release of our album “around my grave sing songs of joy.” Think of it as a time machine. If you would like a copy, you can get them at the source: Kink. We will also have copies for sale at all of our gigs.
Kink Record’s description:
“Nachdem sich zwei Leute aus dem Lineup von Black Diamond Express Train To Hell verabschiedet hatten, beschloss die Band ab sofort nur noch zu dritt zu spielen und benannten sich kurzerhand um in Battenkill Ramblers und hier gibts das neue Album als Tape (gibts übrigens auch auf CD bei der Band). Musikalisch bewegt sich das Ganze irgendwo zwischen Old Time Country, Bluegrass und Folk. Mal kommt ein Banjo zum Einsatz, mal Gitarre, mal Geige oder auch mal ein Waschbrett oder eine Säge. Dazu persönliche und politische Texte, schön formuliert und durchdacht. Das Tape kommt im bedruckten Pappschieber mit einem kleinen Booklet inkl. den kompletten Songtexten und teilweise Linernotes.”
The changes just keep coming around here lately. Just after I announced that we had found a new bassist Boris decided to leave the band, and we were a trio once again. As luck would have it, we found Sven on the train carrying a mandolin. It turned out that he played guitar as well, and a couple of weeks later he had joined the Ramblers. We’re busy relearning and reworking all of our songs and writing a pile of new ones, and our first show with the new line-up will be on April 19th at the Mannheim Anarchistisches Buchmesse (the concert will be at the JUZ). And now damn it, we aren’t going to have any more line-up changes for a long time. I hope. Because things are sounding really good.
Meet the new Battenkill Ramblers…
You can now download our album Around My Grave Sing Songs of Joy from bandcamp. Whoa! Just click on buy and that shit is yours.
Meanwhile, we’re working on a collaboration and at least three hundred (well, maybe five or six or eight) new songs. What that all means, we hope, is that the next album will be rolling along on the heels of this one. Keep your fingers crossed.
Well shit, last night I discovered that an absolutely flabbergastingly flattering review of our latest CD, Around My Grave Sing Songs of Joy had been posted over at Radical Ramblings. You should click on that link and read the entire thing, but some of the blush-worthy highlights.
On Card Game:
“The song that first reasonated with me was Card Game. Here is a song that sums up everything I’ve taken to thinking over the last couple of years: get out of the 9 to 5 trap! There is another way, if only you care to open your mind! “You say it’s the only game in town, but there are alleys you ain’t been down”. I wish I’d heard those words a few years ago, but then I guess I wouldn’t have been in a place where they would have meant anything back then. I love the plucking guitar sound in this song. It’s so rhythmic. The song is instantly distinctive to the rest of the songs on the album, and the lyrics are wonderfully catchy. It’s one of those songs that collects a big idea into a simple, succinct message. Pure brilliance!”
On Police Story:
“Of all the songs on the album, this is one of the ones I most like to sing along to, and I love the harmonica mid-way through the song.”
On Dead Flag Blues:
“Maybe it’s because I enjoy apocolyptic fiction, or because I know how much Nicolette loves it, but I think this is the best-written song on the album. “The skyline looked it’s finest dressed in red and black. Up atop a high rise we watched it breathe it’s last. Pass me the beretta, they’re starting on the climb. But these last two bullets, they are yours and mine.” This song actually gives me shivers it’s so lyrically marvellous! It’s been a long time since I read such great lyrics. Pure poetry.”
And on the title track, Around My Grave Sing Songs of Joy:
“Around My Grave is a song about death, but it’s beautiful. Again, the imagery is staggering… “Hey little brown bird, blood red chest. Dead girl lying, crimson lips. When I die don’t say no prayers cause there ain’t no heaven and there ain’t no hell”. I wish I could reach the high-notes that Nicolette does on this song… I can’t quite do it, so I can’t quite sing along. But it leaves me in awe of her voice. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a song about death that is quite so imaginative, philosophical and sadly joyful.”
Thanks for the beautiful words, and for sharing your experience of the album in such detail RR! (Read the rest of the review here.) It was absolutely lovely and fascinating to read about how our songs effected another person. Maybe it’ll give me the inspirational kick to finally get something down for the 106 new songs we’ve got in the pipeline. Hearing that we’ve actually managed to successfully communicate with another human being through our music, even just one, makes me feel all glowy. This is what this is about.
Apparently this is the year of reorganization. Tear everything down. Rebuild. Repeat. Fits well with some of our recurring lyrical themes I suppose. As much as I sometimes hate it, tearing shit down and reinventing it has always been sort of a hobby of mine. There is energy to be had in potential and in change. So there’s that. Now, two announcements.
We have a bassist! Benny. (He also plays with these guys.) Right about when we finally got around to practicing with him, Boris decided it was time to leave. The two things aren’t related, but there you have it. Hi Benny! Bye Boris!
If you play guitar (and preferably also can sing a mean harmony) and live in the Frankfurt area and want to play with us, we’re on the look out. Just send me an email (nicolettekyle AT yahoo DOT com).
Because I’m going to miss him, I have decided to attempt to embarrass him by posting a few “it was the best of times *sob*” photos. But I’m pretty sure he’s not that easy to embarrass, and I’m not mean enough to post the photos of him prancing around in his bathing suit on a tire swing. (Though I can be bribed.) Now off to see where the new tide will take us.