Last year around this time, you could tell it was Spring because all of the crowd-sourced projects were in bloom! Seemingly at once. I had Mari Wilson, Dr. Robert, and Billie Ray Martin all coming to a head at once. This year things are heating up again. After kicking in for the prospect of the first Shriekback tour in a quarter century, who’s up next?
Stephen Emmer | Home Ground
Back in 2014, Emmer’s “International Blue” was a feast for the senses. He’s extending his liaison with Heaven 17’s Glenn Gregory as his lyricist with an album of guest vocalists in an entirely different genre; socially aware soul. One imagines that the orchestration he brought home to bear on “International Blue” will be right at home on the circa 1973 vibe of this new project. Vocalists lined up are: Chaka Khan, Patti Austin, Andy Bey, Kendra Foster, Frank Mccomb, Mary Griffin, Dwight Trible, Ursula Rucker, and Leon Ware [r.i.p.]. Though Gregory will not be lending his dulcet tones to this one, his lyrics should be provocative enough as the album is said to deal with the variety of conflicts that embroil the human race, and Emmer is putting his money where his heart is: 25% of all profit on digital sales and 50% on physical sales is going to the War Child charity.
From the sound of the singers, this one feels like it could slot in nicely next to the second B.E.F. album. Certainly, Chaka Kahn guested on both and ironically, that was the single B.E.F. album with no Glenn Gregory involvement! The album pledge has the usual variety of formats and price points. It gets released on June 9th, and as little as €10 gets the DL, with a CD being €19.25, and the LP at €28.79. This time the re-emerging cassette tape format has been added for €18.25. Not to worry, all analog formats come with the requisite DL. A sponsorship listing in the CD booklet will only set one back €29.25; a bargain for this sort of ego-boost. There are only 47 days left in the campaign so if you are inclined, DJ hit that button [below].
The Blow Monkeys | The Wild River
Our friends The Blow Monkeys continue to lay down tracks in their ceaseless push forward! It’s been nine years since their welcome re-emergence and after the Dr. Robert solo album got out of his system last year, it’s time to reconvene the team. “The Wild River” is the new album, due out in Autumn of this year [171 days, if you’re the counting kind]. This time the band have convened in Dr. Bob’s home in Andalusia and he pronounces the proceedings as a trip “back to their soul roots” so maybe leave room on your shelf next to the Stephen Emmer album. Since they are recording in Spain, Tony Kiley won’t be able to make the trip to record, sadly. Instead, Crispin Taylor will be filling in on disc for the absent Kiley.
That’s sad, but not sad enough to keep Blow Monkeys fans away. The campaign has been live for over a month and sits at 137% of goal already. Pledgers can get a DL for £8, a CD for £15, 180g LP for £26, and that LP can be signed for just £5 more. Fancy your name in the CD book [I did this back in 2008 in the pre-dawn of crowdsourcing with this band]? £40 for the privilege. The most interesting thing looks to be a V.I.P. ticket to the launch party at the 100 Club in London with DL for £65. But not for me, alas. I’ve still yet to experience this band live. You’ve still got 171 days left, but you can pledge by clicking the banner below.
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