Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bloodkin: Reborn


Bloodkin's music is a good handshake and a solid look in the eye. It's also a punch in the nose. It's predictable but never tiresome. Bloodkin is rock n' roll. Going into Bloodkin's show at Sky City in Augusta, GA (with friend and opener George McConnell), I was expecting an old fashioned rock show, and a rock show I received. The show was a perfect mix of songs, old and new. The show began with the new "Wait Forever," followed by the title track of their first album "Good Luck Charm." Next came the well rounded "Easter Eggs" followed by another oldie, "Success Yourself." The rest of the set continued with the same new/old theme, with new songs: "My Name is Alice," "Ghostrunner," Little Margarita," and old songs: "Yeah," Quarter Tank of Gasoline," "Midnight Train to Bogart," "End of the Show," and "Henry Parson's." It was a well put together show from start to finish. One highlight of the night was when lead singer Daniel Hutchens made a quick sign of the cross with his hands during the song "Quarter Tank of Gasoline." I wanted to yell: "Amen!, Bloodkin, Amen!"

I got a chance to speak with lead guitarist Eric Carter and lead singer Daniel Hutchens before their set. My approach was that of the high-school principal: I spoke with each of them separately. But I guess they saw through my plan, because their stories were somewhat corroborated and they didn't rat each other out. First, Eric Carter.


GT: Eric, lets jump into it. First, I want to ask you about your song on the new album, "My name is Alice." Give me the gist of what it's about or...

EC: Well, I was still drinking when I wrote it. I wrote it upstairs at the Georgia Bar. It's kind of a little warning song. A little preeminition of a woman who is drinking herself to death. I just changed the name to Alice and did it from a different prospective, a women's prospective. So it's essentially about that.

GT: Nice. So how has the experience been on the road promoting this new album?

EC: We're still pretty early into it but so far its been really good. Our publicist is doing an excellent job with interviews and reviews and stuff like that. So, so far its been going really good. The title Baby, They Told Us We Would Rise Again is the first line of the song "Easter Eggs." That's a fitting title after a Last Night Out. And that album was called that for a reason. We thought that was it at the time.

GT: Speaking of "Easter Eggs," it's personally one of my top two songs on the album. It seems like it captures the Bloodkin sound. What is your favorite song to play on the album?

EC: That's a tough one to answer. The song "Waiting Forever" we have been playing live for a while. Some of them are still kind of working into shape as far as playing live.

GT: I lived in Athens for a few years before moving to Charleston three years ago. I was curious as to what the music scene is like now in Athens.

EC: To be honest, there are so many different bands. There is a real good community and network. The main place where I'm around other bands is at Nuci's Space. That's where we practice. I dont really go out a lot, but it's still thriving.

GT: So what do you guys see for the future?

EC: Well, we're trying to promote this as much as possible. This is the first time we have had this kind of thing behind us, as far as promotion and things like that. So, we are just doing a little at a time.

GT: Does is seem weird? Because you guys are seasoned veterans and are now thrust back into...

EC: In some ways it seems like we are starting over. This is the first time a lot of people may have heard us.

GT: Yeah, I'm sure the write up in Rolling Stone has helped.

EC: Yeah, David Fricke did a nice job.

GT: I'm friends with Dead Confederate and Fricke picked them and now you guys, so I think I trust his taste.

EC: It was a nice write up and a lot more than I was expecting.

GT: I caught you guys opening for the Drive-by-Truckers in Charleston, how was that experience on the road with the Truckers?

EC: Um, I think we did seven shows with them. Two of them they did without Patterson because he got really sick. But the shows were really good. It's kind of strange playing only forty-five minutes to an hour. It was almost like we were just getting warmed up. But we shared musicians amongst bands, so it was fun.

GT: Well, thanks Eric.

EC: Yeah, thanks.

Now to backstage with Daniel Hutchens.
GT: The new album, Baby, They Told Us We Would Rise Again, coming off of Last Night Out, is a pretty strong juxtaposition, tell me about the tone of the new album?

DH: Well, those were just kind of our life circumstances when we made those records. And that's kinda how it is making records for us. They are little capsules of our lives of what's going on, and I can kind of go back and view the snapshot. But Last Night Out was a very bad time for Eric and I both. The band was pretty much broken up, and we were going through personal issues and all kind of stuff. I was pretty much down and out. And I think that the last Bloodkin record is kind of about that. Things just kind of rolled and bounced a different way. The band came back together. Things on a personal level really picked up in different ways. This is just a much better time in our lives and the record reflects that. Just the fact that we are actually having fun playing music with this group of people.

GT: Is it harder to write when your positive? How does the writing change?

DH: Just speaking personally, I dont force myself to write anything. It just kind of happens when it happens. And when you look at those two records, it definitely reflects a broader canvas to me. There is more to write about than morbidly obbsessing about myself. So, I wouldnt say it was harder at all.

GT: The new album has a good variety of songs. From "Easter Eggs," which is personally one of my favorites that seems to really capture the Bloodkin sound, to your guttural "Ghostrunner", to your walk through the park "Summer in Georgia." Are they fun to play? How are you feeling about these new songs overall? And were they all written in the same relative time span?

DH: Everything on the record was written fairly close together, except for "Wait Forever," which is the one song that is like fifteen years old. And that was kind of David Barbe's, our producer's, call. For whatever reason, he has always liked that song. And he was like "Let's take a shot at this," and it just came together and seemed to fit. But everything else was pretty fresh at the time we recorded.

GT: Another one of my personal favorites is "Summer in Georgia." I'm a big Braves fan so I was thrown back to hear the Braves lyric in the song.

DH: Yeah, hopefully they can get there shit together this year.

GT: I was actually down at spring training not too long ago..

DH: No shit!

GT: Yeah, i acted like a kid and got a few autographs from guys like Tommy Hanson and Terry Pendleton.

DH: Ha, cool.

GT: Like Eric was saying earlier, you guys are almost now reborn and thrown into this new music scene, with the article in Rolling Stone.. What do you think of the new music scene today and what is popular, and how you guys fit into it?

DH: Man, I dont know. It's weird. I've never.. I mean, if you would have asked me that question twenty years ago, I dont know if I could have anwered it, because I dont know that we have ever tried to fit into it. I dont think we've ever tried to fit into anything, as far as like the current fashonable thing is of that year. In my mind, it's all tempoary anyway. So we just play what we love. The bands I'm into are those that show sincerity. That's a real feeling to me. That's what draws me to bands.

GT: Yeah, true longevity by sticking to your guns

DH: I think so. Those have always been the people I've listened to.

GT: What does the future hold for Bloodkin?

DH: Well, a lot of stuff is going on. We're starting to put together songs for the next record, which is in the songwriting phase. We have a box set that we've been working on for years. It is kind of like all of our unreleased stuff for the last twenty years. So just putting that together as far as the packaging and artwork...we're staying busy.

GT: Well, looking forward to it. And thanks for your time.

DH: You got it, man. Thanks.

God Bless Bloodkin.

1 comment:

  1. Um, heck yeah! Good job John!

    And as far as Bloodkin can really tell their new 'lease on life' when they play- it's great to watch and listen! Can't wait to see how this all progresses for them! TEAM BLOODKIN!