The Grand Rapids band debuted new songs for Local Spins on WYCE, which also premiered tracks by American Hotel System, Lybrandt, Rob Mickey, The Disruption and more.
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An old German fable about stone soup ends with villagers all pitching vegetables, meat and spices into a big cauldron over an open fire to create a wondrous meal.
So it is with the Grand Rapids band Stone Soup & The Broken Teeth, with each of its seven members adding tasty elements of rock, blues, funk, country and soul – “creating a new sound” in the process.
“It was very collaborative,” said guitarist and singer Mike Coburn. “Every one of us in the room had something to do with every one of the songs, whether it be lyrical content or musical.”
The band’s debut album, “Simmering,” is available online digitally now and officially gets released physically on Jan. 17 at Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill, following a lengthy process of writing, tracking and mixing the project at the Sovereign Sound studio of guitarist Branden Garner, a key player in the one-time Celtic rock band The Waxies who first formulated the idea for Stone Soup.
The recording was created without any real deadline pressure so they could “work each song until we felt it communicated the vision we had,” Coburn said of the group that features Coburn, Garner, drummer Michael Brown, keyboardist-singer Colin McCorckle, singer-guitarist Nathan Walton, trumpet player Andy Jarema and bassist John Jungblut.
“Mike, Colin, and Nathan serve as the songwriting core for the group, but most of the tracks on the record have at least a line from every person in the group. It’s really fun writing that way. If one of us gets stuck, we can usually sort it out in a few minutes and move on.”
The band (with fill-in bassist Doug Watkins) made its radio debut for this week’s edition of Local Spins on WYCE, exuberantly performing the songs “Money” and “Whiskey in My Pocket.” Watch the video for “Money” here and scroll down for the full radio show podcast below.
VIDEO: Stone Soup & The Broken Teeth, “Money” (Local Spins on WYCE)
Lyrically, the material on the band’s debut album “leans toward social and political, but we don’t identify ourselves as overtly political,” said Coburn, noting they don’t want to beat listeners over the head with their messages.
“It’s the Grand Rapids sound. It’s Grand Rapids, man,” suggested Walton, who also has his own solo project and fronts Nathan Walton & The Revolving Door. “We kind of pull from all of our influences as we grew up and joined these other bands, and this is coming from here right now.”
For Garner, after 10 years with the popular Celtic rock outfit The Waxies, this new band project represents an opportunity for him to work as a producer, build a studio and create music for a group that came together in part through Craiglist ads and auditions.
In the coming year, the band plans to release several new songs and apply for performances at Michigan music festivals.
Walton said group members will “continue to form what we are because we are still a really fresh soup that’s simmering and we can’t wait to see what this thing explodes into.”
The Jan. 17 album-release show at the Tip Top Deluxe Bar and Grill will also feature performances by The Bootstrap Boys and Rachel Curtis. Tickets are $5; details and tickets available online here.
The Dec. 20 edition of Local Spins on WYCE – which showcases local and regional music at 11 a.m. Friday on WYCE (88.1 FM) also boasted the on-air premiere of new tracks by Rob Mickey, American Hotel System, The Disruption, Lybrandt and Lauren Flinsky (of the Christmas at Critter’s project) as well as music from Ajax Stacks, Earth Radio, Roosevelt Diggs and Billy Strings (the musicians’ pick by Stone Soup and the Broken Teeth).
PODCAST: Local Spins on WYCE (12/20/19)
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