Want to ask one of our artists anything in order to gain a deep meaningful insight to their art? Find out their favorite album? Whatever you'd like?
Dr. Bloodshot is here to help, inform, answer, entertain and, perhaps even, enlighten.
Send us your question and we'll pass it along to whatever staffer, artist, or UPS carrier you'd like and we'll see what happens! Or maybe Dr. Bloodshot will answer it himself. He is omniscient after all.
Regardless of political affiliation, beyond policy differences, the time surrounding the inauguration of a new president is (or should be) one of marvel. There is the sheer improbability, from the long view historical perspective, of the peaceful transfer of power, of the respect for the democratic process; there is, in all of us, a hope for the country coming together, if even only for a few days, for the sake of the truly unique experiment that is America. Speeches are made that highlight what we have in common, rather than what separates us. There are calls to summon the best in ourselves, in our communities, to reach out to others who might disagree with us, all in the name of this enterprise.
However, this time around, on New Year’s Eve, the president-elect chose to call those who didn’t vote for him “haters” and “losers.” As weeks passed, the media became “the enemy.” Norms of civility and respect were being tossed out the window. Never has an incoming president lashed out in such a way right from the start. Divide, not unite; accuse, not reach out. It was profoundly disturbing and saddening to me.
And, all too quickly, the madness escalated. On Day One, regarding the size of crowd in DC for Inauguration Day, the Orwellian neologism “Alternative Facts” was coined by a White House spokesperson. My sadness turned to a deep dread. On Twitter, Kim Docter (from Moonshine Willy), an old friend and one of the first artists on Bloodshot, tweeted “I used to play alternative country, and I now I live in one” and I thought….”Hmmm, let’s riff on this.” Our resident designer Justin Hertner got to work on a number of artistic interpretations, and we landed on the design you now see (which, for the folks who exist in the likely narrow cross-section of the Venn diagram, was inspired by the iconography of the Jordan 20 sneaker).
Rather than give in to despair, we wondered what we could do to tap into people’s desire to counterbalance this disorienting and unheard of wave of divisive speech and action. We didn’t want to be overt, aggressive or insulting. It was just a tongue-in-cheek expression of concern for a world where objective reality appears to be dying—or unnecessary—or inconvenient. It touched a nerve, and here we are.
Yes, the artists have total control over their fancy vinyl colors. We send them the options available from the pressing plant and let their imaginations run wild. Sometimes they ask for input from the designer to make the whole package come together in an aesthetic buffet of delight. Sometimes they just pick one that looks cool on its own.
You may not know me but I feel like we are old friends. Turns out, I think a lot of people in Richmond, Virginia feel that way about the artists at Bloodshot Records.
Have you ever been to Richmond? Heard about us? Fun fact: We are awesome and can raise hell with the best of 'em. So, naturally the next question is - Why won't Bloodshot show us some love and send their artists our way?
Maybe your scared we will run out of bourbon. Good news! We have some pretty rad bars and few distilleries too. Play your cards right and we will show you the best places on the river to put a few back.
We know that the Banditos have some friends from Nashville around here and we would love to have them back. Sarah Shook can come and stay forever. While we are at it, just send the whole damn label here.
Hope to see y'all soon
Thanks for your liquor-centric civic booster-ism. Such inside skinny is always appreciated. Dr Bloodshot and his minions HATE to find themselves choking down a watery vodka tonic at the Applebee’s by the offramp. And those Bloomin’ Onions….blech. Or is that Outback? Can’t keep it all straight. Is there a difference?
Regardless, we love Richmond! It’s one of the cool burgeoning scenes in the Southeast. We frequently have folks rolling through there—maybe not as much as you’d like---but still… Perhaps you are not signed up on our mailing list? We’ll deliver a crisp new postcard to your doorstep any time someone ventures your way.
Or check our Tour/Events page that is sortable by city.
Fun fact: Bloodshot’s first full length album, Moonshine Willy’s Pecadores was recorded and produced by Cracker’s David Lowery at Sound of Music Studio in Richmond. Much after hours tomfoolery was had, but we don’t remember any specifics.
How many clear vinyl LPs were pressed for Barrence Whitfield's Soul Flowers of Titan?
It’s funny how many Freakwater songs have more than one title. The song Gone To Stay is always written as Heartache/Death on a set lists. The Allegory Of The Cave was the working title for Fullerene. Don’t know exactly why we though naming a song after a carbon molecule named after Buckminster Fuller was less pretentious than naming a song after some Platonic philosophical theory. Hmmmm. I liked having a literal reference to carbon in the title -- the song being kind of about earthly carbon based life. But now I’m thinking maybe it was wrong to change it since the song does refer fairly directly to The Allegory Of The Cave. Oh well. What does it matter? It don’t matter. Ha. Either way it’s a right deranged little song. Thank you so very much for writing.
Best wishes for a less traumatic 2018.
Hello there! Sorry to hear you're having trouble. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for any issues with digital downloads. We hope you're responsibly enjoying your beer yellow vinyl.
You, sir, are in luck!!!
Recently, Alejandro his own self asked us to get it back into print. People are asking him for it on tour. And when Alejandro asks us to do something, we damn well get on it.
The wheels and presses are all in motion. While we HOPE to have them by end of November, who knows? All those messed up Beyonce records need to be re-done, and, hard as it may be to comprehend, she carries more clout than we or Alejandro ever will. Indeed, life is unfair.
We will keep you abreast of the situation as it develops, but this record WILL find its way into hands in the near future.
I uploaded a Bloodshot song to YouTube and it was removed. Why isn’t Bloodshot’s entire catalog on YouTube?
As you may have seen here, we support paid music streaming services, but we realize that independent artists and labels cannot survive on streaming income alone. The issue here is that YouTube pays far less in royalties than all other streaming services (yes, even less than fractions of pennies per play). In fact, YouTube royalties barely ever even make it into the pockets of songwriters - the system is immensely complicated.
We do have several promotional songs for each artist on our YouTube Channel, including some far out music videos; there’s no question of its promotional power. But it doesn’t make sense for us to upload entire albums when there are other ways for fans to listen that better support the artist. If you intend to stream our music, we recommend that you use TIDAL, Spotify, Apple, or another service that has a better track record of paying artists and labels. And even further, we recommend that after you stream the music a few times, buy an LP or a CD or t-shirt or a ticket to a show. That’s what will truly keep our artists in the studio and on the road for your enjoyment.
Being in a band is hard, HARD work. The travel, the nights away from real, paying jobs. After a while, the grind outweighs the joy. Both bands put a lot of miles on their tattered vans (or in MW's case, the much beloved "Willy-bago.") While neither band necessarily expected to become famous—their music was far too interesting to be mainstream—the lack of opportuniies to come home from tour and not be broke took their toll. Bands like them exist on a razor thin edge of viability. Thus we are deprived of the music they made. And they say piracy is a victimless crime....
Moonshine Willy, in part, fled Chicago to Santa Cruz CA to raise their oddball and charming brood. We hear stories of singer Kim Luke announcing Roller Derby matches. Trailer Bride disappeared back into the mossy forests and bogs of North Carolina from whence they came. Lead singer/guitarist Melissa Swingle formed the Moaners and now plays around Chapel Hill now and again.
We miss them both and urge you to wander through their catalogs.
Here's a kickstart...
Moonshine Willy's catchy-as-all-hell "Turn the Lights Down Low"
Trailer Bride's apocalypse at the Crossroads throw down "Skinny White Girl"
Dear Concerned Yawper Acolyte,
Nate from Yawpers says a lot of things. How much stock you put into the oracular pronouncements of soothsayers like Nate, Nostradamus, Joan Quigley (Nancy Reagan's astrologer) or Pythia, the Priestess of Apollo at Delphi—is strictly a personal affair. Who is Dr Bloodshot to dismiss the mystical worlds beyond our usual perceptional planes?
However, we CAN tell you that the music has been finished, the able technicians at our pressing plant are, as I write this, carving LP test pressings out of enormous blocks of virgin, old-growth vinyl, and that we are excitedly looking forward to a general timeline of late summer/early fall for full-on Yawper-mania.
As a newer firewater fan I feel I'm at a disadvantage because the only vinyl record I can find is international orange (which I already own). I have looked everywhere I can possibly think of and they are " nowhere to be found"
Could you find it in your cold black hearts to reprint any albums?
You are in luck! Checkered Past records (operated by former longtime Bloodshotter Scott Schaefer is re-issuing the Firewater catalog on vinyl over the next year. First out of the gate is “Get Off The Cross” due in April. After that, he is planning on “Psychopharmacology” and “Man on the Burning Tightrope.” These have never been released on vinyl before.
We will, of course, be carrying them on our site and will keep the world posted on their arrival.
In the meantime, we suggest having a good, LOUD listen to “Hey, Clown.” It’s an angry and all-too-relevant song, but with a sound that will get you out of your seat. It’s like an end-of-world party hora.
Mr. Rhythm will indeed be happy to hear your kind words. As coincidence would have it, Dr Bloodshot, Sally Timms, Jon Langford and some of the Bloodshot staff saw Andre last night! We belatedly celebrated his 80th birthday. As you may know, Andre suffered a few medical problems last year and has been hard at work re-habbing to get back his fighting form. He performed ON his birthday (Nov 1st) for a song and is eager for more. The man is a force of nature and is itchy itchy itchy to get back out there for you.
We will keep you updated.
In the meantime....enjoy...
A thought experiment: What if you saw Lydia Loveless in, say, Lincoln NE or Council Bluffs IA? Would you STILL be a middle-aged suburban woman with two kids? OR might you now be a 23 year international jewel thief having a night on the town with a younger version of Clive Owen--dressed in an impeccably tailored Armani soft model Windowpane suit? Navy blue, naturellement.
Perhaps if you ventured to Kansas City to see the Yawpers, you might find yourself transformed into a world renowned Alpinist, fresh from an oxygen tank-free ascent of K2 (North Ridge, suiting your danger seeking personality). In between sets, you'd be regaling a rapturous circle of adoring acquaintances with your tales of defying death in the thin air---all the while treating them to absinthe expertly poured over a sugar cube resting on a hand tooled spoon presented to you by a Nepalese sadhu.
While Dr. Bloodshot certainly cannot guarantee such alternate realities, he does believe in their theoretical existence. Like one where the MC5 gets into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Journey does not.
Ask Lydia's booking agent Matt! email@example.com
The ever diligent Mark is correct on the "Stryper" point.
Maybe it was sitting in the rafter seats with all that reefer smoke, or maybe it was the subsequent 30 years of late nights and the ol' brain pan has a lot of gunk in it, or maybe Rob tried to shut the whole incident from his memory banks.
After spending more time rummaging around the dingy boxes in the corners of the internet than the set itself probably lasted, Rob determined it was not "Stryper," but rather "Spider" that opened the night. Furthermore, the show wasn't even at Cobo Hall, but the about-to-be-demolished Joe Louis Arena.
Curse those brain cells! He stands humbly corrected.
Here is a little taste of Spider.
Curious side note: the drummer was Anton Fig, soon-to-be famous (to Rob, at least) drummer of David Letterman's house band. It was a show that had more than little influence on the budding cynic and future label weasel.
His opinion that "Clones" is an underrated song in the Cooper canon remains unchanged.
Much like keeping a label in business, keeping a vintage racing car on the road is a full time job. Also, much running a label, the hours needed FAR frequently exceed any sort of financial remunerations. With that bummer reality, Scott—the owner and driver, felt that silly things like keeping a roof over his family's head and paying for his daughter's education outweighed the thrill of the weekend racing.
Orthodontist? Or Viper Chrome Hairpins?
Family vacation? Or Complete I-Beam front end assembly?
We know. Priorities.
Anyway, hopefully Bloodshot (and Scott) will find a way to re-enter the racing game.
Perhaps, one day, we'll race in the Outhouse Classic!
If Jon Langford was god, Dr. Bloodshot would assume that the MC5 would have made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and not Journey.
In fact, this vote (oh, so many votes gone awry lately) may be a Nietzschean affirmation of the death of God himself.
Hi Paul - We know you Brits love those Bottle Rockets! And rightfully so! The UK knows its straight-ahead, no-frills rock-n-roll. Unfortunately, there's not much outlook on that. Frontman Brian doesn't fly, so they'd need to spend a couple weeks on a boat to make it there. BRox have been to Europe before, so we're not counting it out, but we haven't seen it in the short-term plans.
Back in the spring, we were jubilant that we were finally able to get the landmark Wreck Your Life album out on vinyl LP. Our giddiness got us ahead of ourselves, though. If you don't know already, manufacturing LPs is a tricky, painstaking and sometimes infuriating process. We THOUGHT we were close, so we announced the album. Alas, gremlins got involved and mucked it all up. To complicate things, the 97's were on a lengthy summer tour, faraway from their own trusted turntables, and could not approve further batches of test pressings.
I am happy to say, though, that all is well and the records are in our hot little hands and will be available in stores November 18th! And they'll be shipping out to our web customers that week!
After 4 pretty outstanding records in under 7 years, innumerable line up changes, tens of thousands of miles on the road, some personal upheavals, and the inability of the music loving public to really GET how awesome their albums are (geez, I guess people would rather listen to the same three Black Crowes songs in perpetuity), lead 'Stringer Kurt decided he needed some down time to regather his mojo. It ain't easy out there.
We hope he finds it.
In the meantime, check out the killer title track from Sao Paulo:
Ah, the NYC/Brooklyn CMJ parties we used to have every fall... Starting on the Lower East Side at Brownie’s—grilling burgers in the back alley with Roscoe Ambel and Jeremy Tepper, then moving across the East River to the then wild and netherparts of Brooklyn at Union Pool.
Dang, those were fun. Why didn’t we take any pictures? (Seriously! Does anyone have any? We can’t remember much).
All kinds of great moments happened. Ryan Adams’ Heartbreaker debut set, the line down the block to see the Old 97's at our first venture outside the city of Chicago, The Meat Purveyors’ last show, all KINDS of Waco Brothers tomfoolery. The 3 am slices of Ray’s, the 4am nightcaps at Montero’s or the Lakeside Lounge. Once, I went to Katz’s for a pastrami sandwich, ate half, put the other half in my pocket, worked our Mercury Lounge showcase, went to a bar on Avenue C with members of the Yayhoos and got quite crocked. I fishtailed my way back to a friend’s apartment where I was staying in Peter Stuy Village and passed out, only to be awoken by her cats trying to pull the precious pastrami leftovers out of my pocket. Stupid cats.
Oh right, back to the question, will there ever be more BS parties in NYC…?
I would like to say YES YES YES! But, things are very different now. Prices for accommodations have gone through the roof. Just ask, well, ANYONE or ANY business. Gone are the cheap flophouses in the Village. And Brooklyn, oy, what was once a vast and cheap wasteland is now full of marionberry infused vodka cocktail bars and high end beard trimmery spas. Furthermore, we used to make up some of the difference by selling loads of merchandise at the shows. Sadly, technology and a culture of devalued creative works have changed that equation. Thus, higher costs to put on the show – less merch money at the show = a big, dumb business decision to do such a thing anymore, as much as we loved them. Don’t get me wrong, those shows never MADE money, but the last 2 or 3 lost an alarming amount.
That said, I recently had a conversation with Red Hook looney and restaurant owner who is CONVINCED he can pull together some sponsors to reboot the party, so stay tuned in 2017. Keep your fingers, ears and liver crossed. BSNYC next year!
Our gold record machine is in the shop. Waiting on a part from Austria…
…and we’re waiting for about 415,000 more people to have the good sense to buy it.
[Jon Wurster played percussion on the album]
A Megazord or Voltron sort of being made up of Scott H. Biram, Lydia Loveless, Cory Branan, Barrence Whitfield, and Bobby Bare Jr.
Alice Cooper/Joe Perry Project/Stryper at Cobo Hall. Detroit.1980.
We were in the nosebleed seats at famed Cobo Hall on the "Flush the Fashion" tour. The Dude sweat, the reefer, the stale, warm beer. All these smells were new to me. A friend and I were staying with his swingin' divorced dad at a riverfront apartment.
Stryper wore yellow and black striped (get it?) leather unitards and were quite awful, even to my curious 14 yr old ears.
During Joe "Let the Music Do The Talkin'" Perry's set, the previously inert scrawny burnout behind me sat up and let forth a puke torrent of Monty Python proportions. I took the brunt of it. I had to go spend all my food money for the next day on a concert t-shirt and toweled off in the rather disgusting bathroom. By the time I got back to my seat, pukedude was passed out again.
When Alice came out, he wasn't all biker toughness or whatever. Rather, he was a bit too "new-wavey" and S&M for the denizens of Detroit Rock City, apparently. I suppose it was a new direction for him (hey, I was new to all this----I just thought the single "Clones" was really cool and way better than all that Kansas and Styx shit ruling the airwaves). Lots of "you sucks" and "faggot" were hurled from the rafters, adding to my confusion. Why would you hate someone you paid to come see?
By the second act, when he was busting out "Under My Wheels" and "Billion Dollar Baby" he had the meathead contingent back in his corner.
When Alice finished the house lights came up and the crowd roared, pukedude woke up, stood up, raised his fist and yelled "YEEEAAHHHHHH!"
Hurray for the transformative power of Rock and Roll.
Well, the real answer is ‘cause it’s always hot up there [on stage]. But now that I’ve done it for a while, it’s just what’s most comfortable. Gotta let them dogs bark!