Red Jacket Mine | Lovers Lookout

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Lovers Lookout

by Red Jacket Mine

Cut live to two-inch tape with producer/contributor Ken Stringfellow, RJM's sophomore album explores snotty bash & pop, Hi Records soul, and smoky balladry with equal fervor. Also features contributions from Ian Moore and violist Eyvind Kang.
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Stay Golden
4:35 album only
2. So Long, Radiant Flower
3:41 album only
3. Childish Things
3:46 album only
4. Such An Easy Thing
4:35 album only
5. The Pose
3:28 album only
6. Deseret News
5:22 album only
7. Apricot Moon
4:29 album only
8. Showponies
3:23 album only
9. Nightcrawler
4:43 album only
10. Fascinated
3:55 album only


Album Notes
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Seattle band Red Jacket Mine -- comprised of singer/songwriter Lincoln Barr, guitar/pedal steel whiz Patrick Porter (who also fronts local rockers Explone, and has played in a host of Seattle bands, including Crystal Radio and the Bourbonites), bassist Ryan Chapman, and drummer Andy Salzman -- has spent the last three years honing its craft on stages throughout the Northwest, and it shows.

On the heels of their ornate, ambitious debut, Hello, Old Cloud, which garnered positive reviews and medium rotation on Seattle's standard-bearing independent radio station KEXP (with seven of the album's eleven songs receiving airplay), the band now stands poised to release its sophomore disc, Lovers Lookout, in October 2009.

Cut live to two-inch tape with minimal overdubs at Seattle's Soundhouse Recording with producer/contributor Ken Stringfellow (The Posies/Big Star/The Disciplines), Lovers Lookout is a work entirely more immediate and accessible than its predecessor. Touching on Hi Records soul ("Such an Easy Thing"), bracing guitar rock ("Childish Things"), snotty bash & pop ("The Pose"), and smoky balladry ("Fascinated"), the album finds Hello, Old Cloud's often delicate, restrained tenor supplanted by a newfound passion and confidence.

“We set up in the studio just like we play live,” Barr says. “Since making the first album, we’d become a band, and I wanted to capture that without any kid-in-a-candy-store studio artifice getting in the way.”

On their increasingly-rare decision to record to tape, Barr says, “It’s certainly getting to be prohibitively expensive. We could only afford four reels — just enough for an album, really. I kind of felt like, if we wanted to make a record on tape, this could be our last chance. So we went for it, and it was absolutely the right decision. It simplified the process in the best possible way. ‘Is this the take? Because we can only keep one.’ It either is or isn’t. If it feels good, let’s go with it. If not, let’s play it again.”

As on Hello, Old Cloud, Eyvind Kang contributes several characteristically-brilliant string arrangements, but this time around, Kang's contributions favor in-the-moment spontaneity over graceful composure. Nowhere is this more evident than on the hazy esoterica of "Apricot Moon," where Kang's viola wrestles fellow guest Ian Moore's angular, Tom Verlaine-meets-Hubert Sumlin guitar for dominance, consummating in a glorious cacophony of wood and wire. Moore also lends his signature keening falsetto to this track, providing Lovers Lookout with one of its most haunting moments.

With a knockout record in the can and an incendiary live show to back it up, Red Jacket Mine appear destined for the breakthrough their growing number of fans have expected all along. Beyond that, there's no dramatic story of tragedy and triumph. The fellows in Red Jacket Mine are reasonably content, and why shouldn't they be? The story is the music. And the music is good.

Advance Praise for Lovers Lookout

“Red Jacket Mine is the real thing...this record, played 100% live in the studio, brilliantly displays how they have every detail of their western desert-lonesome sound, and their evocative lyrics under the command of a powerful vision, which they see through to a gorgeous, glorious conclusion...bleak biblical allusions and dripping-warm Motown love declarations coexist in Red Jacket Mine's peculiar Eden.”
--- Ken Stringfellow, Lovers Lookout producer, singer/songwriter (The Posies/Big Star/The Disciplines)

“The unassuming pop of Red Jacket Mine is a refreshing reminder that talented musicians continue to make wonderful albums. Lovers Lookout is likely my favorite “new” album since Midlake’s Trials of Van Occupanther. In a perfect world, Red Jacket Mine would be on top of the charts, but fuck the charts and the radio and the critics. Make the world that you want—and for me, that world includes Lovers Lookout in heavy rotation, particularly when friends stop by for a cold drink.”
--- Edward Burch, musical curmudgeon & singer/songwriter (Bennett & Burch/Kennett Brothers)

"It’s as if Joe Pernice joined Centro-matic and we are all better for the union.”
--- Ben London, singer/songwriter (Burning Rivers/Sanford Arms)



to write a review


recent review from Fred Mills at Blurt Online (
(8 out of 10 stars!)

The Northwest’s gonna rise again. Though Seattle and the NW region in general no longer generates the same level of excitement it sustained for a good while in the aftermath of the Nirvana goldrush – the Internet, with all its unfolding egalitarianism, ensured that practically any regional scene could enjoy its fifteen minutes or more, A&R hysteria and press hype be damned – there are always little breakthrough moments we indie rock aficionados look (listen) for. One such moment arrives with Seattle’s Red Jacket Mine, whose second full-length is bursting at the digital seams with pristine pop and luminous blue-eyed soul, with hints of psychedelia and Americana lining the seams.

Did someone just mention pop? Right from the get-go, Lovers Lookout is aglow: “Stay Golden” chugs along on a rich bed of guitar jangles and organ hums, while just two songs later, on “Childish Things,” the band builds up a jubilant head of powerpop steam that’ll have you reaching for your dB’s and Big Star (hold that thought) records. On the latter track, guest Eyvind Kang also adds a striking, almost cinematic, string motif. And soul? The band dips a foot into Memphis and Muscle Shoals territory via “Such An Easy Thing,” an organ-driven slice of R&B brimming with passion thanks to songwriter Lincoln Barr’s smooth yet vulnerable warble. Likewise, “Apricot Moon” is a smoky waltztime ballad with soaring vocal harmonies and Kang’s strings again lending an uncommon dramatic heft; another guest, Ian Moore, unleashes some appropriately bluesy guitar licks as well. And everything coalesces wonderfully with “The Pose,” a shimmering, thrumming marriage of Brit-pop and vintage college rock, sophisticated in tone yet with a raw, primal edge.

As produced by Ken Stringfellow, Lovers Lookout has instant cover-sticker cachet – and Posies/Big Star/R.E.M. fans will surely find the four young men of Red Jacket Mine to be kindred spirits – but the bottom line is that these guys have the kind of songs and chops that will weather any level of scrutiny. Come on up for the rising.


recent review from Del Day at Americana UK!
Review: Red Jacket Mine – Lovers Lookout

Americana UK ( – November 10, 2009

by Del Day

Big stars? Maybe.

Out of Seattle here is a quartet who manage to blend a rootsy easy listening sensibility with a dash of early seventies chiming guitar pop. It’s a good marriage and one that looks to still be in the honeymoon period. There is an immediacy to tracks like ‘Childish Things’ and the ever so damn catchy ‘Showponies’ that take very little amount of plays to lodge themselves in that part of the brain marked ‘constant rotation’ (even though at times it reminds me of ‘Rio’ by Duran Duran, weird!). ‘Nightcrawler’ is a thoughtful, imaginative ballad that slowly evolves into a moody, broody epic whilst ‘Apricot Moon’ arguably the standout of what is a pretty solid record, is a wonderfully realised tune that pits viola against guitar to enterprising effect.

The record is produced by Ken Stringfellow whose experience of working with the likes of The Posies and Big Star is clearly evident on Lovers Lookout. Jangling guitars, soaring harmonies, and sharp, precise production is the key here making for a good hearty listen. Add that to a pop awareness and all of a sudden you have a band that, given the exposure, could do pretty well for themselves. What’s not to like?