Sunshone Still | Ten Cent American Novels

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Avant Garde: Avant-Americana Rock: Folk Rock Moods: Mood: Intellectual
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Ten Cent American Novels

by Sunshone Still

Cinematic songscape for a lovelorn and bloody western novel.
Genre: Avant Garde: Avant-Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Ten Cent Theme
2:06 $0.99
2. Prologue: Manifest Destiny
4:13 $0.99
3. Chapter 1- The Winning of Waa-ni-Beh
5:36 $0.99
4. Chapter 2- A Time to be Womaned
5:05 $0.99
5. Chapter 3- A Pallet of Buffalo Robes (Widower's Blues)
7:23 $0.99
6. Book II - Taming the West (Ten Cent Theme)
2:16 $0.99
7. Chapter 4- Klamath Lake (It Was a Perfect Butchery)
5:18 $0.99
8. Chapter 5- Se Escapara El Lobo
4:11 $0.99
9. Chapter 6- Waiting for an Audience with James K. Polk
3:26 $0.99
10. Chapter 7- Blood and Thunder (Burn the Damn Thing)
4:12 $0.99
11. Book III - Manuelito (Ten Cent Theme)
2:19 $0.99
12. Chapter 8- Black Weeds' Resistance
4:14 $0.99
13. Chapter 9- The Long Walk (Rope Thrower)
3:54 $0.99
14. Chapter 10- Black Weeds' Submission
2:57 $0.99
15. Chapter 11- Blue Bead
3:33 $0.99
16. Epilogue: Doctor, Compadre, Adios! (A Pallet of Buffalo Robes)
3:17 $0.99
17. Ten Cent Theme Outro
2:21 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Sunshone Still* is the musical nom de plume for Chris Smith, a Nashville native now living in Columbia, SC. Since the 2005 debut release of Dead Letters, Chris was featured on the NPR program, All Songs Considered: Open Mic, placed songs on the 2006 PBS series, Roadtrip Nation, appeared on the compilation disc, The United State of Americana, Vol 3. No Depression went so far as to call Dead Letters an, "...impressive debut...a sound that reflects the work of artists such as Tom Waits, Elliott Smith, and Nick Drake."

Now, Sunshone Still returns with an ambitious 17-track concept album titled Ten Cent American Novels on Potato Eater Records. Inspired by Hampton Sides’ non-fiction book, Blood and Thunder, this historical character study centers around Manifest Destiny and the complex life of Kit Carson: his beautiful Arapaho Indian wife, his heroic trapping and scouting days, his brave military service, and his ruthless part in rounding up the Navajo Indians for the fatal Long Walk. Written in the form of a novel (complete with prologue, chapters, and epilogue), the big ideas are expressed with big, eclectic musical ideas and arrangements – horns, strings, bells, organ and more. Contrastingly, the story’s denouement is expressed in a quiet, sunset-on-the-open-range style – acoustic guitar leading the way.

*And I was green, greener than the hill
Where flowers grew and the sun shone still
Now Im darker than the deepest sea
Just hand me down, give me a place to be
-from Nick Drakes "Place to Be"



to write a review

The State Newspaper

"...ingenious in its delivery and substance..."
"...the audacious new ingenious in its delivery and fully understand and engage the impeccable details, the album must be heard to completion. But like Smith's previous record, 2005's "Dead Letters," there are some stunning songs that require replay...It might be titled "Ten Cent Novels" but this story - a creation as boundless as venturing into the West once was - is priceless."
- Otis Taylor, The State, Oct 12, 2007

Charlotte Observer

4 STARS = Excellent
"...Although "Novels" fits under the ever-expanding Americana banner, it is as adventurous as Carson himself. Horn blasts seem to signal westward expansion. Others, like a gentle "Save Me" chorus, contain smart pop sensibilities. Others exude jazzy freedom. Still, it's the kind of album you absorb sitting in the dark while sipping whiskey. You really have to listen to appreciate the nuances and storytelling..." - Courtney Devores, Charlotte Observer

Creative Loafing

"'s no stretch calling it marvelous..."
"The Columbia-based songwriter – aka, Chris Smith – delivers a 17-song concept album/character study of frontiersman Kit Carson, and it's no stretch calling it marvelous. Ten Cent American Novels will be lumped into the alt-country bin, but as a horde of guest musicians attests, there's much more going on here. Smith's tight, sparse narratives about Carson's life – a conflicted character at the knife-tip of Manifest Destiny – are infused with a cinematic high-and-lonesome feel or frontier town swagger. He sings like Nick Drake, and has assembled a Sufjan Stevens-like band – horns, reeds, strings – that pushes the narrow borders of twang into new territories." - John Schacht, Creative Loafing

Free Times

", cinematic songscape..."
"...Novels is yet another heartbreaking work of staggering genius from Smith, equal parts sweeping documentary and smart, cinematic songscape..."