Todd Hoke | Five Somewhat New Songs by Todd Hoke

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Folk: Singer/Songwriter Country: Americana Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Five Somewhat New Songs by Todd Hoke

by Todd Hoke

Rootsy Bluesy Countryfied Acoustical Musicy Music. Goes well with iced bourbon on a hot night. Or iced bourbon on a chilly night. Todd Hoke's music goes well with iced bourbon. It might also go well with chamomile tea. Give it a try and let us know.
Genre: Folk: Singer/Songwriter
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Copley's El Camino
4:18 $0.99
2. Grandaddy's Daddy
3:16 $0.99
3. The Strippers in Carthage
5:03 $0.99
4. Me and Him
4:23 $0.99
5. Be Their Them
3:37 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Album #5 here, for those keeping tally of such things. Who keeps the tally keeper? We may never know. Anyway—it’s an EP (which means “Extended Play” which means something more than a single but not as much as an “LP” which means “Long Play” and describes a full length album of ten or more songs though you can get away with eight if one of the ten is a really long one like “American Pie” which isn’t really that long but after you’ve had to sing it a few times time seems to stand still). Hrm…what was I saying?

Album #5 here. Mostly new songs. Somewhat new songs, anyhow. This little recording covers a lot of ground: Hammond B-3, friends singing and playing with me, a horn section (yes—again—it was too much fun on Southland to not repeat that action here), and me playing banjo. Specific track by track details are below if you want that level of information. I’m offering this recording only as a download because I think you probably have enough actual physical stuff in your life already (cue George Carlin’s brilliant riffing on our relationship to our stuff).

I recorded this in bits and bites spread out over a couple of years at Chris Gage’s studio—Moonhouse Studio—in South Austin. Chris has had a hand in most of my recordings and always brings good energy and wise counsel to whatever I’m trying to accomplish. He’s also extremely talented and has a great head of hair. Worth noting in these notes that Chris engineered, mixed, AND mastered this thing while I sat on the couch in his studio and read him headlines from The New York Times. (Chris likes it when I read headlines from The New York Times to/at him while he’s trying to work.) Chris also played on every track. Is there anything Chris Gage cannot do? We may never know.

I had hoped that donating 100% of proceeds from the sale(s) of Southland to the good folks at Feeding America would eliminate hunger in these United States, but it did not. So, I will also be donating 100% of proceeds from the sale(s) of Five Somewhat New Songs by Todd Hoke to the good folks at Feeding America in hopes of fewer kids going to bed with empty stomachs. Let me break that down for you: you get some good music and more kids get to go to bed with food in their stomachs. Have you clicked “purchase” yet?

In case you are the sort of person who enjoys detailed details about songs and the recording process, here’s some more informative information…

Track #1: “Copley’s El Camino” is a song about the iconic car that was part truck. Or maybe it’s about the idiosyncratic truck that was part car. Whichever. Both. It’s my first “car song” (finally wrote one years after Car Talk stopped recording—behold the roadmap to my success). The song has me playing guitar and singing and Kevin Hall playing drums and David Carroll playing bass and—my favorite part of the song—Chris Gage playing his Hammond B-3 organ. When we recorded this, we got the rhythm section down and then I went back and did a cleaner guitar and vocal track and Chris asked me if I wanted anything else on the song and I told him I’d like something like a Hammond B-3 to which he replied “How about a Hammond B-3?” Yes, please.

Track #2: “Granddaddy’s Daddy” is about perspective and symbols and racism and socioeconomic inequalities. That’s what I think it’s about today, at least—check back with me tomorrow. I started writing it after the Confederate Flag came down over the South Carolina State House but didn’t really finish it until I got a banjo and learned the 3 chords that you’ll hear me playing on this track. In addition to me and my banjo you’ll hear Chris Gage playing bass and guitar, Rich Brock playing harmonica (in “3rd position,” I think [sharing that in case any harp geeks happen to be reading these words]), Richard Bowden playing some lovely fiddle, and my good good friends Linda McRae and Jefferson Ross singing (they each take a verse and we come together at the very end of the song). Worth noting that we recorded everything except Linda and Jefferson at Moonhouse Studio—we recorded their vocals at Thom Jutz’s studio over near Nashville (Was that the same trip wherein I bought my Martin? Hm. Time is a slippery fish.). I love hearing Jefferson and Linda singing this song and it makes me proud—very—to hear them wrap their voices around my words.

Track #3: “The Strippers in Carthage” was written in the passenger seat as Mrs. Hoke drove us to visit some friends over Nashville way. I was noodling around on my ukulele as we drove along and as we approached the exit for Carthage, Tennessee, we passed a faded billboard for a “gentleman’s club” and seeing that old weathered billboard sent my brain down a trail of wondering how well the entertainers had held up over the seasons. This might be the first song I’ve written that Mrs. Hoke actively disliked for quite a while after I finished it. I think she likes it now—check back with me tomorrow and I’ll let you know. This track has me singing and fingerpicking my guitar and Paul Pearcy drumming and Chris Gage playing bass (some really tasty bass, in fact) and—my favorite part of this song—Peter Keane singing and playing his Gibson. It took a couple of years to get Peter into the studio to do this (because I’m in Austin a couple of times a year at most and Peter has a full and rewarding life beyond playing and singing on one of my little songs). Mrs. Hoke and I used to go hear The Peter Keane Trio as often as we could back when we lived in Austin so I was delighted when Peter agreed to be on this track and was happier still when we were done and I heard the results. His guitar adds just the right amount of tonal sparkle and shimmer to this song and I love how he sings on this. I’m gushing. Sorry. If you’re ever in/around Austin check to see if Peter is playing somewhere—you’ll be glad you did.

Track #4: “Me and Him” took a longer than usual time to write because I had a point I wanted to make about homophobia but after several ham-handed attempts I turned loose of that agenda and wrote a love song (making my point without pointing a finger--I hope that’s what it does, anyhow). I finished this song while I was sitting in the middle of Camp Calm at The Kerrville Folk Festival and my friend Russell Fuselier was the very first human to hear it in its entirety and tell me I’d done a good job. I should get Russell to hang around when I’m trying to finish a song more often. We kept the track pretty clean—you’ll hear me singing and fingerpicking and Chris playing his mandolin and accordion. I’m proud of this song.

Track #5: “Be Their Them” is the raciest thing I’ve written to date and started out because I had read—for the 317th time—some person lamenting folks deploying “there” instead of “their” (or “they’re”). The horror…the horror. Anyway. I lifted a chord progression from Bob Wills (who undoubtedly lifted it from someone else) and set my lyrics on top. I had it mostly done in a day and played it for Mrs. Hoke when she got home from work. “What the hell is that?” she asked. “It’s a love song,” said I. “No. It ain’t,” she replied. “That right there is a lust song.” She’s probably right. Again. I feel compelled to clarify that there is no foul language anywhere in this song but there is some strong innuendo. So: forewarned and such. You’ll hear me singing and fingerpicking and Paul Pearcy playing drums and Chris Gage playing bass and—yes—a horn section. Hooray for horns. All day long: hooray for horns. John Mills plays clarinet, Mike Mordecai plays trombone, and Oliver Steck plays coronet (catch Oliver having some fun in one of the verses—he slips in some “back talk” on his horn that cracked us up when he did it on the fly in a run-through so we made him do it again for the recording).

Okay. That’s all I have to say about this project. I hope you enjoy this recording and that it brings you and yours many many hours of listening pleasure. You will have to play it more than once for that to happen. Thanks.



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