When Cousins Marry | Shotgun Wedding

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Rock: Southern Rock Blues: Blues-Rock Moods: Mood: Quirky
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Shotgun Wedding

by When Cousins Marry

Thirteen original songs ranging from rock to country, blues, and beyond.
Genre: Rock: Southern Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Shotgun Wedding
3:44 FREE
2. S.O.S.
4:02 $0.99
3. Cruise Control
4:31 $0.99
4. Night To Remember
5:10 $0.99
5. I Don't Wear Gucci Suits
5:10 $0.99
6. Just Like New York City
4:36 FREE
7. One More Night
4:34 $0.99
8. Friendly Fire
3:56 $0.99
9. Another Level
3:43 $0.99
10. Rock 'n' Rye
4:28 $0.99
11. Bad Side Of Your Love
4:07 $0.99
12. Swing That Possum
3:23 $0.99
13. Quiero Mas Dinero
4:36 FREE
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Break out your lava lamp and blacklight posters. We've added "Just Like New York City" to the freebies list. It's a rocking, psychedelic slice of urban impressionism. For a limited time, download it plus "Quiero Mas Dinero (I Want More Money)" and the title track of our CD free at CD Baby.

Is it okay to marry your cousin? Check out the Links page on our Official Website at www.whencousinsmarry.com (or via the link at the bottom of the left nav of this page).

Shotgun Wedding Fan Feedback

"I've been playing 'Quiero Mas Dinero' for the past couple of weeks on my show, The Risky Biscuit Hayseed Hoot, on KTHX-FM in Reno, Nevada. Listeners love it!"—Don Darue, Big Biscuit Broadcasting

"I particularly like 'Cruise Control' and would believe it if someone had said it was a David Byrne song. 'Quiero Mas Dinero' is the best Texas Tornados song that never was."—Rick Koster, New Haven, Connecticut (Author of "Texas Music" and "Louisiana Music")

"A splendid album ... with elegantly written lyrics whose witty paradoxes sometimes seem almost worthy of the Metaphysical Poets."—Carl Freedman, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Author of "Critical Theory and Science Fiction")

"I like the way in many of the songs the various instruments step in and out. I also like that no instrument seems to dominate the music. Very Grateful Deadish."—Dan Malone, Walnut Springs, Texas (Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist)


When Cousins Marry Releases 'Shotgun Wedding' CD

Chapel Hill, N.C. (December 2007)—Perennial local party band When Cousins Marry has released their debut CD, "Shotgun Wedding," featuring 13 original songs that range from rock to country, blues and beyond.

WCM consists of Steve Esthimer, Spence Foscue, Tom Cole, and Jimmy Dickerson, all of the Chapel Hill area, and Charles Blackburn of Raleigh.

WCM began around 1981 as a rock and blues cover band, playing for parties, weddings (no kidding!), political rallies, and assorted Saint Mary's School events in Raleigh. Over the years, many talented local musicians (second cousins) have made guest appearances and jammed with the band.

And all the while the creative juices were simmering, until they finally boiled over in a frothy torrent of original songs that have become a mainstay of the band's live performances. The first 13 are featured on "Shotgun Wedding," which was recorded, mixed, and mastered by John Plymale at Overdub Lane in Durham.

Each Cousin wrote and sang at least one tune for the CD, but all 13 songs are collaborative creations, produced by the band as a whole. It makes for an indescribable wedding of styles. This is what happens ... when cousins marry.

The title song, "Shotgun Wedding" (3:44), tells the classic story—to a crazy calypso beat—of love legalized under duress by parental edict. "S.O.S." (4:02) is a New Orleans warning to sundry mindless sources of aggravation, issued by our long-suffering hero from his new home "around the bend." (It was always in walking distance...)

And if your sorry excuse for a life is on the verge of hurtling full-speed off the freeway, put it on "Cruise Control" (4:31) ... and fuggidaboutit. In the confessional "Night to Remember" (5:10), our protagonist grapples with self-inflicted memory lapses of the alcoholic kind and deeply regrets his many offenses. Not that he recalls any.

The hauntingly beautiful "I Don't Wear Gucci Suits" (5:10) will delight those who actually listen to the lyrics. Yes, it's a song about underwear. More particularly, whether it's clean enough to employ. (A new twist to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle?) "Just Like New York City" (4:36) is a rocking, psychedelic '60s slice of urban impressionism that probably won't go over too big with the Big Apple Chamber of Commerce. But everybody else will dig it.

"One More Night" (4:34) is your typical bluesy boy-meets-girl-meets-backseat tale. That is, until primitive bass and drums turn it into a down-on-my-knees, begging-you-please love call. Return with us to the freaky days of yesteryear with "Friendly Fire" (3:56), a powerful story of lost youth and innocence in the tobacco fields of N.C. and on the battlefields of Vietnam.

"Another Level" (3:43) is about how relationships can wither and die out of boredom, neglect or, as in this case, a rash attempt at intimacy. "Rock 'n' Rye" (4:28) celebrates the salubrious effects of that time-tested childhood remedy for whatever ails you: a little rock candy mixed with rye whiskey.

"Bad Side Of Your Love" (4:07) is a soulful tribute to the gut-wrenching paranoia that seizes all of us when we're in the merciless grip of a "meaningful" relationship. "Swing That Possum" (3:23) is the saga of a backyard wildlife rescue that's sure to energize aerobics classes from Newark to Nome. (No animals were harmed in the making of this song.)

And, best of all, "Quiero Mas Dinero (I Want More Money)" (4:36) is a lively Tex-Mex lament about the inherent inequities of supply-side economics. Available for campaign use by big-spending politicians—for a nominal fee.

When Cousins Marry
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Steve Esthimer: guitar, cornet, vocals
Spence Foscue: drums, percussion, vocals
Charles Blackburn: guitar, vocals
Tom Cole: trombone, harmonica, keyboards, percussion, vocals
Jimmy Dickerson: bass, guitar, vocals

Steve Esthimer
When Steve was in junior high school, the voices of Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, and Leadbelly called to him. They told him to buy a banjo and to proclaim the truth to the folk. Before long, other voices told him to stick a microphone inside his banjo and play rock and roll. He and the band, The Intruders, rocked the Boston suburbs. Later, in high school, the gentler spirit of folk music called Steve to a jug band, The Agrarian Revolt. Steve took up acoustic guitar, mandolin, and later fiddle. In college, Steve taught folk songs to school kids through the YMCA, and he joined jam sessions in front of Carr Building on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. In the 1980s, he finally took up the flaming sword of the musical gods themselves, the electric guitar, and the first generation of Cousins was called together. He strayed for a while in the late 1990s and early 00s with two other bands: Swade and Satin and Remnants. But in the end, it came back down to "family." When Cousins Marry has been his shelter and comfort in life’s storms for twenty-six years. With them he writes songs, performs across North Carolina (though mostly in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill). And, with them, he's answering a call from the "Hook 'em Horns" to learn to play the cornet. Until the voices stop, he’ll continue to proclaim the truth.

Spence Foscue
Spence is a founding member of the band and hails from Kinston, N.C., home of Maceo Parker, Jaime Pressley, and Jimmy Dickerson. Not to overlook his wife, Liz Bryan. Spence got his first set of drumsticks at an early age and sacrificed them to the wrath of his father, who, trying to break them over his knee, cursed his generosity towards his son that past Christmas. Spence beat it out of Kinston in his teens, eventually playing his way into various ensembles from rock and roll cover bands to Latin swing to pit orchestras for local musicals, finally getting his adoption papers stamped by When Cousins Marry. In addition to his tunes on Shotgun Wedding, he has a number of others in the wings, all influenced by his past careers as a part-time gigolo, master jewel thief, vocal coach for Milli Vanilli, and fry cook. Well, fry cook, anyway. He has worked for the past twenty-five or so years in the mental health field. Obviously, this experience has been vital in maintaining his tenure and sanity in the band.

Charles Blackburn
Charles was raised in Henderson, N.C., on jazz and big band music, with a heaping helping of Top 40 hits on WIZS spun by the legendary Milton D. "Red" Burton, among others. Beach music, mostly courtesy of Motown, was all the rage then. But along about 1967, Clapton and Hendrix blew the sand off his Weejuns on the WKIX "Underground" show from Raleigh. Charles has been playing guitar ever since his high school days, when he sent banshee riffs howling through the basement ductwork to torture his parents' ears. He was allowed to live. And went on to college. His day jobs have included stints as a journalist, bookshop owner, and communications officer for a medical center and a scientific research society. Here and there, he jammed with some great musicians around the state, until finally finding a home with The Cousins. Charles lives in Raleigh with his wife and daughter.

Tom Cole
At the age of ten, Tom received his first trombone, a family heirloom purchased second-hand in the Great Depression. Many jazz ensembles, symphony orchestras, musical comedies, and half-time shows later, he was invited by The Cousins to sit in with their garage band. Soon he was promoted from Third to Second Cousin, after promising to bring more beer and not to play so many notes. He struggled for years to create a unique rockabilly horn sound, then gave up and purchased a blues harp, which he learned to play by means of Prof. Harold Hill's "Think System." Later on, he acquired some cheap but noisy percussion instruments and allied with Cousin Spence in his long war against the electric guitars. Lately, Cole has been playing piano, with mixed results. Cole's family of four lives in Carrboro, N.C., and he has no plans to quit his day job.

Jimmy Dickerson
Jimmy is currently on loan to the Cousins from west Raleigh rock outfit RedElbo and has played bass for almost three years and guitar for longer, most notably with such mercifully defunct Triangle bands as The Rude Goobers, The Vipers, and The Combovers. For the past few years, for now, and for the foreseeable future, jd has been, is, and will be a card-carrying Cousin with a capital C, the eleventh in a long line of distinguished bass players to hold the Cousins' bass chair, and possibly the last that need bother to apply, although he has yet to find a suitable fez.



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