We’ve had some nice reviews and features come in over the last few weeks:
Detroit Metro Times
A lot can happen in five years. Children go from being born to being dropped off for their first day of school. Countries are invaded. Even presidents can come and go. A lot can happen. It’s been that long since American Mars released its last album, No City Fun — and that’s long enough for the elegant, trend-defying Detroit roots rockers to have survived some hefty changes. –Read more here.
This is a dynamic and studied work from Detroit-based American Mars with first rate songs from the band and exceptional production from multi-instrumentalist David Feeny. Cinematic soundscapes such as “Long Walk Home” and “Better Angels” feature lush pedal steel and mix it up with an alt rock guitar style that reminds one of the Cure. Sort of alt.country shoe-gazers Cowboy Junkies meet alt.brit shoe-gazers my Bloody Valentine, with intriguing effect. “Democracity” rocks out in a David Bowie/Lou Reed fashion while “Marionette” is a classic folk rockish cautionary tale. The jacket with this CD offers sincere thanks for finding this “endangered species of recorded music” but besides the musician’s gratitude the reward is in the listening.—Michael Meehan
Real Detroit Weekly
One of last year’s albums that’s really grown on me since its release is Bruce Springsteen’s Magic, quite the stellar comeback tour de force from the Jersey blue collar vet. The third release from Dearborn cowboys American Mars lassos the open range ramble of Magic with the vocals of Thomas Trimble, who crosses between Tom Petty and HOWL-era Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Feeny’s stellar pedal steel and Trimble’s weathered blues on “Long Walk Home,” hit the heart like a thunderbolt, because this is a band that has seen their own struggles, and while The Boss was born to run, American Mars stampedes through Detroit’s rich folk pastures. –Thomas Matich
Detroit Free Press
The up-and-down journey of experimental indie roots-folk band American Mars could fill an episode of VH1’s “Behind the Music.” Numerous lineup changes, family and career challenges, and a frightening cancer diagnosis almost made the band nothing more than a fond Detroit memory. But over the last couple of years, under the leadership of singer-songwriter Thomas Trimble, the members rallied and began new sessions of writing and recording. Now the Americana rockers are revitalized and set to drop a new full-length CD, Western Sides (Gangplank Records)–Read more here.
Western Sides, American Mars’ first release in 4 over years, is now available for purchase. The record is available from these fine outlets.
1) Miles of Music-highly regarded retail website dedicated to Americana, roots, and folk music. Available here.
3) Gangplank Records-home to American Mars, Blanche, and Sunshine Doray.
AS A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD
2) The band’s own SNOCAP store found on our myspace page here.
BRICK AND MORTAR
For friends who still have a local record shop, Western Sides is available throughout the US via Carrot Top Distribution. If your local shop doesn’t have the record, ask them to order it for you. Folks in the Detroit area can find the record in most independent record shops.
Our Detroit record release party is Friday, February 1 at the Magic Stick (see below). You don’t need an invitation-just come!
Happy New Year! The official countown to the release of Western Sides has begun and we’ve got updates.
#1- We are pleased to announce that our release party will be held on Friday, February 1 at the Magic Stick here in Detroit. For the evening, we’ll be transforming the Magic Stick into a Traveling Desert Roadshow, replete with big top, cotton candy, and mind-bending peformances from special guests Friendly Foes, Darling Imperial, and Blanche’s Dan John Miller. Here are the details:
93.9fm The River Presents
CD Release Party for Western Sides
Friday, February 1
The Magic Stick
4140 Woodward Ave.-Detroit
with very special guests Friendly Foes, Darling Imperial, and Dan John Miller
#2-Tomorrow, January 10, the band will be at WHFR-89.3 fm, to perform songs from Western Sides and to talk about the record and release party. The band will be on from 5-6pm on the Motor Live Drive Program.
#3-“Long Walk Home” contines to get spins on The River, 93.9fm, here in the Detroit/Windsor area and we’re thrilled The River will be helping to sponsor our release party. Thanks to all of you who have called in to request the song. We can get all the help, however, so if you’re inclined please consider calling or emailing the station to request the song. From the Detroit area, call 313.298.7094. From Windsor, call 519.792.6040. You can also email The River by clicking here.
That’s it for now. We’ll have another update next week, including information on where folks can buy Western Sides and hopefully some information about additional shows.
Just in time for the holidays, we’re proud to release a new song, “The Little Baby Jesus,” available below as a free download. It’s an old-timey Christmas song for a new century. You can also listen and download the song at our myspace page here.
The Little Baby Jesus (mp3)
The Little Baby Jesus
There’s a family on the road headed back to their hometown
The governor signed a law that shut the border down
In the back seat there’s a baby with a carseat for a bed
She’s the little baby Jesus , no place to lay her head
A farmer in a field that his family used to till
It fed five generations and paid their doctor bills
The bank closed on the farm; he might as well be dead
Like the little baby Jesus, no place to lay his head
Christmas is a time to remember, when hope, faith and justice surrendered
Christmas is a time to believe, love is more than you receive
Love is more than you receive
The king got in his head it would be good to start a war
But the war kept gettin’ bigger ’til it came knockin’ at his door
His senators and counselors, well they all turned and fled
Now he’s the little baby Jesus, no place to lay his head
Have a Merry Christmas and a peaceful new year
And don’t forget that a baby can break the land of fear
And when you’re on the road may you find shelter from the storm
We’re all the little baby Jesus, just waiting to be born
The song is also available on the compilation Holiday Hootenany, sales of which benefit Detroit’s Capuchin Soup Kitchen. Find out more here.
The Holidays are here! While AmericanMars.com counts down the days to the release of Western Sides on January 15, we’re pleased to announce two special shows coming up in the Detroit area.
The first is this Saturday, December 1 as American Mars will play two sets at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) as part of Detroit’s annual Noel Night celebration. If you live in the Detroit area and you’ve never been to Noel Night, you owe it to yourself to come to Midtown Saturday night. Many, if not all, of the area’s galleries, museums, and shops will be open all evening for visitors to stroll about in the wintry Detroit air. There’s roasted chestnuts, hot cocoa, caroling, horse-drawn carriage rides, tons of art and hand-made crafts, and great live performances. AM will play two sets at MOCAD, one at 6pm and another at 8. Click here for more info.
The next show, and the last of 2007 for American Mars, is the 6th annual Detroit Sounds and Spirits Holiday Spectacular curated by our own David Feeny. This year’s show is on Friday, December 21 at the Magic Stick in Detroit. The Spectacular has come a long way from the first sold out show at Detroit’s C-Pop Gallery, made famous by Jack White’s legendary appearance and (ahem) AM’s duet with Sunshine Doray on The Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York.” In addition to AM, this year’s show promises to be another razor ride in the snow featuring performances by The Hard Lessons, The Go, Great Lakes Myth Society, plus tons more of Detroit’s finest rock bands. Music starts promptly at 10pm and all proceeds go to benefit the Detroit Coalition on Temporary Shelter (COTS) which is a great organization that works to provide food, shelter and hope to the homeless and working poor of Detroit. Click here for ticket info and directions.
We’d love to see some friendly faces so come on out and say hi. If we miss you, please accept our best wishes this season. May it bring you peace.
Welcome to the newly designed AmericanMars.com! Even though Western Sides will not be officially released until Januay 15, visitors can now listen to the new record in its entirety.
On the video page, check out the brand new clip for the song Better Angels, directed by Rodney McLaughlin at Nervous Films. While you’re there, check out clips for Long Walk Home and a promotional trailer for Western Sides, both directed by Joel Boyea.
Over the next several weeks, we’ll be posting updates on the record’s release, along with new music, press clips, and tour information. In the meantime, feel free to send us some email to let us know what you think about the new site and the record. To get updates as they happen, please join our mailing list or sign-up for an RSS feed.
Thanks for sticking with us. Hope to see you all soon.
Thanks to everyone who’s come out to see our last few shows. We had a great time opening for the Avett Brothers at the beautiful Crofoot in Pontiac, MI this past week and it was great to see so many folks come out on a Tuesday night. Crofoot is an amazing new venue with lots of places to get lost in and it has three great sounding music rooms. Check it out here.
Another belated thank-you to those folks who made it out to see us with Richard Buckner and the Six Parts Seven a few months ago. It was a great night of music and it was an honor to meet one of our musical heroes in Mr. Buckner, who could not have more gracious and inspiring.
We are very pleased to announce that our third full-length LP, Western Sides, will be released in the US on January 15 on Gangplank Records (more on the label soon). Recorded in Thailand, Brussels, Dublin, and Ferndale, it has been almost three years in the making and we are proud to finally get it out into the world. More info is on the way so please stay tuned.
AM will be opening for the Avett Brothers this Tuesday, October 9 at the Eagle Theater in Pontiac, MI. The Eagle Theater is part of the newly christened Crofoot Bar. Doors are at 8pm and tix are $15.
American Mars supports Merge Recording artist and personal fave Richard Buckner, next Thursday, July 26, at Detroit’s Magic Stick. Also performing is Cleveland’s Six Parts Seven who we have played with before here in Detroit. Doors are at 8pm and I think AM will play pretty close to 9pm. Tix available through Ticketmaster or at the door. Should be good!
AM also plays this Saturday, July 21 at the Elbow Room in Ypsilanti, MI. Also appearing: Mike Boyd, Eugene and Rusty, and Northern Whiskey Syndicate. Music starts at 10 o’clock and cover is only $5.
As many of you know, Blanche (featuring our own dear David Feeny) is currently in Europe promoting its new record, Little Amber Bottles. So it was with considerable concern that we watched the news over the last few days of the attempted attacks in London and Glasgow. It was good to find out that no one except the attackers were hurt (hard to muster too much sympathy) and thankful that all our friends and family in Europe are ok. Our brothers and sisters in Blanche are on their way home tomorrow and it will be good to have them home.