Posts Tagged ‘ denison witmer

btv045 Denison Witmer : River Bends

Denison Witmer
“River Bends” (btv045)
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Track listing:
1. Healing Time
2. Los Angeles
3. St. Jude
4. Steven
5. You Got Me Good

Denison Witmer quietly released his debut effort, Safe Away, in early 1998. The album, produced and recorded by The Innocence Mission’s Don Peris, slowly gathered fans to Witmer’s intimate acoustic based songs. The California independent label, Velvet Blue Music, enlisted Witmer to release two songs from Safe Away and three additional tracks as the cdep River Bends in late 1998.

Two of the additional tracks were recorded with Peris, but produced by Witmer himself, and the track, “You Got Me Good”, was recorded to 4-track by Denison. The five tracks on River Bends showcase Witmer’s songwriting talent, spinning lyrics of nostalgia, love, longing, and broken heartedness.

Each of the songs on River Bends remain in the setlist of the many live shows and are continually requested by fans. “Healing Time,” “St. Jude,” and “You Got Me Good” are only available on River Bends and are now available on Burnt Toast Vinyl for the first time since the original issue went out of print. The original version is so often requested that a re-issue was necessary. The new version features a special digipak with embroidered artwork designed by artist Andy Bruntel who also did the artwork for Witmer’s Burnt Toast Vinyl edition of Safe Away.



btv050 Denison Witmer : Philadelphia Songs

Denison Witmer
“Philadelphia Songs” (btv050)
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Track listing:
1 Sets of Keys
2 I Won’t Let You Down
3 24 Turned 25
4 Leaving Philadelphia (Arriving In Seattle)
5 Chestnut Hill
6 Stations
7 I Tried To Make You Smile
8 Remember The Things You Have Seen
9 Saint Cecilia (Ode to Music)
On Philadelphia Songs, Denison Witmer paints a haunting and beautiful picture of memories, people, and places. The album features a host of guest musicians and Philadelphians. as well as members of The Six Parts Seven (Suicide Squeeze Records). Philadelphia Songs, his third full-length, was recorded in Philadelphia at home by friend Scott French and at Soundgun studios by Edan Cohen (Songs:Ohia, Jim & Jenny & the Pinetops).

The instrumentation is rich and deep, adding an ambient feel to Witmer’s songs that has not been fully explored until this album. From the nostalgic romanticism of Sets of Keys to the heartbreaking 24 turned 25 to the MiniDisc hotel piano field recording on St. Cecilia (Ode to Music), the words and sounds form a tapestry that reflects Philadelphia from Denison’s point of view.

Aside from being recorded in Philadelphia, Philadelphia Songs includes extensive photography from various city locations picked by Witmer and vividly captured on film by Philadelphia photographer Brady Sanders.



btv051 Ester Drang : Pleasure Themes and Get Rich Schemes

Ester Drang
“Pleasure Themes and Get Rich Schemes” (btv051)
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Track listing:
1.Easy Money
2. One Hundred Times
3. All the Feeling
4. Pleasure Themes and Get Rich Schemes
Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Ester Drang released their ground-breaking Goldenwest album on Burnt Toast Vinyl in 2001. Soon after those sessions, they went into the studio and recorded “All the Feeling” with Trent Bell (Flaming Lips) for a multi-media compilation that never came to fruition.

This recording features Flaming Lips’ drummer/multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd on several parts. The project then morphed into a one-sided LP with three additional tracks mixed and completed after their sophomore full-length Infinite Keys was released on Jade Tree in 2003. Aside from an out of print, self-released split 7”, Pleasure Themes and Get Rich Schemes is Ester Drang‘s only available vinyl release to date.

Pleasure Themes and Get Rich Schemes opens with the instrumental track “Easy Money” finding the Drang using electronics far more than normal. When the programmed drum tracks kick in, you realize that this is something very different. Layers of synthesizers are coupled with a simple guitar track and the electronic beats to meet a trumpet part. Drozd’s various contributions to “All the Feeling” result in a fuller, more expansive and lush version than what appears on Infinite Keys. The side closes with the title track showcasing Ester Drang’s signature atmospheric, cinematic sound. Tracks 1 and 4 are originals and Tracks 2 and 3 are alternate versions to those which appear on Infinite Keys.

The album artwork features portrait sketches drawn by singer/guitarist Bryce Chambers and was designed by keyboardist David Motter. Members of Ester Drang have been touring and recording with Pedro the Lion, Sufjan Stevens, Denison Witmer, Starflyer 59, Unwed Sailor, and even Ryan Cabrerra. In addition, several members collaborated with Unwed Sailor’s Johnathon Ford as Circle of Birds (Burnt Toast Vinyl). Ester Drang is planning to record their third full-length in 2005 which will be released on Jade Tree.