Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Monday, January 10, 2011
The Budapest Sessions will be released on January 10th, 2011 for “pay what you want download” at johnstatz.bandcamp.com.
In the early months of 2009, singer-songwriter John Statz embarked on his first European tour, playing shows in five European cities, including Budapest, Hungary. He was fortunate there to meet Adam Szabo, a local producer (Budabeat Studios), and during the few days in town they recorded some new songs, hoping to use them on a future album release. In November of that year, tracking started back in Wisconsin for Ghost Towns, John’s first full-band album. Though that project was already underway, another recording session was undertaken at Budabeat with Adam, from which two tracks made it on to Ghost Towns: “Julija” and “Night Train to Sarajevo”. After that album’s release, there remained six unreleased tracks from the “Budapest Sessions”, comprised of two new songs, unheard on any other recordings, and four alternate, acoustic versions of released tracks.
Though the recordings are sparse in production, a couple of them feature some local Hungarian musicians on electric guitar and percussion, and even a child’s harmonies on one tune. Budapest is an amazingly resilient and beautiful city, having been utterly destroyed in World War II, yet rebuilt, lovely on the banks of the Danube, and fascinating in its differences to most other places in Europe. Those influences were constantly internalized during the two visits, and projected outwardly during The Budapest Sessions.
1.Call Me Last (new song) – 2010 session
2.Jackson Hole (Budapest version) – 2009 session
3.Our Love Was Made For Canada (Budapest version) – 2010 session
4.Dear Friend (new song) – 2009 session
5.Disclaimer (Budapest version) – 2009 session
6.Everything To Me (Budapest version) – 2009 session
*cover artwork by Heidi Keyes (www.heidikeyesart.com)
Thursday, January 6, 2011
The church bells seem constant, that is one of the first things you notice. This is a very "Catholic" town. Duh. It does not seem constrained by conservative thought, though. Everywhere couples engage in public displays of affection, the faint smell of marijuana on the street is not a rarity (though not a constant as in Amsterdam or San Francisco), and fashion and excess are the rule. When I am there, I simply walk for hours. Walk past the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, the Coliseum, etc. Sightseeing is always free when all you need to do is walk. I've been there three times, now. The first was a 3-week study abroad trip in college, the other two times were short visits. Still, I walked my ass all over that town, even during the short visits. Walked to pizza, to gelato, to grappa and wine and beer. I walked while holding hands with a date, walked by my lonesome, taking in sights, walked with my family, acting as tour guide. Rome is eternal, Rome is for walking.