Kickstarter for album “Mountain” to help self fund “Ways”

Please check out our Kickstarter for “Mountain”, share and tag your friends. And thank you very much for playing a role in Cold Stares history- TCS

A tale of two records, publishing rights, and the struggles of a roots rock band in 2018.

As we began to discuss our next record which would have been titled “Ways” we decided together to pass on the record label offers we had and try to self fund the album in an attempt keep our music publishing this time. For those of you that don’t know when you see our music on a Monster Energy commercial, ESPN or a show on TNT, the money made from those performances actually go back to the record company instead of the artist.

Every record deal offer out there for us at the moment had the record label holding our publishing. Our last record deal the record label held our publishing. At this point in our career we were no longer willing to give that up, and artists shouldn’t have to. It’s hard enough to be a rock band out there right now, and for us to sustain our career we have to hold our licensing. So we decided to try to fund our record with our fans.

Here’s the dilemma. To properly record, produce, and promote “WAYS” we needed to raise around 20k. We have been really struggling on asking our fans to contribute that kind of money. We are a working class band, and we know a lot of our fans are blue collar working folks and to be honest it just felt a bit heavy to us. We built a kickstarter and then mulled for weeks over a discussion on what to do. We lost a lot of sleep, but through a lot of prayer and meditation we came to an answer.

What we decided. We decided we wanted to try to pay for the “WAYS” album ourselves. But how could we do that? Release “MOUNTAIN”.

Backstory- In the beginning of 2016 I was a bit over 2 years out cancer free. At that point I wasn’t for sure what life held ahead, but I knew my goal was to just live and make it to the goal we set with my doctors, five years. I also knew a lot of my friends that had gone through treatment with me had lost their battles. Not knowing exactly what we might have to deal with in the near future, we wanted to write and record everything I could so that if something happened to me I would leave a musical legacy behind for The Cold Stares. So we went in the studio with Greg Pearce and recorded “Dark Dark Blue”, and then “The Southern”. Both of these EP’s were released in 2016 with ZERO PR budget, zero buzz behind them. We also released some singles “Stickemup”, “Sleeping with Lions” and our version of the Allman’s classic “Whipping Post”. What we thought at the time, was that later when we got more well known our new fans would find these older EP’s. What we didn’t understand and what we have learned over the years is that without some PR budget behind ANY release- no one will hear or find it. No one is exactly pushing rock music onto the front page of Spotify or iTunes these days to be seen if you haven’t noticed. Those EP’s were very difficult to find online and most of these songs have never been heard outside of our close immediate fan base. So what we decided to do was take that group of songs, along with a few others our fans had never heard, remix and master them together and release as one album “Mountain”.

This group of 15 songs, all written around the same time, share a common theme and feel and we have always felt that they are just too important not to be presented correctly. Releasing “Mountain” will do a couple things, it will give these songs an opportunity to be heard, give our old fans a few new songs and remasters, and it will also give us an avenue to raise money for our February release “Ways”. We felt much better about raising the money with our fans in this fashion and we think it’s the proper way to move forward.

With your help we can meet or exceed our goal of 5k that will allow us to release “Mountain” and have a reasonable PR budget to get “Mountain” heard. Sales from “Mountain” and any additional money that might be possibly raised from this campaign will go to the funding of “Ways”. Any money we might be short of for “Ways” we will be funding ourselves. We honestly feel that “Mountain” will be our best album release to date, and when we look at the song listing I can’t say any other release comes close to summing up who we are musically. “Mountain” symbolically means so many different things to us, but more than anything what we’ve overcome, on our terms to be here with you. Thank you for your support in getting us here, and beyond. God Bless-

THE COLD STARES

“Head Bent ” Release Date!

And…. we finally have a release date. More behind the scenes (as usual), but “Head Bent” will be released world wide June 6 2017. Digital, CD and Vinyl. Single and video coming just weeks prior TBA.

Head Bent - TCS

“The Gospel Blues…” – Release Dates!

“The Gospel Blues and Southern Gothic Companion” by Chris Tapp – Available for pre-order March 1st and download the single “Killing Machine.”

Full album release date March 15th.

High Plains
Killing Machine
Mind on Jesus
The River
Wade in the Darkness
Under His Command
If Your Way Gets Dark
Lead’em On
Last of Grace
Mountain
Medicine Wheel

5 Year Anniversary Free Concert Series

In preparation for the release of HEAD BENT on Small Stone Records in February and a following 2017 tour, The Cold Stares will be performing EVERY Friday night in January and February leading up to the album’s release. Each of these concerts will be FREE to the public. This is our chance to thank our local fans for 5 years of support, and prepare for our upcoming tour to support Head Bent. Please help us spread the word about this very special time in our bands history.

Early 2017 – New album and tours!

Early 2017 The Cold Stares will release our Small Stone Records album “HEAD BENT”. The track listing has been finalized, and the album art work will be posted in the next week. Very proud of the record, our relationship with SS, and excited about all the things happening in 2017 for the band. The album will be available on vinyl as well as digital and CD. A national tour as well as a European tour is in the works. You will also find us at SXSW 2017.

HEAD BENT

1-John
2-Head Bent
3-Kings
4-Neighbor Blues
5-Stuck in a Rut
6-Ball and Twine
7-God and Country
9-Price to Pay
10-Caught in the Weather
11-One Way Outta Here

The Southern EP – Background and Lyrics for Cold Black Water

Leading up to the release of our new EP “The Southern” next week I’m going to post the lyrics to each song on the album with an explanation and a little background how each song originated. You guys always ask at shows where some of the songs come from, so hopefully this is something you’ll enjoy. The first song is “Cold Black Water” the third track on “The Southern”. CT

COLD BLACK WATER
I wrote this song specifically about Jeff Buckley. During the time that my music persona really formed, Buckley was a huge influence on me. Everyone now debates on Jeff’s greatness, but to me it’s not as simple as one or two songs, or his voice, or his arrangements. Jeff Buckley’s greatness was the intangible thing that makes all artists great. It’s the thing that can’t be explained, but can be felt when you hear or see their work, or soak up when you are around them. Tim Buckley, Jeff’s father died around the same age as Jeff which is very ironic. And then the way Jeff died, in the Mississippi river, clothes on, in a moment of freedom when he decided to wade in to the water that night, that longing to push it, risk it, live it, like I’ve waded into trouble so many times in my life but somehow by the grace of God emerged. Of course Jeff didn’t. And we’ll never know what he might have become. But for those of us that were impacted by his work, he is a Robert Johnson, Jim Morrison type figure. Enigmatic. Mysterious. But in the end human. As soon as I picked through the opening riff to this song in my living room, I saw that water surrounding Jeff, the darkness of the current, the moon above him, as the world around him was touting him as the savior of rock music, what the moment felt like to fade into that murky water. Wrote the song in one long poem in the moments following.

Here are the lyrics, as well as some explanations in parenthesis.

Cold Black Water

Don’t you call my name Peter don’t you dare (Matthew 16:9 )
I been treading in the water and a fever running through my head
They say I was the chosen one who’d make it all alright (Jeff’s critical acclaim)
But I’m sinking in the Cold Black Water down here tonight. (drowning)

I was just trying to find a place I could rest my shoes
Quarter mile off of Beale I could still hear them sing them blues (Beale street where Jeff was found in the Mississippi river)
Bottle of wine singing hallelujah right across my lips (Jeff’s version of “Hallelujah” is still daily discussed, and his love for wine was known)
Current of the ole Mississippi dancing at my hips

Swing low, low brother won’t you drag that line (metaphor for them dragging the river for Jeff’s body)
Swing low low never know just what you’ll find
Every child of God gotta answer when it comes his time (we are all going to die, quicker you wrap your head around that, the better you’ll start to live)

Don’t you shed no tears for me on that muddy ground
Don’t you waste no wine for me when they lay me down
Don’t you stray down in that water just to see my face
Come up baptized trying just to find some grace (Grace was Jeff’s critically acclaimed masterpiece album)

Swing low, low brother won’t you drag that line
Swing low low never know just what you’ll find
Every child of God gotta answer when it comes his time

Buckley_found

Buckley_missing

About 26 days until The Southern EP release

About 26 days until the release of “The Southern”. Thought we would pass along the artwork to you guys. This album means a lot to us, represents who we are, where we come from, and our family history. We’ll be releasing a single later this month, and a video to follow. Also we will be doing some contests and free giveaways. Stay tuned and please share our posts regarding “The Southern”. Sept 10th we will be doing a CD release party at Mojo’s in Evansville, please make plans to join us then! TCS

thesoutherncover

thesoutherninner

thesouthernback