NEED YOUR SUGGESTIONS! GOOD NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT!

NEED YOUR SUGGESTIONS- AND GOOD NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT-
Ok folks. A bit of a heads up on the WAYS album project and our Kickstarter fund raiser. When we posted about the project a couple of weeks ago we got an outpouring of support and interest in the project. Lucky enough for us, one person that we caught the interest of was our friend Mark Needham (Fleetwood Mac, Imagine Dragons, The Killers). Can’t tell you what how much Mark has done to try to help get us where we are. We spoke to Mark after the announcement and to our surprise he has offered to engineer and help us produce the album. He knows how important this record is, and is determined to help us make “THE” record we need to make. Mark obviously brings a ton of validity into the project. This part of the project is moving from Memphis to Marks Studio in Nashville. The acoustic work will be done in Sante Fe, New Mexico as planned. We are shooting to launch the Kickstarter May 15th, our goal is 20k. This will allow us to record the album, master it, produce the physical cd/vinyl, and our first actual budget to promote the album. Everything we’ve done so far in our career has been 100% word of mouth, part of the project will allocate some money towards PR so that people can actually hear about our new album. Amazing right? This still leaves part of the budget to be covered by the band, but this will give us enough steam to compete with the labels and actually get a rock and roll album in front of some people again.
Questions for our fans. Here’s a list of SOME of the items we are including in the kickstarter campaign that will last 30 days. IS there something else you guys would like to see offered that would help raise the money?

1-Obviously signed cds, vinyl, t-shirts, posters.
2-House concerts anywhere in the continental US. YES we are actually doing this as part of it, and yes if you meet the contribution we’ll bring the rock and roll.
3-Naming a song on the album. (We are reserving one song, and yes- one lucky fan contributor will name it.)
4-Naming our record label. (ONE fan contributor will actually be the one to name our label that our first release will be on, and hopefully some other great albums to come.)
5-Framed WAYS vinyl album presentation boxes for wall art.
6-WAYS coffee table book with images from the making of the album
7-Liner note mentions of some of our contributors

What else? Before we launch this, which is really for the fans, by the fans, we’d love to hear your feedback. Nothing is off the table if you guys are willing to contribute to helping us do this without outside help. Love to hear your suggestions- Reach us by email – info@thecoldstares.com or on Facebook – The Cold Stares

A letter to The Cold Stares Fans…

A LETTER TO OUR FANS-

The Cold Stares last album “Head Bent” came out June of 2017 on Small Stone Records as most of you know. We’ve had some amazing success with it, including “Break My Fall” and “Head Bent” entering Spotify’s curator playlists. We acquired a new booking agency. We’ve done some amazing shows in the last year with a lot of globally known rock bands and heroes of ours. We recently had our song “Head Bent” featured in Monster Energy’s new film/commercial. We now have a global fan base that we interact with weekly, and have shipped and sold vinyl literally around the whole world. Things are great for The Cold Stares, and in no small part to you guys- our fans that are reading this.

Around Christmas we started thinking about, and writing for the next album. We knew around June we would be a year into the album cycle and would want to put something out after that. We got confirmation from our label that they were interested in putting out another album with us, and we discussed signing with some other record labels. After much discussion, thoughts and prayers we’ve made up our mind on our immediate path forward.

With the current musical landscape, artists really only make money a couple of ways. Streaming is one. Here’s the math for you. About every million streams produce about 5k. It’s insanely hard to make any real money by streaming. We all do it, it is the nature of the beast now, we are not complaining, we are explaining. Good and bad things about streaming, one is that we can see that around 15,000 Brazilians stream our music monthly.
The second way an artist makes money is playing shows and touring. Most major labels now have what they call “360” deals, which mean when you sign a deal with them the label collects money on ALL aspects of your career, including touring, merchandise sales, and publishing. Which means literally you can go on tour, make thousands of dollars, but after incurring the touring costs, come home owing the record company money.
The last way I’ll mention that an artist makes money these days is publishing/licensing. This is a huge deal to us. This is when TNT pays us to use our song “Sleeping with Lions” for their show “Animal Kingdom”. Or Monster Energy pays us to use “Head Bent” for their commercial. This revenue stream is the largest now for most artists, and a lot of us use this money to fund tours, record records and continue careers. Sadly, now almost all record company deals have the record label keeping the publishing for the recorded songs.

Another thing that record companies can do is decide what kind of album you will record, and what songs will obviously be on it. Which means, they can tell you not to have a song like “Jesus Brother James” on the same album with another religious themed track. Or, for arguments sake, could say the same about “Neighbor Blues” and “John”. At this point in our career, I’m personally not willing to have anyone decide that. And again, let’s be honest here- if it’s a million dollar deal we can have that discussion because we are trying to feed our families- but if it’s 50k and the label keeps all publishing, no- you don’t have the right to tell me what kind of artist The Cold Stares will be. Luckily we had none of those issues with Small Stone records and they were amazing on letting us put out the record we wanted. Our decision for the next album not to be on Small Stone records has nothing to do with that, nor do we have ANY complaints about SS regarding artistry.

However, for the following reasons described above we have decided to continue with our OWN label and fund with record with ourselves and with our fans. We will be starting a kickstarter in the following month that will detail out our plans for the next album, with some amazing incentives for our fans, friends and families to help us and contribute and do this on our terms. This will allow us to keep the publishing rights for OUR own songs, keep the budget from being over-bloated. It will allow us to personally hire the team of people we want working with us to record and promote the album, and it will allow us to make the record we want to on our terms with our fans.

What we can tell you now.
The album will be called WAYS. It will be recorded in two halves. The first half of the album will be recorded in Memphis and Mississippi and this half will feature blues-rockers and show the influence that this area has had on us in the last ten years. The second half of the album will be written and recorded in the southwest desert this summer and will feature acoustic based western themed story songs in the vein of “Break My Fall”. The second side of the album will showcase this side of the band that has been a huge part of our success as well. We will have a videographer with us for the entire recording of the album, which will produce a documentary as well as videos from the entire recording process which will be included for all our contributors.

We will have vinyl of the album, world wide distribution, and a larger press and PR presence than all of our other projects combined.

We are very grateful for all of the support we have received over the years from you all. When we look back on the things we’ve accomplished from winning the Hard Rock contest, to the battles with lawyers and labels, cancer, overcoming and retaining our identity, it’s amazing to us. From the Duck Inn to the Viper Room, to the Delta, it’s been an amazing journey for us. We are aware of who we are as a band, where we come from, who put us here, where we want to get to, and the album we need to make to do so. “WAYS” WILL be that album. We have the best fans in the world, and we are very excited to share this process with you, including you, and for you. More details to come over the next month. See you on the road- Please share-

God bless-
TCS

“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

Southern Gospel Blues Companion

Did the initial round of recording today for “Southern Gospel Blues Companion”, which will be my first solo release. Featuring original and delta gospel covers, it’s been a project I’ve planned on doing for a long time and finally knocking out. God has been so good to me, and feels very good to give some praise back to him in the form of the talents he blessed me with.
We really spent some time analyzing some of my favorite recordings, Son House, Fred McDowell and Blind Willie Johnson, to do an authentic but updated portrait of some gospel blues. Very honest and haunting today. Chills listening to what we recorded so far. Releasing sometime in January prior to our Small Stone Cold Stares full length. More details as the recording finishes up- CT

Maybe another TV spot?

Tonight we are in the studio with our mainstay engineer Greg Pearce recording a very special cover song for maybe another TV spot.

What’s one song you’ve heard us play live and wish was available but has not been recorded….yet?……

Get it right and you’ll be in the running for a free Cold Stares hat drawn in the morning…… Visit us on Facebook!

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