Wowza! I picked up the cd's today in Minneapolis. I've worked hard in my 40th year to create something I feel proud of. Instead of buying the red convertible Karmann Ghia I wanted I put out a spectacular album with the help of a lot of talented people and the support of some good folks. Thank You.
Award-winning songwriter from Viroqua, WI teams up with musical mastermind Joe Craven (most known for his work as the percussionist for David Grisman & Jerry Garcia) to create a concept album about an injured birds migration.
THE STANTON WEST STORY:
Three days after launching my first crowd-funding campaign for my new concept album about the journey of a songbirds migration, I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma and was immediately scheduled for surgery. Faced with my own mortality (and the inability to use my right arm), I canceled the campaign and my upcoming gigs so I could spend time with my wife and two children and focus on healing.
After a 100% recovery I started another fundraiser and hopped on a Western bound passenger train to sunny California to start recording. I was unable to fly due to a nasty ear infection that resulted in popping a hole in my eardrum. I recorded with one of the biggest musical influences of my life. Joe Craven is a creativity educator, former museum curator, visual artist, actor/storyteller, multi-instrumentalist, & festival emcee. We recorded the entire album in five long days starting at sunrise and working late into the night at Foxtail Sound in Dixon, CA.
I got back on the train and three days later we reached our fund-raising goal of $8,000 just one hour before the midnight deadline. The album, Songbird, was hatched. To get the album to take flight I needed another $7,000 so I sold my truck, my bicycle, lawnmower, canoe, and my hand built wooden sailboat. I also work part time delivering vegetables for an organic farm and for a greenhouse growing flowers and still managed to perform over 100 gigs. This album is the story of how I got here and where I’m going.
I first saw Joe Craven perform (with DGQ) 20 years ago. 10 years ago I hired him to play a small festival I was running. 10 years after that I made a dream happen. 20 years in the making: Songbird.
Stanton West's new studio album, Songbird, is produced Joe Craven. Joe recorded seven albums with Garcia on Grisman’s label, Acoustic Disc, and spent 17 years performing in the David Grisman Quintet.
“Everything Joe touches turns to music” David Grisman Joe Craven’s adds rhythms like the merengue, cha-cha, reggae, waltz, Afro-beat, and Socca to the album. He takes you on a magical and musical adventure trotting the globe and highlighting instruments and sounds from many different cultures.
“Producing someone else’s music for a recording can be challenging and exhilarating - for starters. The content, perspective and spirit of both artist and producer does a dance that surprises each other in the process. There are many ways to arrange and package a song or, in this case, a collection of songs that were consciously tied to one another to tell a story of movement, hardship, redemption and realization. Decisions must be made and the commitment of a path clearly taken. Each song a chapter and each chapter an opportunity for lesson and growth. As I arranged and created the landscapes of these stories of Stanton West's, I learned more about him and myself than I ever imagined. As the project continues, now the immersion as a supportive listener is inviting you”. - Joe Craven
The album is equal parts folk, jazz, and world music. It is and eclectic mix of genres and is similar to Paul Simon’s Graceland, The Avett Brothers I & Love & You, and an old John Prine album.
“Each song is a chapter in an autobiographical tale in a story that follows the migration of an injured bird who flees the nest, travels far and wide amidst friends and foes, and returns home transformed. This album inspires and reminds us of what is truly important, to follow our dreams, to be fearless when we're afraid, and to bring out the best in others. -Stanton West
This journey starts where it always does. Where all was well with the world. Then calamity and chaos create pandemonium. There is a call to adventure. Then hard times and turmoil must be endured, a Love Story, and a shining moment when everything comes to Light... and we are better for it.
SONGBIRD - TRACK LIST:
1. Come & Get It (all is well, foreshadowed)
2. South for the Winter (a songbird hatches)
3. Black-eyed Susan (take flight on a call to adventure)
4. Caravan (migration)
5. Ray of Sunshine (fall in love, meet mentor)
6. Wedding Day (crossing the threshold)
7. Dig A Hole (put down roots)
8. Spiders in the Window (blown off course)
9. The River Knows the Route (the path home is shown)
10. Grateful 432 (transformation and the power of gratitude)
11. Wallowa Mountains (return to the nest)
A Debut Conceptual Album Hand Crafted by Stanton West
Recorded May 14-19, 2017 by Steve O’Neill at Foxtail Sound
Release Date: August 11, 2017
Produced by Joe Craven
Arranged by Stanton West and Joe Craven
John R. Burr: Keys
Jonathan Stoyanoff: Bass
Joe Craven: Percussion, Mandolin, Octave Mandolin, Violin, Tenor Banjo
STANTON WEST BIO:
Folksinger Stanton West sees the world from the perspective of a six and a half foot tall, left-handed, freckle-faced, red-head. Realizing he would never quite fit the mold, he embraced his uniqueness, picked up a right-handed guitar and started playing it upside-down. This was his first break from creative structures and limitations.
Stanton West songs are rootsy, feel-good, and groove driven. His songs are about hope, having fun, being who you are, and relishing the moment. He is an award-winning songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and world traveling troubadour spreading a message about the importance of family, community, nature, and positivity.
CD RELEASE SHOWS:
-September 29 Midwest Music Store Winona, MN
-September 30 Saxon Hall Brownsville, MN
-October 1 Driftless Books & Music Viroqua, WI
Song Caravan Tour with Teague Alexy www.teaguealexy.com
11/2- 331 Club Minneapolis, MN
11/3- Granite City Folk Society St. Cloud, MN
11/4- Junkyard Brewing Co. Fargo/Moorhead
11/5- Duluth, MN
11/9- Ed’s Winona, MN
11/10- Charmant Hotel LaCrosse, WI
11/11- Forager Brewing Co. Rochester, MN
11/17- Madison, WI
11/18- Jensen Community Center Amherst, WI