Blackgrass Harvest is an album of mostly dark traditional folk songs played mostly acoustically, but blending in some black metal, ambient, shoegaze, drone and noise music, audio collage, and other experiments. It was recorded in Tim's bedroom between the 2nd and 7th wave of the pandemic, with occasional bits recycled from earlier material.
The seed for the album was experimenting with recording at home. This quickly sprouted into trying to realize the original idea for blackgrass (black metal + bluegrass). Could distortion be incorporated into acoustic recordings of traditional folksongs? This leafed out into trying a different instrument and way of making distortion for each song. As a whole world of pedals and FX opened up, ambient and psychelic blossoms started to appear – different ones for each song and instrument, again.
This album, then, presents the results of these experiments – our blackgrass harvest.
released November 20, 2022
Tim sang and played banjo, guitar, bass, piano, mandolin, bass drum & foot jingle, and ukulele.
Chrissy sang and played guitar, saw, dobro, tin whistle, brushes & washboard, and glockenspiel.
Evelyne sang on "Bury me beneath the willow" and played cello on "Blackest Crow."
No electric instruments were used in these recordings, though some of the acoustic instruments were run through various effects and processors.
Tim did much of the twisting of knobs and clicking and tapping on effects pedals, a cassette tape player, cellular telephone, digital recorder, and personal computer, with key contributions from Chrissy.
All the songs are traditional folksongs, part of neglected musical commons. (Go make your own versions!) The one exception is that Florence Reece wrote "Which Side Are You On?" in 1931 to the tune of traditional song "Jackie Munro."
For fair-use sound snippets and/or inspiration, thanks to Poppy, Norma Watterson, Florence Reece, Red-Tail Ring, the Carter Family, Muddy Waters & Alan Lomax, Kristin Hayter/Lingua Ignota, Negativland & The Tape-beatles & Sonic Outlaws, Harlan County USA, The Bronswik Affair, They Live, Bill Watterson/Calvin & Hobbes, Braid, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, The Dead Don't Die & Jim Jarmusch, Acolytes of Horror, The King of Comedy, The Innocents, Serial Experiments Lain, Let's Scare Jessica to Death, In the Mouth of Madness, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Pet Semetary, American Beauty, Prince of Darkness, High Fidelity, Buffalo 66, Them!, The Earth Dies Screaming, Repulsion, Derek goddamn Jensen, Stephen fucking Lett, and forgotten others. (No thanks or respect to any corporations that pretend to own any of this art.) Special thanks to the HEAL Project (heal2end.org
Thanks for listening, and thanks to anyone who's cared along the way.
We're hoping to make physical versions of this album in time and if there's demand – if you're interested, or just want to say 'hi,' shoot us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org