With songs about soldiers, pirates, Vikings, motorcycles, and guys ogling women, it’s been said that Michael Longcor’s newest album Walking the Wilderness is “Manly Folk.”
“There’s no denying it. I’m a guy, and I tend to write from that point of view,” he says. “I try to write songs that tell stories, and usually those stories are told by the little guys in the trenches, the ones who live and fight and make history one painful footstep at a time. And when I say guys, it’s mostly men, but my songs are also about strong women. And some of the songs are just for fun.”
The new album’s songs deal with everything from love (“That’s Why This Is Not a Love Song”), riding big motorcycles (“V-Twin Boogie”) the Columbia Shuttle disaster (“Shooting Star”), to kids who want to be threatening minions when they get older (“Flying Monkey”). There’s even one about trying to get respect while playing the banjo. He also covers a creepy-yet-funny lullaby (Daniel Glasser’s “Close Your Eyes”).
“I decided early on that this should be a local, Greater-Lafayette area project, and showcase some of this area’s remarkable talent.” He enlisted the help of Echo Box’s Bartek Michael on lead guitar, classical violinist Allison Edberg, and bassist Lynn Colwell, a well-known performer in the local jazz scene, supplying the low end. Paul Radecki, a regular with Dance Troupe Oasis and Ishtar, handled percussion. The CD was recorded before a live studio audience and mixed and mastered at Jeff Anderson’s Sound Logic Studio, located just south of Lafayette.
Longcor has 13 other albums to his credit, primarily through small regional publishers such as Dodeka, located in the Chicago area and Firebird Arts and Music, based in Portland, Oregon. His songs have won regional songwriting awards and have been featured on local NPR affiliate WBAA, and NPR’s nationally syndicated Folk Song Festival. Some of Longcor’s quirkier music has appeared on the syndicated radio show, “Doctor Demento,” and he has appeared onstage in live shows with the Good Doctor himself. This CD marks Longcor’s first foray into producing.
“It’s the difference between being an architect and being the general contractor who’s building a house. You’re suddenly responsible for getting everything to come together and look good, or in this case sound good. Working with producers and engineers on previous CDs did give me an advantage in getting this one together. I’m pleased with how this project turned out, and I think the people who helped contribute to the quality of the instrumental music and the recording have a big share in that.”
The Songwriters Association of Mid-north Indiana (SAMI) will hold a release party starting at 7PM Friday, August 19 in the Fiddler’s East Meeting Room at Tippecanoe Arts Federation, 638 North Street, Lafayette. The event is free and open to the public.