Mutineer News

Our New Vinyl Has Arrived! 

At long last our record has arrived! Our double EP featuring No Winter and Threshold on 12" black vinyl is now in stock in our online store and available to order now. To all you Kickstarter backers, thank you so much for your patience, everyone should have their record by the first week of August. Last night, we sat back and shared a toast as we listened to our first album on vinyl. Merry and I are in Portland now, staying with friends while we look for a more permanent place to call home. A lot of things have changed for us as we adapt to this new reality of limited gatherings and social distancing. But when you listen to this record, we want you to imagine us playing to a packed house. Then, pretend we can all give each other sweaty hugs after the show. Finally, picture us loading up and heading out to our next gig, driving in the van on the open road, flying that ship straight into the sun... 

Hope to see you all again soon!

Brian and Merry

Straight Into The Sun 

Stream Track #5 - Straight Into The Sun 

This song was deeply enhanced by the exquisite pedal steel playing of Raymond Richards. He also joined me at the end for the fun electric guitar duet. Thanks Raymond! 

Getting out on a national tour has been a lifelong goal of mine. Merry got the bug too as soon as we went on our first two-weekend tour on the west coast. For over 3 years we’ve been circling the country playing mostly small venues, dive bars, breweries and restaurants. It has been an incredible ride and brought us so many new friends as well as the ability to continue life-long friendships with actual in-person visits on a regular basis. We’ve had the opportunity to grow as musicians and performers by playing more often than I ever thought possible. But there are nights out there that truly test us. In the midst of the difficulties of being an obscure independent rock duo, living out of a van, I’ve had to reflect on what truly matters. I don’t know where this ship is headed, but I’m very fortunate to take the ride with Merry, a talented, hard-working, and beautiful person. It doesn’t always come up roses out there, but we are still a couple of the lucky ones. Here’s my ode to Merry Young and our life, come what may.

The full EP is now up and available to purchase as a whole. Thank you for stopping by and listening to our new songs. Please check out our merch store. We would love to get you a new shirt, a handmade CD, or a screen printed poster. As always, they are designed by Merry and printed by Brian. Hope to see you out there from the stage sometime soon!

 

Free Radical 

STREAM TRACK #4 - FREE RADICAL

This one is a shoutout to those amazing people in our lives who barrel through the bad times and the good with incredible verve. Equal parts creation and destruction, these archetypes are the ones who can laugh louder, party harder and later, and seem to shrug off the stuff in life that can level the average mortal. They can elevate us and take us to places we would never go on our own, but they can also take us down with them in a fiery wreck. It’s the danger in them that makes them so intriguing. They are attractive in the truly magnetic sense, get close enough and you will be swept up in their energy. There is a scary side to it. After all, what goes up must come down (at least on this planet). Who knows if it’s good or bad? I’m happy to have had the experience either way. 

Enjoy the rock n roll. Back to the basics with guitar, bass, drums, and two vocals.

You Can't Run Away 

Stream Track #3 - You Can’t Run Away 

You’ve doubtless heard it said many times before, during some frustrated conversation about the troubled state of society. If we could only start over, with just the good people, our people, we could get everything right. I’ve heard this sentiment from family and friends as both a melancholic and unrealistic wish as we temporarily escape our troubles, or as a serious plan of action where we plot out how to buy land and start a new community. I think these moments provide some necessary relief and camaraderie when the news is getting us down. But underneath it all, my pessimistic side is nagging at me. All of the troubles we see in the world are universal to us all. Greed, gluttony, lust, rage, and the rest of the “deadly sins” live inside all of us. They aren’t someone else’s problem, they are our collective inescapable challenge. 

This folk song features a Nashville-tuned guitar played by yours truly, and the addition, once again, of Raymond Richards’ mellotron and bass playing. If you’ve been following along with all of our releases, you will have already noticed Merry’s beautiful vocals providing harmony in key spots. Her voice on the choruses of this song make me really happy. When it’s all said and done, I hope you will see this song as a hopeful tune, rather than a pessimistic anthem. I think facing our challenges makes our celebrations so much more richer and meaningful.

The Great Columbia 

Stream Track #2 - The Great Columbia

We’ve spent a lot of time around the Columbia River these past few years. It’s an ancient river, having been carved out by multiple massive volcanic eruptions over 10’s of thousands of years. It has stories to tell. It was the life blood of Indigenous people for perhaps 10,000 years. It led Lewis and Clark to the ocean and the end of their epic journey, which in turn became the seed for European settlement. There have been industries and villages which have come and gone. This history is painted all around the Lower Columbia River, as well as up into the hidden valleys where its tributaries flow. Cellist Andrew Emlen lives up in one of those sparsely populated, soggy, and beautiful valleys. It was an honor to have him perform on this track, our ode to one of the world’s great rivers. Producer, Raymond Richards, added some key elements with his mellotron, including accordion and mandolin. We hope this folk song will give you some wistful moments. In these dark times, it is hard to imagine that the river continues on to the sea and that all things will pass. If you have children to put to sleep tonight, or if you have trouble finding rest yourself, you can sing the classic existentialist tune that gave inspiration to this song: 

Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.

No Winter EP release week 

All this week we are releasing a single a day from our new EP, No Winter. Each day we will post a new song and make it available to stream from right here on our website with the full EP available for purchase this Friday. You can also order the CD now from our merch store and we will send it out after the Friday release. Be sure to check out our latest shirts and posters while you are at it. We stocked up big time for an extensive tour before we all ended up in lock down. We would love to get some of this merch into your hands instead of keeping it in our closet. And now, let's get down to the business at hand...

Stream Track #1 - No Winter

The title track of our new EP, No Winter features the intense and dramatic cello playing of Andrew Emlen, an accomplished musician and songwriter based in Wahkiakum County, Washington. Our engineer/producer Raymond Richards joins the rhythm section and is on the bass throughout the EP, just as he was on 2018’s Threshold EP. We hope you enjoy this arrangement of The Mutineers, we love the way it kicks things off. Here’s a bit about what influenced the song: 

No Winter is a dark, folk-rock, parable based on an ancient Taoist story. I first heard the tale while watching the indie documentary, The Bill Murray Stories. I think it had an impact on me because of a deep need to be more stoic about life’s ups and downs. My own emotional rollercoaster was making me a bit sick at the time. You can read the original tale first or wait until after you’ve listened to our song to see if it enhances the experience. Either way, it’s neither good, nor bad :) 

There once was farmer who had a friendly neighbor. One day his horse runs away. And his neighbor comes over and says, to commiserate, “I’m so sorry about your horse.” And the farmer says “Who Knows What’s Good or Bad?” The neighbor is confused because this is clearly terrible. The horse is the most valuable thing he owns. 

But the horse comes back the next day and he brings with him 12 feral horses. The neighbor comes back over to celebrate, “Congratulations on your great fortune!” And the farmer replies again: “Who Knows What’s Good or Bad?” 

And the next day the farmer’s son is taming one of the wild horses and he’s thrown and breaks his leg. The neighbor comes back over, “I’m so sorry about your son.” The farmer repeats: “Who Knows What’s Good or Bad?” 

Sure enough, the next day the army comes through their village and is conscripting able-bodied young men to go and fight in war, but the son is spared because of his broken leg. 

And this story can go on and on like that. Good. Bad. Who knows?

Covid Cancelations and EP Release 

Well hello fellow quarantiners. We hope this post is finding you healthy and that the harsh realities of this pandemic have not come to your door to claim a loved one. I'm afraid the truth is that we will all be coming very near to Reaper this year, whether it's through our circle of family and friends or whether we come face to face with our own mortality. These are indeed difficult times and we wish you all the best of luck, if there is such a thing.

I apologize for not updating the website sooner. It's been kind of depressing to deal with some of this admin stuff. We of course have been forced to cancel our entire national tour. Although some folks seem to be holding out hope that venues will get moving again in May, I don't share their optimism. And at that point, we will not be able to cross the entire country to restart our tour in the middle of the dates. It's just not economically viable even if, by some miracle, life returns to normal by then. We are sad that we won't get to see so many of you. We had a great tour lined up that we spent months working on. All gone in a cloud of coronavirus. In the grand scheme of what's going on, compared to the real human suffering, this is a drop in the bucket. We recognize that so many have already lost much more. Still, there are many who are in a similar boat, major loss of income and no real prospect of that changing anytime soon. Let's all work on supporting each other as much as we can. Be kind, empathetic, and generous where your situation allows. 

On a much happier note, we have continued to move forward with our new releases, No Winter EP and the No Winter/Theshold 12" Vinyl. The songs have been mastered for both CD and vinyl and sent off to the manufacturers. The CDs are actually already made and in transit to us and will be ready to send out to our Kickstarter backers as early as this Friday or Saturday. In addition, every backer of our campaign, at any donation amount, will receive an email this Friday with a link to download all of the new tracks. We are excited to finally get this into the ears of our fans. Thank you all again from the bottom of our hearts. There is, unfortunately, a delay to report on the vinyl. We have just been informed that the manufacturer has shut down to comply with state mandated business closures. We respect the need to protect the health of all workers. We will keep you all informed as we find out what we can expect in terms of vinyl production. If this becomes an open ended problem with no solution in sight, we will consult with our backers who ordered the vinyl to see if we can offer alternative products or refund part or all of their pledges. But if you can be patient with us, we will get our vinyl made as soon as possible. Thank you!

For those of you who did not jump on the Kickstarter bandwagon, we have good news as well. Next Monday, we will release the first track off the EP to stream and purchase on Bandcamp. The release will be accompanied by a short description of the song and the inspirations behind its creation. I will post them to our facebook page as well, so be sure to follow us there. We will continue to release a new song every Monday until all five tracks are out, at which time we will also make the CD available to ship anywhere in the US as well. The EP will not be available on streaming services until June at the earliest. You can help us get through this time in quarantine by spending a dollar for each song rather than the tiny fraction of a penny we receive through Spotify, Pandora, or Apple. We also have new items in our merch store, here on the website. The album art has been converted into a beautiful poster design by Merry and printed by Brian. We also put the No Winter art on a killer, heather navy blue t-shirt. We did a new run of our very popular but very limited "tree with ravens" design that sold out very quickly in 2018. And we have restocked all sizes of our red shirt with ravens. On top of that, we have KOOZIES! So please have a look at our stash. There's lots of cool things to pick from and we would love to get more people wearing our shirts and hanging up our posters. Seriously, our shirts are super comfy and great for long days sitting on your couch and social distancing the hell out of this damn virus. Every purchase means a lot to us. Without live shows, we are really in a tough spot. We will keep on rehearsing and hopefully come out of this with a whole bunch of new songs for the next album! 

On a personal note, we've had a rough couple of months. While we will never know what virus brought it on, Merry and I got hit pretty hard with a bronchitis-like sickness that would not quit and eventually turned into a sinus infection. After an on-line consultation with a doctor, it looks like I've had pneumonia for a while. It was nasty at times but on other days it was just a general malaise that seemed like it would clear up with a good night sleep. Then it would come back again with force. Weirdest experience, as I've been fortunate to stay pretty healthy and made it through the last 25 years without ever needing prescription medication for anything. That mentality made me avoid going to urgent care or a doctor's office for longer than I should have. Merry came down with similar symptoms but not as severe as my worst days, but enough to make us both fairly miserable. In any case, the antibiotics seem to working and I'm finally getting near to 100%. Merry is almost in top form as well. Being ill as this pandemic has spread really increased our anxiety levels, especially since there was absolutely no way to get tested. I'm not sure I would have taken this virus as seriously as early on as I did had I not been sick as a dog. When you're healthy you feel invulnerable; it's hard to remember what being sick is truly like. Be considerate to your neighbors and stay safe in your home. And remember, there are so many out there who don't even have a home to hunker down in. Dark times can lead to solidarity if you keep your eyes and hearts open. We hope to see you soon!

 

Spring Tour and Kickstarter Update! 

Our tour dates are growing and growing. We start our busy season this weekend up in northern Washington with four shows: Bremerton, Seattle, Olympia, and Yelm. Then it's off to Montana before heading south to warmer weather for the Spring. So many good dates and fun bands to play with, keep up with them by following us on the Bandsintown app. 

Meanwhile, we've been working hard on our recording and Kickstarter rewards. We have sent our EP off to get mastered, so it won't be long before new music is available for download to our Kickstarter backers. As is typical, recording and mixing took a bit longer than we projected, so our CDs will not be mailed out before we leave for Montana. But we have several days off when we get to Arizona and we should be able to do a big mailing then. I have been printing shirts, hoodies, and posters while we are still out here on the Lower Columbia River. We will get those out to you before we leave. If you backed our campaign you should have also received an email last week with a "secret" url to get your two bonus tracks, featuring Terry Luna and Michael Astudillo. We really hope you will download them and enjoy! Drop us a line if you can't find the link. 

By now you've probably been barraged by news of pandemics and stock market crashes. Rough news indeed. No one knows how this will all play out exactly. We hope that you will be healthy and come out to see us while we are on the road. We have new songs to share, and our shows have been so fun lately. We would love to sing for you and with any luck take your cares away for the night. If it's your time to vote, PLEASE do so. We don't have a perfect system by any means, but we hope that you will contribute. See you out on the road!

We Did It! New Album On The Way 

We reached our Kickstarter goal! Now we are busy getting the rewards together, screen printing T shirts, hoodies, CDs and posters. We plan to ship all of the rewards (except vinyl--that takes longer) before we leave for our next tour on March 11. Vinyl should be arriving in July. We finished recording and mixing last week so we are right on schedule with the new album, and we are really happy with how these new songs sound. We'll keep you posted and let you know when the downloads and CDs are available. THANK YOU EVERYONE!

Hope to see you out there....

Mer+Bri

OUR FIRST VINYL RELEASE - KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN 

It's finally happening, we are taking the plunge and creating our first ever release on vinyl. We've had a lot of requests for records over the years and we think now is the time for us to create something special for you vinyl lovers. We've been back in the studio with producer/multi-instrumentalist Raymond Richards, recording a new 5 song EP. Along with a CD release of the EP, we will also take the 5 new tracks and combine them with the five from Threshold EP to make a double EP split 12" record. These ten songs share a cohesive style and story, born out of our collaboration with Raymond, and influenced by our time on the Columbia River. We think we captured some special moments in the studio and we hope you'll buy our new record or CD! 

PLEDGE TO OUR KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN HERE!

We've been a DIY band from the start and have always managed to fund our recordings by performing, selling merch, and a little hustling on the side. A record, however, costs more up front than we can handle on our own. By supporting our Kickstarter campaign, you'll get to pre-order our first 12" vinyl and secure your own copy of our limited run of this release. You'll be in possession of our new songs months before we release them to streaming services and the general public. And on top of that, you'll also be helping us with the cost of our production so we don't have to turn to a greedy bank for funds. Hear me out! If you back our campaign, you'll be the envy of your peers and an example to small children everywhere, which is no small thing.

As you might expect, the artwork in our pledge rewards will be designed by Merry and printed by Brian. We have shirts, and hoodies, and even a custom printed Levi's denim jacket for a limited few. You can choose from our back catalog of CDs and posters with some of our pledge packages as well. The vinyl will take months to produce and ship to you, unfortunately, but most of our other rewards will make it to as early as mid March. So head on over to Kickstarter, check out our rewards and make a pledge.

We have a big budget to crack, not gonna lie. It will cost us over $2200 just to reproduce the vinyl, let alone the cost of recording, mixing, and mastering. When we include the cost of making and shipping our rewards, and the fees from Kickstarter, we end up with a grand total of $5,300. That's a big investment for our DIY duo but we can do this together. 

The truth is we will need as many folks on board as possible. We only have until February 24 to reach our goal or the campaign fails. That's right, if we don't get $5300 in pledges, no customers are charged, no rewards are sent, and we get nothing for the effort. But that's ok, the limited timeline is what makes these campaigns work so effectively. Nothing like a deadline to spur people into action. 

Can you help us spread the word? Sharing the link to our campaign would mean the world to us. Remember this isn't a request for charity, we have some great rewards for you and your friends. It's been an amazing experience to travel the country playing music and meeting cool people. We've appreciated so much the kind words of encouragement you've given us along the way. We really can not do this without you. You are the other member of the band! 

Thanks in advance for your support! Keep your eye on our calendar! Pacific Northwest dates are up for February. More coming for the region in March before we head out on another extended US tour. Good things. Lots to do! Let's go.

 

Tour Dates

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