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Knick Knack News

Knick Knack Records Winter 2014 Sampler Out Now, Free

This winter we've got an updated sampler for you that includes the latest releases from The Foghorns, Michael Wohl, GravelRoad. Mystery Ship and the newest and strangest yet addition to our roster, Yellowline Music.  Typically we are known for releasing heavy blues and rock music, but in staying true to our rebellious nature, we're going to throw some psychedelic, progtronic drug music your way just to keep you on your toes.  
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Lonesome Shack Summer 2013 US Tour

Lonesome Shack is the moniker Ben Todd has applied to his trio of folk-blues troops. They’ve been marching to a steady beat for about six years now, belting out three LPs and an EP in something like record time and following them up with five tours, two of them nationwide.

Their latest offering: City Man, a mesmerizing and highly rhythmic blues record. It manages to give its songs a strong sense of urgency and technical excellence without losing any of its bluesy atmosphere, which it has in spades. It’s a hypnotic listen, assured and airtight in every way. What makes this all the more amazing is that the album was recorded live in one evening.

To keep you on your toes, the Shack has decided to hit the road this july and august, covering a vast swath of the Midwest and touching base on the East Coast and the South before working their way back toward home. Specifically, the tour looks like this:

July 12 - Cafe Racer Tour Kickoff!!, Seattle, WA

July 13 - Green Frog w/ Bobby Bare Jr., Bellingham, WA
July 16 - Neato Burrito, Spokane, WA
July 17 - Stage 112, Missoula, MT
July 18 - Ernie Novembers, Rapid City, SD
July 19 - Palmer’s, Minneapolis, MN
July 20 - Keyfest, Northfield, MN
July 21 - Weber’s Deck, French Lake, MN
July 22 - The Root Note, LaCrosse, WS
July 23 - Reggie’s Music Joint, Chicago, IL
July 24 - MOTR, Cincinatti, OH
July 25 - Buzzbin, Canton, OH
July 26 - Mountain Folk and Roots Fest, Biglerville, PA
July 27 - Mountain Folk and Roots Fest, Biglerville, PA
July 28 - Cake Shop, NYC, NY
July 30 - The Hideaway Saloon, Louisville, KY
July 31 - The Bridge, Columbia, MO
August 1 - Jackpot, Lawrence, KS
August 2 - Kinfolks, Manitou Springs, CO
August 3 - The Garage, SLC, UT
August 4 - Tom Grainey’s, Boise, ID
August 8-11 Doe Bay Fest, Doe Bay, Orcas Island, WA

August 13 - Doe Bay After Party, Chop Suey, Seattle, WA

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Secretly Important Blog interviews Lonesome Shack

Brian Snider runs a blog in Seattle.  It's called Secretly Important.  He conducted this interview with Lonesome Shack in March of 2013.

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Lonesome Shack gets a shout-out from Nine-Bullets podcast

The other night I was cleaning up the dump folder on my laptop and came across an image I’d titled, “Dad – cancer – the good times.jpg”. I probably stared at it for 20 minutes thinking about how absurd “cancer” and “the good times” being coupled seemed. Truth is, there were some good times post surgery but they were short lived, and only good when juxtaposed up against the inevitable outcome.

Not to get all livejournal and shit on y’all but needless to say, 2012 was a heavy year for me and the year, instead of letting up in the final month, just tightened the screws.

What does any of that have to do with a record? Little to nothing, but it does set the stage for one. I’ve said on numerous occasions that, for me, a good show can serve as Prozac or something along the lines. While watching Treme season 2 last month, I kept getting the feeling that I needed to find a bar that is too small, that has too many people in it for the air conditioning to keep up, and an over sized sound system battling a blues band that has every intention of pushing it to its limits.

Unfortunately, these do not exist in St. Petersburg, so Lonesome Shack, a beer from the fridge and some Bose Noise Cancelling headphones crackling under the pressure have served a worthy substitute….

- Nine

click here for the full text

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Review of the new LP from Lonesome Shack, City Man

"Wumpwumpwumpwumpwumpwump go the drums; the guitar makes a noise like it’s hocking up a ball of Chesterfield phlegm;karangarangarang goes a beer bottle as it hits the floor – and off goes Lonesome Shack, ripping up “White Lightning”, the opening track on their new live album City Man.

Recorded in April of 2012 at Seattle, WA’s Café Racer, City Man finds Lonesome Shack’s original core duo of drummer Kristian Garrard and guitarist/vocalist Ben Todd joined by bassist Luke Bergman. Bergman’s presence is often more felt than heard: he muscles up the Shack’s raw country blues sound that Todd and Garrard are known for without reshaping it, patrolling the territory that lies somewhere between the bass drum pedal and the thumb of Ben Todd’s picking hand. At times Bergman is so in synch with his bandmates that you might not know there was a bass there … except for the fact that Lonesome Shack’s grooves on City Man often feel like they’re about to take out Café Racer’s walls at any moment.

Garrard and Todd do that thing they do so well: take ahold of rawboned blues by the horns and put their own twist on it. On the surface, it’s easy to burrow into City Man and imagine it was recorded in some Mississippi juke joint a long, long time ago (accentuated by the fact that Todd pushes both his guitar and the vocal through the same little amp). But when you put an ear to what’s really going on, you start hearing all the subtle-but-wild-ass stuff Garrard’s doing – or the cool how-did-he-do-that riffs Todd pulls, tugs, and flecks out of his Tiesco’s strings – or Bergman’s not-what-you-would’ve-expected-was-going-to-happen approach to blues bass. And therein lies the secret to Lonesome Shack: you can have a happy, casual hangout with City Man and have a good time – or you can dig into the thing as deeply as you like and find a treasure trove of mind-blowing grooves that go somewhere beyond the traditional.

“Bad Luck” is a fast-paced straight-ahead stomper; when the Shackmen go into a rhythm huddle at the midpoint, involuntary limb movement is unavoidable. The guitar and the vocal swagger as one on “Dwellers” with the drums going in six different ways underneath it all; “Mushin Dog” sounds like early Hot Tuna pumped through twin Cherry Bombs; Garrard lays the beat right against Todd’s fingerpicked, raspy-toned main riff on “Love Makes Love” while Bergman slams big balls of bass into the cracks.

“Switcher” is slow and tension-filled: listen to Bergman’s bass as it stalks Todd; Garrard’s drums sound as sinister as a flick-flicking switchblade. “The Admiral” is a funky made-to-dance tune offering up the yin/yang of Bergman’s butt-grinding bass lines and the spastic rhythm jerks of Todd’s guitar. And then there’s the title track: Todd leads things in – just he and his guitar – sounding like a long-lost radio broadcast of a never-before-heard Lightnin’ Hopkins tune while pounding through the first verse and chorus. Garrard and Bergman land hard, adding much momentum to the tune’s lurch and sway; and when guest hornman Andrew Swanson lays into his saxophone on the title track, it’s like ripping the top off a 55-gallon drum of pure raunch.

Lonesome Shack has discovered the secret of how to pay homage to the past while exploring vibes and rhythm textures from far-away places. Never mind quantum physics, gravitational time dilation, or parallel universes – these guys have figured out how to pull off multi-dimensional time travel with an old tube amp, a cracked cymbal, and a big dollop of greasy blues. Have mercy."

-Brian Robbins,

click here for the full text

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Seattle Weekly Review of Lonesome Shack's new LP 'City Man'

"*Lonesome Shack, City Man (out now, Knick Knack Records, Recorded live at Cafe Racer a month before the tragic May 30 shootings, Lonesome Shack's driving country blues and psychedelic Americana reveal yet more versatility among the tight-knit Racer crew, a group of UW students and friends who play everything from free jazz to folk. Drummer Kristian Garrard and bassist Luke Bergman (who moonlight as guitar duo Thousands) take a backseat here to frontman Ben Todd's bluesy bawl and gritty guitar, and tracks like the driving opener "White Lightning" crackle with crowd chatter. Elsewhere, "Bad Luck" and "Mushin Dog" electrify with tightly percussive, roots-fueled rhythms. And that wailing, greasy sax on "City Man" is just perfect. GE (Fri., Nov. 30, JewelBox/Rendezvous)"

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Lonesome Shack releases 'City Man' on Knick Knack Records

Lonesome Shack City Man


October 2012 - Knick Knack Records released the live album, City Man on 12 inch 33 rpm vinyl, CD and digitally.  The album was recorded live to ½ inch tape one evening at the band’s favorite neighborhood bar Cafe Racer- where the band members originally met and held a weekly gig for 2+ years. The album is dedicated to the Cafe Racer family and the victims of the tragic shooting that took place at Racer a month after the recording was made. The album begins with “White Lightning” (CD trk 1), a driving riff set to a marching band rhythm, followed by the slow and lurking “Switcher” (CD trk 2), a cautionary tale of one who is quick to turn from friend to enemy. “Down and Alone” (CD trk 5) takes a lone guitar line and slowly builds it up to a heavy pulse. Side two fires off with a breakneck jam “Dwellers” (CD trk 6) then moves on to the sax infused title track “City Man” (CD trk 7), both haunted by the imagery of country living and the mixed curse of the city.

The address on songwriter Ben Todd's 2002 Driver License reads "Hwy 180 W South of SF Bridge, Alma, NM". This indeterminate location is where Lonesome Shack began. In New Mexico's Gila Wilderness, Todd hunkered down in the shack he built and studied the music of the American folk and blues lineage. In 2007 Todd joined up with drummer Kristian Garrard (Thousands) in Seattle and they released two LPs, one EP, and completed two west coast tours, two national tours, and a tour to Maine. With the recent addition of bassist Luke Bergman (Also a member of Thousands) the band combines the sounds of post-WWII electric country blues with a heavy groove that anchors them in the present.


Here's the video for the first single from 'City Man' called 'White Lightnin'

Lonesome Shack City Man

Lonesome Shack City Man

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