CD Release May 11, at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz


Saturday, April 28

Kuumbwa Jazz Center

Santa Cruz, Calif.

Bryn Loosley and the Back Pages perform all of Tom Petty's Wildflowers, live and unabridged.

Doors at 7:45, show at 8

Tickets $12 in advance at / $15 at the door

All ages

Bryn Loosley is a teacher and a songwriter in Santa Cruz, California. His 2008 debut, The Wrecker, was hailed by the Santa Cruz Sentinel as "a quiet stunner of an album that puts him, artistically, in the league of such better known singer/songwriters as Josh Ritter and Freedy Johnston." His second album, Blood Year, contains 12 songs, one inspired by each month of the year. (Click For Full Biography)


MAY - "May"

Even though I’ve never harvested anything other than a few crummy tomatoes, I’ve lived every year of my life on an agrarian calendar. As a public school student, a college undergraduate, a graduate student, and a teacher, I’ve spent every summer of my life either at leisure, or working a part-time job. Thanks, historically-agricultural economy.

And while I love my job, I also love summer. I look forward to it. Thus, I’ve always spent the month of May in a state of suspended anticipation, looking forward to the bright, breezy freedom brought on by the arrival of June.

The first half of this song is about embracing that anticipation. And the second half is about fighting it. It seems a dangerous thing to be looking forward too much. There is much to be missed by keeping your eyes on the horizon and wishing away the present. That’s what I wanted to express in this song, hopefully without descending into platitudes.


Video from the Kuumbwa

Bryn Loosely and the Back Pages Part 2 from Brian Granbery on Vimeo.

Our friend Brian Granbery has slaved over this very clean video recording of our most recent performance, October 1st at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz. It isn't yet final, but it looks great. Thank you, Brian for all the hard work.


April - "Like a Lamb"

Easter is a pretty pagan affair. It doesn’t take too much thought to view the story of Christ’s death and subsequent rebirth as a metaphor for the coming of spring. And there is evidence to suggest that the biblical stories, and even the name, of Easter are in part an adaptation of older pagan and Hindu traditions.

I went to Sunday school every week as a kid. I was the last male teenage alto in the choir. I went to youth group. I listened attentively. I was baptized. I took part in the nativity play and I studied the gospels. I haven’t used all this knowledge too often, and I don’t often wax theological. Frankly, I don’t know what I believe, and it doesn’t greatly bother me. But I suspect that if times ever got really tough, all that silent, subconscious, lurking Jesus that chaperoned me through my formative years would find its way to the top and come bubbling over.

In writing a song about the month of April, the coming of spring seemed to be the most suitable topic. And perhaps unsurprisingly, into my allegory of an awakening world, spilled a whole bunch of lurking Jesus. And I started singing higher. Once a choir boy, always a choir boy.


Recording "New Year's Day"

New Year's Day by brynloosley

In thinking about how to record this album-to-be, I feel it would only be fair to track the album as it was written. The same way the year passes: one month at a time.

This has some drawbacks. It's potentially more expensive - it costs more to pay an engineer to set up drum mics twelve times, rather than once to capture twelve drum tracks. Also, the songs may not have any overarching sonic quality that binds them together as an album.

It also some big advantages. First of all, it allows me to fufill my goal of not spending any money to produce Blood Year. By recording one song at a time, I can raise money by playing shows or selling music. This might mean it will take years to create the final recorded product, but I can wait.

More importantly, recording one song at a time allows me to consider exactly how best to record each track. That began with "New Year's Day".

This is a pedal steel song. I could hear the pedal steel rising behind the acoustic guitar every time I played the song. This meant I'd need to record the song with Bryan Daste. Bryan is a pedal steel player, owner of Magic Closet Studios in Portland, a member of my once-and-future band The Last Minute, and a good friend.

What you hear above is the product of 16 hours in Magic Closet Studios over April 9 and 10 of 2010. Bryan engineered and mixed this semi-final version of the track. He also plays the pedal steel and sings backing vocals. Last Minute members Adam Mack and Matt Johnson play drums and bass. Mont Christopher Hubbard performs the piano and mellotron.

I'm very pleased with this first step towards documenting the songs being amassed here this year. I hope you enjoy it.


March - "March 2007"

March 2007 by brynloosley

Not so long ago, but a very long time ago, I made a new beginning in March. At the time it felt rather tragic. It has also led to most of the best parts of my life.

This song isn't about March, the month. It's not an abstraction. It's about my March, in 2007. And I wanted the song to reflect both the sense of loss, and the feeling of promise.