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matchstick

"She was matchstick / sent here to burn, to blaze, to heat things up / to keep us warm" - Jeff Nelson

 

My mom Terry Gladstone touched the lives of many. This is the collection of songs I wish I'd had time to write and sing for her before she died on November 6, 2011. It's also a collection inspired by her, her work, her love of those around her, and her passion for the church. In the priceless words of my friend and poet Jeff Nelson, these are also the songs that ask us "is there anybody left who might burn this whole place down" like she would?

All proceeds beyond the cost of production will be donated to ministries in the Detroit Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church that Terry loved and worked on in her decades long career as a Deacon and leader among us.

Let's burn this place down for my Mom.

Thanks,
Carl


 

oft broke echo

Oft Broke Echo represents a kind of sequel to Carl's first album Tales Scratched Out.  Where the first was a statement of hope and assurance, this is a series of questions still present to the narrators of each song.  Born out of a series of Lenten public witnesses during Carl's time as a seminary student in Chicago these songs claim their place as lament.  Some reflect a cry for injustices around the world.  Others are cries for more intimate injustices.  But, to question is not necessarily to destroy faith.  Mostly it clarifies.

Teaming up again with Dan Worley, but in the midst of Good Noise Studios' own development, Echo changed as the author and his musical partners did.  To complete the project, and thanks to Steve Beers, Carl and a number of the song crafting crew even had a chance to record some of Oft Broke Echo's tracks in one of the professional studios of Nashville, TN.  This time the acoustic base of the music is twinged with some electric, where the themes of the songs required it.  But there is a community in questioning as well, reflected in the choruses of songs like "Embrace of the Quitters."

Oft Broke Echo also saw the emergence of a new member of the album-making crew.  Anna Stroud (soon to become Carl's spouse) lent here pictures of Detroit to the visual construction as well as adding her voice to some of the tracks.  Otherwise Katie M. S., Brad S., and Michael M. return along with old and new friends like Jason Hill and Justin Savara.  Justin can be thanked for any resonance on this album with The Darkness as it was on his mp3 player that we listened to "I Believe In a Thing Called Love" nonstop on the way to Nashville.

Transient

tales scratched out

At the end of his time at Albion College, Carl was faced with this challenge: complete your senior thesis before graduation.  But, after perusing the many leather-bound theses, he wasn't too inspired.  That is, until the day he realized that research money could pay for studio time.  So, with the help of his musical friends, poetry workshop classmates, and connections to professional musicians through the Albion music department Carl wrote, recorded, and produced Tales Scratched Out as a final piece of both scholarship and collegiate art.

The lyrics in these Tales reflect Carl's willingness to write with a kind of folk-myth.  Characters are just as likely to be found on school playgrounds as they are on timeless shorelines.  Songs reference earlier works from the mundane to the holy.  Musically, much of the aural quality of Tales was crafted by talented sound engineer and producer Dan Worley of Good Noise Studios.  Dan's ability to form the ideas of novice recording artists into a reasonable audio work was much appreciated.

Musical collaborators on Tales include the usual suspects: Katie Monaghan Spindler, Brad Stott, Michael Mayo; plus some less well known musical partners: Ryan Plum, and some talented studio musicians brought in through Mr. Worley.  Pictures and visuals for the album were developed out of Carl's travels around Michigan and the U.S. - claiming images from Houghton to South Dakota - some of the text even scratched out in Carl's own hand.

 
 
Transient

the abolitionist hymnal

With the support of our friends, backers, and fellow abolitionists we were excited to launch this anti human trafficking hymn project!  Proceeds from sales of the cd and hymnal go to fight modern day human slavery.  The 27,000,000 people held as child soldiers, bonded laborers, and sex workers need the church to wake up, and these songs will hopefully help in that effort!

Remix/ReRecord - For those of you with an interest in remixing or rerecording these songs for inclusion in a companion album to the full release, please click here to join our moderated group for developing those tracks.  Since this is a project that should connect with as many communities as possible, we want to encourage the process of taking these songs and making them your own for growing abolitionists in your own back yard.  Join the fight!

 
Transient
 

the wesley project

Over the course of Carl's musical career he has grown in an appreciation of the song texts written and edited by Charles Wesley and his brother John.  These two founders of the Methodist movement sought in these texts to teach the theology of personal/social holiness, already-present grace, and a call toward the ongoing work of becoming deeper followers of Jesus.

The Wesley Project is a first in what will certainly be an ongoing practice of reclaiming these texts for new audiences.  On the album you'll hear some of the voices of those communities bringing these songs back into their life together.  Particularly the Wednesday Night Chapel community at Albion College among others.  Celebrating the 300th anniversary of Charles' birth in 2006, this album also recognizes a resurgence of Wesleyan theology in general.

Musical influences for The Wesley Project come from numerous communities also reclaiming older texts by setting them to new locally crafted tunes.  Redmountain Music in Alabama, and the Indellible Grace collective in Tennessee are just two examples of communities living out this commitment to new expressions of faith built on the rich heritage of hymns in our past.