New Spin Doctors Tour Dates and New Blues Album Preview on USA Today

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“A Molten, find Mercurial, case Ramshackle, Runaway Train of a Record, Every Note of Which Feels Like it’s About to Fall Off a Cliff”
Blistering New Blues/Rock CD by SPIN DOCTORS Set for April 30th; ‘If The River Was Whiskey’ (Ruf Records) to be Accompanied by U.S. Tour
USA TODAY Previews Album with Five-Song Exclusive Premiere
SpinDoctorsBluesFixOn their blistering new blues/rock album ‘If The River Was Whiskey,’ Spin Doctors deliver a ten-song collection of original songs, described by lead singer Chris Barron as a “ramshackle, broken carriage running down a cobblestone hill, with pots and pans, and a screaming baby…” The CD is set for an April 30th release on Ruf Records, and will be accompanied by a U.S. tour.

This is the blues album the band was always meant to make, and their confidence shows, as they give the songs lots of room to breath and let the tracks come alive via the road-tested musicianship of Chris Barron (vocals), Aaron Comess (drums), Eric Schenkman (guitar) and Mark White (bass). With no overdubs, irreverent lyrics, soulful drums and guitar licks that are on fire, ‘If The River Was Whisky’ captures lightning in a bottle and further cements Spin Doctors’ reputation as a live act to be reckoned with. Perhaps Schenkman puts it best: “we’ve been playing together for 25 years & we’re all badasses!” Listen to streaming samples, here:

USA TODAY’s Elysa Gardner ran an Exclusive five-song preview of the album: “The Spin Doctors, one of the little alt-rock bands to break out big in the early ’90s, are back with a new album and tour.” Read the full 3/1/13 preview, here:

The project took shape as the band was touring the world behind their warmly received ‘Pocket Full of Kryptonite: 20th Anniversary Edition’ in 2011/12. The reissue and its bonus materials earned a huge wave of coverage in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, NPR, New York Magazine, Relix, Associated Press, Huffington Post, NY Daily News and dozens of other key outlets. In a live review, Nate Chinen of The NY Times seemed to predict the band’s return to its blues roots and a shift from the pop/rock repertoire it had become known for: “Their sound hasn’t aged a bit: it still reflects fondness for the honky-tonk lurch of the Rolling Stones, the psychedelic reach of Jimi Hendrix and the rubberized funk of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.” Chinen even highlighted the band’s performances of the tracks “Off My Line,” a bluesy complaint, and “Hard to Exist,” a slow-burn shuffle — songs that favor cohesion over catchiness and point toward an alternative version of the Spin Doctors as a hook-enabled jam band, no longer judged by past success.”

Barron explains: “We all have a very deep reverence for the blues. It’s the music that really is the roots of all we do. Last year, when we were performing Pocket Full of Kryptonite for the 20th Anniversary, we wanted to play “deep cuts” in the encore. When we asked some of our fans over there which tunes they wanted to hear, to our surprise, they wanted to hear the old blues stuff. Well… we had such a good time playing it, and it sounded so good, that we toyed around with the idea of making a blues record. The more we thought about it, the better it sounded — we could continue to forge back into our roots and play the music that we started out playing while we were forming our identity as a band.”

The new album was recorded at Aaron Comess’ His House Studios, and was recorded & mixed by Roman Klun. To achieve its salty, back-of-the-bar sound, Klun recorded on Pro Tools and then mixed onto a 1/2 inch analog tape machine at the studio, before the band brought it to Ted Jenson at Sterling Sound to master. The result is a warm, rich, undecorated, old-school album that is reverential of the blues and sounds as if it should be on vinyl (and indeed it soon will be, as the band plans a special edition vinyl release).

Comess puts the band’s blues roots in further context: “Our brand of rock and roll stems directly from the blues and funk. I cut my teeth playing blues gigs in my hometown of Dallas Texas and Eric did as well in Toronto and then NYC. Mark grew up playing funk in NYC so the blues was like a close stepbrother to him. We all met up in NYC in 1988 and Chris had a handful of original blues songs, which we collaborated on to get work in New York. Chris may not have had the gigging experience that the rest of us had but he had an honest understanding of the blues and where it came from and gave us the ability to make our own version of this music with his lyrics and understand and respect for it while making it sound like the Spin Doctors. To play the blues you must understand the language but more importantly play honest, truthful music from the heart. That is exactly what we did recording these songs in those few days in NYC.”

Schenkman adds: “We’ve always meant to make a blues record because we were originally a blues band, but we got known for a rock/pop record. So this past August, we went into Aaron’s home studio intending to cut a live demo of a couple of our blues to test the waters with it…but we have so many original blues kicking around (old & new) that at the end of a great day of live recording, we had ‘If the River was Whiskey’. We kinda surprised ourselves, but in retrospect it’s not that surprising at all, since we’ve been playing together for 25 years & we’re all badasses…hope you enjoy our handmade, no over-dubs, dancin’ NYC blues!”

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