Since early in the year 2011, The Lansing Unionized Vaudeville Spectacle has been performing high energy theatrical shows on street corners, bars and various stages around Michigan. Over time, we evolved from a loose conglomeration of artists on the streets to a dedicated band of performers with hand built props, scripts and pyrotechnics. We have become more of a family than anything else- a family of creatives, hard-workers, misfits and trouble-makers. We put a lot of work into our shows, and want more than anything to provide the audience with a fun and unique experience. So, when we started contemplating a full length album, we were faced with the dilemma of how to capture on tape the energy and soul of the live performances we've put so much time into crafting.
This album was recorded in fashion that combines the methods of artists active in the early 1900's to the 1950's. A triangulated band (vocals and quiet instruments in front, loud instruments staggered to the the back) and a Decca Tree microphone setup helped us achieve a sound that remained faithful to older recordings.
Musically, these songs represent a sea change in our compositional methods. Namely, a shift from a single composer and lyricist to a collaborative effort by a team of musicians and writers. Most of these numbers took seed as a basic idea or chord progression or line of verse, and were built over time as we rehearsed, performed and wrote.
I remember the moment when Iris showed up to practice and pulled out a page full of lyrics that became "Left Foot Lament", when Conrad shifted gears to drop-D tuning on "Save the Date" for the first time, when Scotty suggested the break on "Whiskey and Wine", when Teri came up with the tempo change on "Rust Belt Blues", Allen's ample advice regarding music theory, and all the other times individuals made songs stronger through their input.
This album represents the fruit of our love's (mostly) unpaid labour. We sincerely hope you enjoy it as you work and play.
on behalf of
The Lansing Unionized Vaudeville Spectacle
released 01 January 2013
This incarnation of the LUVS features:
Scotty Smith - Banjo
Dan Fox - Percussion
Jory Stultz - Accordion
Rick Hale - Percussion
Paul Bennet - Accordion
Dylan Rogers - Vocals, Ukuleles
Allen Stephenson - Upright Bass
James Bobcik - Saxophones, Clarinet, Flute
Conrad Lipsitz - Acoustic and Electric Guitars
Dereck Perkins - Fiddle, Singing Saw, Washboard
And the Paupettes:
Jenn Hill - Vocals
Teri Brown - Vocals
Iris Thompson - Vocals
Connie Perkins - Vocals
Mixed and Mastered by John Krohn @Deep Deep Pink
These recordings would not have been possible without the help of so many friends and neighbors. To you all, we would like to convey our utmost gratitude. First, to Alan Hooper at Triterra for lending us the building we used as a temporary studio. Without your help, none of this would have been possible. Also, to Jeana-Dee Allen Rogers for your constant support behind the scenes, crafting costumes and props for the stage show, and on stage as you dance in the Michigan costume.
Thanks and love also to:
Mark Omwansa, Vic T. Musique, Nate Baldwin, Nick Hranilovich, Jason Mardeuz, Jen Sygit, John Edison, Tommy at The Unicorn Tavern, The Great Lakes Collective, and everyone else who supports with their love, attendance, and sweet, sweet dollar bills.