Artist: Heaven's Basement Song: Can't Let Go Album: Filthy Empire
"The song 'Can't Let Go' is about the line between infatuation and obsession," Sid Glover tells Rolling Stone. "It was written to sound like an adoring love song but in reality, if you read it literally, it's a creepy song about a guy who is actually keeping a girl prisoner."
Artist: Kevin Seconds Song: Truth Be Told Album: Off Stockton
"The song was initially written as a full-on old time-y gospel song with a bluesy, belter of a singer like Janis Joplin singing the lead parts," Kevin Seconds tells Rolling Stone. "I tried recording it that way but about midway through realized that I was no blues or gospel singer and it would feel just as nice, sparse, and quietly done."
Artist: Twin Forks Song: Kiss Me Darling Album: Twin Forks
"There is nothing better than coming home to the person you love," Chris Carrabba tells Rolling Stone. "That is the theme of 'Kiss Me Darling'. "Life is a winding road but with the right person it continues to lead you to each other over and over."
Artist: Stone Jack Jones Song: Joy Album: Ancestor
"You are dying. You are in pain. Excruciating pain. We whisper to you 'Joy's a coming...Joy's a coming. Hang on.' And joy does come," Stone Jack Jones says of his track "Joy." She is real. A beautiful large Jamacian woman with a melodious voice and a smile to light the room, bearing drugs to comfort and help you dream your way to the other side. She also fixes your hair. This happened in a room in Atlanta where my mother-in-law lay dying."
Artist: Dontae Winslow + Winslow Dynasty feat. Questlove Song: Summer Cookout Album: Enter the Dynasty
"'Summer Cookout' was an amazing opportunity for me to explore the more soulful roots of jazz and its gospel/quartet roots," Dontae Winslow tells Rolling Stone. "I love the trumpet going through a Hendrix style wahwah pedal for the main melody, because it catches the listner off guard. Questlove recorded the drums at his studio with his unique tuning and sounds that only he gets from a kit with a huge bass kick drum. 'Summer Cookout' for me is the jam that you'd put on in my hometown in Baltimore when the crabcakes would come out. It's a date with food, summer, fun, and a girl like you!"
"I was reading quite a bit of poetry for inspiration when I was writing the album, and Paul Verlaine's work was particularly influential," Lydia Loveless tells Rolling Stone. "He's such a Debbie Downer. I love the story of him shooting Arthur Rimbaud in a drunken rage and not even doing a very good job at it. The song is based off that, but also any power struggle of a relationship, particularly a creative one. I personally love conflict in all my relationships. Maybe not enough to shoot someone, but, ya know.."
Artist: Joseph King Song: Velvet Skin Album: Wanderlusting
"This song isn't about the end of a romantic relationship," Joseph King tells Rolling Stone. "It's about the moment of realization that you've become someone you're not, or don't want to be, relative to a certain person or situation, and no one is the better for it. Walking away is simply a matter of self-preservation, and the gentlest thing you can do for everyone's sake."
Artist: Amy Ray Song: Duane Allman Album: Goodnight Tender
"I was listening to The Allman Brothers when I was a young kind in the 70's. There was something so defiant yet vulnerable in their songs. It was my first taste of what I would love about southern rock boys," Amy Ray tells Rolling Stone. "I was so young that it didn't even dawn on me that Duane had died, but when I did realize it, it was my rock and roll coming of age. Susan Tedeschi of Tedeschi Trucks Band graciously agreed to sing some harmonies on 'Duane Allman' and without a touch of irony, recorded some killer tracks at her and Derek's studio in Florida. Her voice gave the song the wings it needed."
Artist: Cassorla Song: Future One (feat. Taylor Goldsmith from Dawes) Album: Amigos
"'Future One' came out of a phone call from a friend telling the story of his Friday night," Ben Cassorla tells Rolling Stone. "He had a giant fight with his lady and then, because they live together, he attempted to sleep a foot away from her still seething in anger. I loved the idea of two people humming with emotion inches away from each other. When I talked to Taylor about singing on it, we decided to leave in the demo recording of the chorus so there'd be two voices. Two people, two voices."
Artist: Tei Shi Song: Adder(f)all Album: Saudade (EP)
"The song came about from taking three different ideas I had for separate songs and joinging them into one," Valerie Teicher tells Rolling Stone. "Instead of making a really structured song I had looped these three sections/meoldy lines over one another, building them up and layering with harmonies. It was originally acapella and when the the instrumentals were added it really came into it's own."
Mad City Sessions - Thursday, February 20th at 6pm
Artist: Johnny Chimes & The Mardi Gras Band Song: "It's That HooDoo"
Just in time for Mardi Gras, the sounds of Johnny Chimes and the Mardi Gras Band will instantly transport you from cold State Street to the heart of Bourbon Street in New Orleans. This MadCity Session is going to be a Mardi Gras party (complete with authentic music and New Orleans-inspired foods), so come dressed in your best green, gold, and purple party outfits (keep 'em family-friendly, though).
About the artist: Although Johnny Chimes resides in Madison, WI, his pumping left hand and Cajun-flavored voice might as well live in Louisiana! With influences ranging from Dr. John and Professor Longhair to Leon Russeel and Mose Allison, Johnny Chimes is a jambalaya of boogie-woogie piano, finger-style guitar, and sweet southern soul-laced vocals. Having been a career musician for more than 35 years, Chimes is an accomplished pianist, guitarist, and songwriter with the retro-cool vibe to make your whiskey taste better and your problems seem like they're just one good blues song away from vanishing into the night.
Artist: Terrence Parker Song: "Sav3d Forever" (Planet-E Mix) Album: Life on the Back 9
The song 'Saved Forever' has a deep spiritual meaning behind it," Terrence Parker tells Rolling Stone. "While composing this song I thought on how God has unconditional love for us. This is something we strive for as humans but it is not always easily achieved even with family members. I tried to communicate this feeling in notes and patterns of the song which ultimately builds to a euphoric crescendo, representing our gradual daily progression to love others unconditionally."
Artist: Party Dolls
Album: Love Wars Baby
"My friend Kathryn Boyd sings with me on 'Indigo,'" Drew Beskin tells Rolling Stone. "This is a Valentine's Day record, so we figured we needed a female presence on at least one track. The song is basically about trying to keep your priorities straight and knowing that, sometimes, this can be impossible. There's also a line in the song that's a nod to my favorite Saturday Night Live skit - with Tom Hanks and the cast, about a Mr. Belvedere fan club - which fits well because the song has a creepy celebrity-obsession vibe."
Artist: Fever The Ghost Song: "Source" Album: Crab in the Honey EP
"Frequent visits to the Temple of Isis in astral travel sessions left the rhythm section of Fever The Ghost with five painful electrified crystal shards lodged in their souls upon returning home," Casper Andrizzo tells Rolling Stone. "The essence leapt into human contexts creating a mixture of sounds interrupted by Fever the Ghost as 'source'."
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