The True Spokes

by The True Spokes

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about

“Together they come up with music that strikes a nice balance between being musically and lyrically creative and yet likely to have wide appeal. There are touches of retro sounds, but originality dominates. The group often shows some cleverness, and yet it's fairly subtle and unpretentious.” George Graham - WVIA-FM, Pennsylvania The Graham Weekly Album Review

Everything in its right place is an expression that springs to mind with Seattle’s The True Spokes. All the fundamentals are rock solid and what rises from that sure foundation is rock ‘n’ roll of a timeless nature, born from quality musicianship and songwriting and given subtle, seductive nuance. While their eponymous 2012 debut marks their first studio outing, several lifetimes of experience – musical and otherwise – resonates in their music, something wholly organic and softly philosophical - a perfect soundtrack for the daily grind that reaches outward beyond the challenges towards something hopeful, real and truthful. Singer-guitarist Josh Clauson, singer-guitarist RL Heyer, drummer Scott Goodwin, and percussionist/keyboardist Bob Rees are cut from a classic mold, very much kindred spirits to Wilco, The Beatles, and The Kinks, i.e. powerhouse groups where harmony, robust playing and dedicated craftsmanship run headlong into rock’s indefinable, exuberant, enduring zeitgeist.

“There’s the concept of truing a wheel, and our name comes from that,” says Heyer. The True Spokes emerged as a way to reflect how this is a group effort and not a single person’s vision. We’re all working together to produce this sound.”

The band is a well regarded, popular staple in the Pacific Northwest including curating Summer Meltdown, one of the coolest annual regional music festivals in the U.S. Like that warm, inviting August gathering, The True Spokes offer listeners a warm embrace with a sound that’s immediately appealing but whose layers become apparent over time.

The True Spokes recorded the debut album, produced by Tim Bluhm of The Mother Hips, as a five piece with the help of Eric Bryson on bass. Now, Bob, Josh and R.L trade off the bass duties. “It’s really liberating to not be tied down to specific parts we created for the album"

“It cuts to the heart of everything a little more, getting to the parts that absolutely have to be there and letting the rest go,” observes Goodwin. “It’s helping the songs along really well.”

"All four guys have a solid hand in writing and arranging, which generates a collective feel where all the talent and imagination inside them coalesces into something larger and richer than the constituent parts. Dynamics can range from crushing guitars, buff rock rhythms and synth bass to three part harmonies over acoustic guitar, lap steel and rhodes. We can add a bass player or a horn section one night, but the core of it is the four of us".

“Right now, we’re experiencing an incredible sense of freedom,” says Heyer. “If we want to sound a certain way at a particular show then we can experiment without fear".

“With The True Spokes, I’m always stoked to see what we’ll do each time we get together. Just knowing SOMETHING is gonna happen every time is such a blast!” says Goodwin. “We’re in the workroom chipping away at it all, and we want people to know that, to know we’re dedicated to giving them music worth listening to. We’re not going to stand still and play things the same way. The way is always forward with us.”

credits

released 04 February 2012

Recorded at Mission Bells Studio, San Francisco
Produced by The True Spokes and Tim Bluhm
Engineered and Mixed by David Simon-Baker
Mastered by Mike Wells/Mike Wells Mastering, Los Angeles

The True Spokes are Josh Clauson, RL Heyer, Scott Goodwin, Eric Bryson, and Bob Rees

Artwork design and layout by Justin Sorensen

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about

The True Spokes Seattle, Washington

cut from a classic mold, very much kindred spirits to Wilco, The Beatles, and The Kinks, i.e. powerhouse groups where harmony, robust playing and dedicated craftsmanship run headlong into rock’s indefinable, exuberant, enduring zeitgeist - a perfect soundtrack for the daily grind that reaches outward beyond the challenges towards something hopeful, real and truthful ... more

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Track Name: Back Porch
I never thought it would come to this
I never thought it would go to Youtube, but who knew
I took a ride inside the bliss
It took a smile behind the blinds of you too

I am writing from the back porch of my mind
I'm writing a letter, and I go there all the time
Such a crazy factory is mankind
You outta' swing by my porch some time

When you're quiet and alone
and when you're a thousand miles from home, when you roam
just turn on that old radio
You know I'll be there swinging back and fourth and singin'

I am writing from the back porch of my mind
I'm writing a letter and I go there all the time
Such a makeshift mockery is mankind
You outta' swing by my porch sometime
Track Name: Too Wrong
Broke down on a dead end street of a ghost town with no one around
Heard the cry of a man behind a dilapidated Conoco
He said, "son, can you hand me one of them coffin nails inside my coat?"
Took a pull, said, "I'll tell you just how these fools turned all the green to brown."

They had abandoned the sanctity of all that is pure
He asked an obvious question, just to be sure

How long were we planning to remain
So wrong? I'll ask again and again
How long 'til the heart of everyone is the same?

Don't know how it got so bad when everybody knew what to do
No way they could sustain that system they had set in place
Stuck trying to save their comfort, they were lucky if they'd save their race

They had forsaken the Mother of everything we know
What do you do when the waste has nowhere else to go?

Do you know
How long we were planning to remain
So wrong? I'll ask again and again
How long 'til the heart of everyone is the same?
How long were we planning to remain
So wrong? I'll ask again and again
How long 'til the voice of everyone is the same?
Track Name: One Way
You in all of your glory. The laugh lines on your face.
Where you walk they all tell stories. Some of which I can trace.
only one way, just one way. There's only one way to get back.
You know someday, ya someday. You know we'll all deal with that.

When you reach out your hands, the truth it pours from your faith.
And your presence so commanding, well that is how we relate
There's only one way, just one way there's only one way to get back.
You know someday, ya someday. You know we'll all deal with that.

Well the crows they fly their own way. Those rivers run to the sea. And this breeze it brings us the new day, and we were all once babies.

We're going one way, just one way. There's only one way to get back.
You know someday ya someday, you know we'll all deal with that.

Oh there you go, you're walking just like you used to know the way.
And you should know. that you can't go back on nothing
you're going alone
Track Name: Harmony
Forever isn't long if you're unconscious and/or dreaming
I know because it's always been that way
Despite all I've been told about all our immortal souls
I can't help living for today

It's not unwise to theorize how choices we make now
Affect us in a way we'd never dream
But if all things in this life are connected like a blanket
I fear we're tearing at the seams

Let's live in harmony
Join together and sing
Every living thing
In perfect harmony
Track Name: Saving Face
I am in no way one to save face
I've got it alright,
my world in place
Oh how that time it goes by
Oh how that time it goes by

I am not wanting to go backward
Yes when that ice melts,
life here returns
Oh how that gold it shines
Oh how that gold it shines

don't look back
don't turn back
Track Name: What She Needs
She's my baby but I let her down
She kept calling but I wasn't around
And it's just crazy 'cuz I love her so much
Now I feel her touch

And it's calming underneath the trees
With the gentle rains, the cool air, and a mellow breeze
There's one answer to the question, you'll agree
Give her what she needs

She keeps trying to understand
Why I was declining to stick to the plan
One little flower could never say
Enough to take her Blues away

You're my lady lemme be your man
You mean more to me than any Rock and Roll band
Precious sweetheart won'tcha help me see
Tell me what you need
Track Name: Old at Heart
Step on the light
Let me know how you feel
Let me know what this means to you
To try this one more time
Step on the red light
Lay your head on the ground
I’ll let you know what this means to me
To see you on the other side

Step on the light
Go beyond what feels alright
Let me know what this means to you
To try this one more time
Step on the red light
Go beyond tonight
I’ll let you know how it feels to me
To see you on the other side

I’m old at heart

Step on the red light
I’m old at heart
Track Name: One More Line
Skin and bones and tangled, questionable just by design
You put it all together, you've got me every once in a while.
If just for a moment the stars would align and this all makes sense, we all unwind.
The soul of your worry is all in your mind. Well that almost works most every time.

When the well runs dry

We were born to wander. To set the torch and pay no mind. And uniforms among us. The iron grip that is getting tight. My eyes are not blurry, I see just fine. They always said you'll always be blind

When the well runs dry. With winged heels fly

The queen of all the angels set me down by her fire. Do you recall me stranger? Lend your ears while I remind ya. The heart of the world is searching to find what's always been, your love inside and nothing is broken. We still gotta try. Those walls are thin and they'll cave in time

When the well runs dry. We learn to fly
When the well runs dry. With winged heels fly
Track Name: American Heartache
We went from nothin’ to Tennesee
I wanted Memphis in front of me
So we marched on through the night
Yeah we put up some kind of fight

American Heartache
Life is what you make
American Heartache
It’s one thing we all stake

There was nothin' for turnin’ back
There is tomorrow and that's a fact
What does it matter where you land
When you know where you stand

American Heartache
It's one thing we all stake
American Heartache
Life is what you make

My broken heart is weeping
Tell me the secrets you're keeping

It is a piece of you're history
It's what they didn't want you to see
It's on the wall and it's on the street
and it curls up at your feet
Track Name: Rocketship
I can see the light that surrounds you
Shining on me forever
Like a golden reverie
Shut my eyes to stare

How do I turn this rocketship around
Gliding by a glimpse of love
With all our hopes inside
Killing time until we’re born

Let’s build a rocketship

I can feel the scan of your eyes
Striking me a thick sensation
Cracking the hull by second hands
Time slipping out of spaces

What will it take for me
To turn this rocketship around
Running around this family tree
A bloodline to see the dawn

Let’s build a rocketship
Track Name: Unravel
Don't watch too closely
It'll getcha down
Just inhale slowly
And let it out

You can stand below the clouds and let the rain pour down
Or come inside and warm yourself by the fire
Oh oh oh, wait out the storm

If it's not important
Then why does it make you cry?
It's been reported
Life is brutal, then you die

It's healthy to believe Love is all that we need
We'll just sing and dance away all the disaster
Relax and cleanse yourself with the laughter
Ha ha ha

Bring your thoughts in close before they scatter
Seek out what's in your mind over matter

The answer's always down the road less traveled
Sounds spiral out as time unravels