Abandon Jalopy: Death & Joy


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Abandon Jalopy: Death & Joy
Artist: Abandon Jalopy
Title: Death & Joy

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BRAD SMITH/ABANDON JALOPY - by Greg Prato Its been a while since we last heard from Brad Smiths solo project Abandon Jalopy. However since AJs 2002 debut Mercy Mr. Smith hasnt been just sitting on his keister the entire time as hes been busy getting his recording studio Studio Wishbone up and running producing other acts as well as recording and touring with Unified Theory and a reunited Blind Melon. But now its time for Smith to return back to the Jalopy as a long-awaited sophomore effort Death and Joy has been released. The first Abandon Jalopy record I think I played three shows in Seattle recalls Smith. They all went really well so I figured OK Im going to do this. But then Christopher and I formed Unified Theory so I put AJ on hold. After Unified Theory disbanded I got into producing for a few years and then we made another run at Blind Melon with a new singer in 2007. It kept me from standing on my own as a singer and songwriter. But after Blind Melon ended the second time it left me with a lot of songs on the burner and something to say. So I coaxed myself - Come on Brad get the Jalopy out of the garage It seems as if there was always reasons not to pursue AJ but at this moment Im like Ive made a record Im going to tour and the chips are going to fall where they may. Ive been writing songs since I was 16. I dont have a race car like Shannon Hoon to sing them anymore so its time for me to step up. The result is an eleven-track recording that certainly picks up where AJs debut left off. With Smith handling vocal and bass duties throughout the album also features contributions from Blind Melons guitar tandem of Christopher Thorn and Rogers Stevens as well as guitarist Kevin Haaland who has played with Brooke White and other American Idol artists and drummer Jimmy Paxson who is a member of Stevie Nicks band. And for Smith several tracks certainly stand out. I wrote this song called Death and Joy and its about family and growing up and realizing that life is one of those spots right in the middle of death and joy. Youre not always elated and youre only dead one time. So life is really like all these little small things that at the time dont seem to really mean that much. I just had an epiphany about what life is and it made me relax and appreciate what is happening right now with me and my family and upbringing. I Wont Be the Same is definitely about Shannon Hoon Blind Melons original/late singer. I dont think theres any mystery there. I have a feeling that for each of my AJ records theres going to be one song on there about Shannon just because I think about him every day. Especially in a studio and writing scenario. Back in the Blind Melon days I would always write songs and would hear Shannon singing my songs in my head as I was writing them. Its one of those things that shaped me as a young writer and I cant get away from it. Im always thinking about him so theres going to be at least one song on every record about how much I miss Shannon or at least one little thing that was really important to me during those years with him. And another song that holds a special place in Smiths heart is Love Has A Way as Hoons daughter Nico Blue Hoon joined Smith in the studio. She sang the background vocals on that. Her voice is so sweet. She comes out to California and visits Kim Smith Brads wife and I every summer. Shes so big now - shes 16 and beautiful. And shes starting to ask me questions about her dad. I feel like I can tell her stuff about her dad without overstepping or being too sensitive about how its going to affect her for the rest of her life - shes a young lady now. So I can tell her all these endearing things about how important Shannon was to me to Blind Melon and as it turns out the world. While she was here I had just finished writing Love Has A Way so I asked her to sing with me. It was a great moment. From here on out it appears as though Abandon Jalopy will be Smiths main musical focus. This is my second record in ten years and I plan on releasing these pretty regularly now. I have enough confidence I feel like I have enough to say. I like the idea of being completely independent of other band members. This is something I want to leave behind for the world. It might be an overly romantic view but its really the only thing that I have to contribute to the world thats worth anything. When you get older you start thinking about How are you contributing to the world or society Abandon Jalopy is probably my best foot forward in that regard. With further recordings and live dates on the horizon this Jalopy has plenty of fuel left in the tank. Abandon Jalopy is such a fitting name for my project because I keep stalling and not wanting to face myself. Abandon Jalopy is one of those phrases that makes me feel like I should go out there and work on the car and finally get it off the ground. -Greg Prato.

1.1 Up Til Now
1.2 Black Cloud
1.3 All the Way
1.4 Dragonfly
1.5 Hold Tight
1.6 Death Joy
1.7 Love Has a Way
1.8 Summer Dont Leave
1.9 My Only Heaven
1.10 I Wont Be the Same
1.11 Willing

H 0.34
W 11.43
L 12.55

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