The River Strumming
+ ORIGINALLY RELEASED BY ST. IVES
+ 15th ANNIVERSARY REISSUE OF THIS CLASSIC ALBUM
+ INITIAL PRESSING LIMITED TO 1000 COPIES -- 400 ON 180G HALF COKE BOTTLE GREEN & HALF BONE, 600 ON 180G BLACK
The American singer-songwriter tradition has always been tethered to a rustic austerity, the sort of front-porch authenticity that suggests an age where home electronics are still considered luxury items. But there’s also the ongoing influence of Bob Dylan and The Band’s Basement Tapes—that strange and beloved document of the magic that happens when private experiments with the folk template flourish into layered and lush songs—and its genesis through informal recording sessions. In our modern age, these kinds of casual DIY constructions are perhaps the more honest contribution to the Americana lineage—the true homespun artform.
When Michael Nau and Whitney McGraw struck out on their own in the wake of the dissolution of their beloved indie-folk outfit Page France, they continued their songwriting practice with a new project called Cotton Jones Basket Ride. As legend has it, Nau and McGraw were working on the material for their debut full-length Paranoid Cocoon (2009) when they realized they had an entire album’s worth of odds-and-ends from various recording sessions. The resultant album—The River Strumming—was released in 2008 on St. Ives in a batch of 300 unique hand-packaged LPs. As the label advertised it back in the day, the band “initially set out to make a cohesive record, and made just the opposite.” Like The Basement Tapes, The River Strumming is a document of a band exploring possibilities without the weight of expectation. The band would eventually condense their name to Cotton Jones and make a name for themselves in the indie world for their fusion of dreamy folk and psychedelic baroque pop. But in the beginning, there was this weird and wonderful collection of songs made by musicians who were enjoying the private process of finding their path.
Suicide Squeeze is proud to present a 15th-anniversary vinyl reissue of this long out-of-print classic with updated artwork by Kayleigh Montgomery-Morris. Our first pressing is limited to 1000 copies—400 on Suicide Squeeze-exclusive 180g half coke bottle green / half bone, and 600 copies on 180g black vinyl.
**VINYL PICTURE IS A MOCK-UP IMAGE. FINISHED PRODUCT WILL VARY**