GemsOnVHS presents ‘Rough Cuts, Vol2,’ by young country singer/songwriter Nick Shoulders. The release finds Shoulders performing completely solo in an old train tunnel, carved clear through a mountain, near his home in the Ozarks. The recording was made completely live (with natural reverb!) and without overdubs. It follows Shoulders’ debut album ‘Okay, Crawdad,’ which was recorded with his band in New Orleans.
‘Rough Cuts’ was recorded by film-maker Anthony Simpkins who runs GemsOnVHS, an ongoing archive/collection of folk music that focuses on acoustic, unplugged and off-stage performance videos by a variety of musicians, and which has garnered millions of views for its work on YouTube.
Nick Shoulders’ ‘GemsOnVHS Rough Cuts, Vol. 2’ collection features songs new and old. It features stark versions of some of Shoulders’ most popular songs, including Snakes & Waterfalls and Hank’s Checkout Line, complete with spoken introductions. For media servicing only we’ve added a bonus track, Bound & Determined, which is taken from a GemsOnVHS video shoot, and is particularly timely with the US election only weeks away. From the GemsOnVHS YouTube post:
‘Another installment of our journey through the diverse lands of Arkansas, with our esteemed host (and Fayetteville local) Nick Shoulders. This week, he takes us a stones throw from his childhood home, to the confederate cemetery he grew up wandering. In turbulent times such as these, I can’t think of a better place to reflect on what happens when we let wealthiest leaders and loudest mobs lead us directly into armed conflict. It leads straight to a graveyard, where all glorious causes go to die. As someone who, similar to Nick, was born and raised here in the South (I’m writing from good ole Smithville, TN), it is quite the history to grapple with.
In this song, Nick does just that grappling. From the perspective of a lifelong southerner, he writes of contemporary issues in a form blazed by the likes of Woody and Phil Ochs, with that signature warble of his carrying the melody along. I love topical folk songs, ones that sound like they’re ripped from the headlines of the news and given a tune. I imagine folks from the 22nd century uncovering this one, learning about our time from it, like we do today listening to songs about the old songs of the dust bowl, or medieval ballads.
Here is what the artist, Nick, had to say about his song, “This is a song about inclusion. The chorus reads, “I keep the door, open for you” and I mean it. I truly don’t want to shame you for your beliefs, but we need to be reminded occasionally that our opinions have consequences.” ‘
Nick Shoulders, ‘GemsOnVHS Rough Cuts, Vol. 2‘
a 5-track digital album featuring songs performed live by Nick Shoulders, is AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE NOW from:
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With thanks to Dave Laing Publicity