THE SUITCASE JUNKET--- to listen go to www.myspace.com/thesuitcasejunket
This album is a live recording of my one-man-band set up. (pictured below) It was recorded in Greenfield MA with Max Adam at Bank Row Records. It features a suitcase bass drum, a washboard underfoot, a hi-hat, and an old gas can rigged up to a foot pedal. Most of the songs are played on a beat-up junker of a guitar that was rescued from the trash over at Hampshire College. An instrument in the trash? C'mon kids what kind of education are they giving you over there?
(says the F2000 Alum) Anyway, it was missing the bridge and nut so I used a finish nail for the saddle and a piece of steel with grooves filed into it for the nut. Gives it bit of a buzz sometimes. A little like a sitar. Bottle neck slide. That's easy enough to make. Sometimes when I'm feeling frustrated I'll just "make" some slides. Just scratch into the glass around the neck and whack it with a hammer. Careful! I've been using a piece of weathered clam-shell as a pick and I really like the sharp attack it has. It's the purple and white striped kind that you find all over the place. I used to collect it obsessively when I was younger after being told that it was at one point in time "money." This isn't exactly true. The "wampum" that was used as a symbol of value was actually beads made out of clamshells. So the craft of making the bead and it's ability to be strung up and carried gave inherent value. Also it must have been really pretty. Especially the purple ones.
Check the calendar for upcoming shows!
Sky Below - a journal of song - recorded in the spring of 2009 in what was then my newly renovated room.
This one is mellow, reflective, sleepy and sad. Layered guitar, pump organ, clarinet, violin and voice. I captured a really fantastic downpour during one of the songs. It was a thick warm afternoon and the raindrops were so big they sounded like hail.
Praise For the Suitcase Junket - From the Valley Advocate - April 1 2010 (right on my birthday!)
The Suitcase Junket
Sever and Lift
Sever and Lift begins with a sort of triumphant strangeness cobbled together by flailing acoustic guitar, clanging percussion and vocal (?) tones that land somewhere between Tuvaan-style throat singing, a sitar and a whistle. However that happened, it's very cool, especially considering the album was recorded live and without overdubs, according to the liner notes. As if that weren't enough, there's only one musician credited with making all these live sounds: Matt Lorenz. He appears to be making all that noise with a suitcase, a high hat, a gas can, a guitar and voice. Lorenz' songs offer strongly sung, compelling melodies, a continual sense of imminent collapse, and a talented use of every end of the limited sonic spectrum available to a solo performer. He even employs an often under-utilized tool—silence—to arrange his strange-attractor music. This is a grandly executed, highly individual effort from start to finish. —James Heflin