February 7, 2013

The Jellyrox Remix

Our new friend Matt Langston aka “The Jellyrox” is lead vocalist and synth programming guru for the band Eleventyseven. We were honored that he asked to take our song Turn Around (from our recent EP “Under the New Sun”) and add it to the list of tunes he has made substantially hipper with his popular remixes.

He wrote on his blog: “If you’re familiar with the band, you probably already know that they are the kind of guys that intentionally come up with finger-cramp-inducing-next-to-impossible complicated guitar chord structures and voicings simply to frustrate the crap out of everyone who attempts to play their songs. Of course, we all know they do this simply to lord their superior musical abilities over the rest of the seemingly ‘guitarted’ populus of musicians still trying to figure out how to augment a J Major suspended 4.” You can read the rest of the blog entry here.

That’s pretty funny. By the way, if you’re keeping score at home, the trickiest chord in Turn Around is Gm+6/Bb.

You can download the song here.


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December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas from Smalltown Poets!

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November 15, 2012

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

We’re excited to announce that we’re following up last year’s Smalltown Poets Christmas Tour with a few Christmas appearances this season. December 2012 will find us in Seattle, Portland, Atlanta, and a few other places. We’re pretty excited about the fact that the tour concludes in our hometown of Tifton GA, where it all began way too long ago.

Click here for all the dates and info.

Here’s some press about the Christmas record.

And here are excerpts from a press release last year: On Smalltown Poets Christmas, Michael Johnston, Byron Goggin, Kevin Breuner, Miguel DeJesus and Danny Stephens evoke the fun, hope and wonder of the Advent season with fresh arrangements of many Christmas favorites and three new original songs. The band regrouped in the fall of 2010 to begin production on their fifth studio album  which was co-produced by former Smalltown Poets drummer Matt Goldman (Underoath, Third Day, Casting Crowns, Copeland, The Chariot).

The bulk of the arranging and recording work was done in Michaelʼs home studio…Then the whole band convened at Glow in the Dark Studios in Atlanta to wrap things up in a bow. An unexpected benefit from the unconventional tracking process was the “family and friends” backdrop of the sessions, which brought warmth to the performances and led to a large cast of outside contributors.

North Carolina based band Elishah stepped in for glass-raising vocals on the album’s closing song while Rebecca Lovell of Georgia-based band Larkin Poe contributes her enchanting alto to a duet arrangement of “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”  Add a banjo player here, a cellist there, and even a member of the Georgia Boy Choir, and a picture forms of carolers and visitors stopping by for a holiday visit.


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October 16, 2012

Album Release Day!

It’s officially Oct. 16th, which means…we have a new album out today! Our new 7-song EP, Under The New Sun, is available now on iTunes, CD Baby, and just about every other digital outlet you can think of. (A physical CD version will be released shortly).

It’s our first (non-Christmas) release in a long time. All five original Poets recorded these tunes together, and as the songs took shape, we couldn’t help remarking to ourselves, “Hey! This sounds like Smalltown Poets!” The whole journey, from brainstorming to recording demos to final mixes, fit like a glove, and we’re really looking forward to you hearing what we’ve come up with.

As fun as re-working old Christmas songs was last year, we’ve really gotten back to our beginnings by crafting lyric-intensive songs from the ground up, doing our best to turn a few phrases, sneak in a few puns, and challenge our listeners to dive in and bring their own imaginations.

The album title is taken from an old Villanelle (yes, that’s a previous incarnation of Smalltown Poets) song titled May Day. The song itself isn’t on our EP, but that particular lyric – “under the new sun” – seems to sum up many of the themes of the new project: death and rebirth, renewal, restoration, resurrection.

We have loved making this record. We hope you love listening.

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October 5, 2012

Michael’s Crazy Percussion for Turn Around

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