1999 album with 11 bonus tracks. Also available on Vinyl.
’Choochtown’ from American artist Hamell On Trail is getting the special ‘20th Anniversary’ release remaster and available on it’s first proper Vinyl worldwide release. Acoustic guitarist, singer-songwriter Ed Hamell aka. Hamell On Trial, not only records music, performs live, produces independent writing, he also paints. And his albums reflect all his inspirations, delivering records that are sonic melange drawn from a contemporary social tapestry. Hamell on Trial is a one-man punk band, engrossing the listener into (mostly) loud, fast music informed by politics, passion, energy and intelligence, played by a guy with a sharp tongue and a wicked sense of humour and ’Choochtown’ is no exception to the rule.
Born in Syracuse, NY, Ed Hamell started many a band before grasping the amazing appeal of autonomy: the solo musician’s ability to write a song and perform it the same evening. After freeing himself from the spiritual and financial burdens of a full band, he found himself with a bunch of new songs and a gig at a benefit concert. “I had never played solo before and never really listened to acoustic music,” he recalls. “Every musician in town was going to be there, so, knowing that I was going to be scrutinised, and also to differentiate myself from the James Taylors of the world, I decided to call it Hamell on Trial, figuring it would be a one-time deal. After the show, I was offered a record deal from a local label, something I had never come close to in my band years, so even an idiot like me realised I was on to something, and the name stuck.”
Ed Hamell on ‘Choochtown’: “I was living in Brooklyn, constantly on the road, and been dropped from my major label deal on Mercury/Universal. I really had nothing to lose and I was very inspired, if I remember, by the movie Pulp Fiction and the Biggie Smalls record: Ready To Die. I recorded anywhere I could. My friend Billy Nicgorski had an analog one inch studio inhis basement, his younger brother had a band and I would use them. I also did a bunch of it in my basement in Brooklyn which had a dirt floor and I set the recording gear up on plasticpaint pails. Used them as drums sometimes too. I released it on my own label Such-A-Punch and it got licensed to Evangeline in the UK where it got rave reviews and established my career over there. After all the press I got for my first two albums on a major I couldn’t get shit over here in the States, only that CMJ magazine which took their silliness pretty seriously who basically said, ‘We don’t know what it is but it’s art.’ Duh.
“I’m pretty proud of all my records, I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve always been able to maintain complete creative control but this one I was particularly proud of because every inch of it, from the recording which one track as you’ll see was recorded on my boom box, to the artwork, was all mine.”
Hamell On Trial reissue ‘Choochtown’ on CD and digital download album with 11 bonus tracks from the original recording sessions with Billy Nicgorski. ‘Choochtown’ will also see its first proper vinyl release worldwide. The vinyl version, pressed on coloured 150g vinyl, is a remastered version of the original album released in 1999.
“Amazing and entertaining and poignant” The Stereo Times Online Magazine
“High-spirited... manic energy.. artful” CMJ“Absolutely brilliant!” Uncut (*****)