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Please Support Independent Record Stores

August 25th, 2009|Categories: News|

EP in stores today.  Find one near you? PLUS Peter Stroud is coming!

We are distributing our CD thru a company called Junketboy, AKA Think Indie. It’s a consortium of independent record retailers determined to bring true music lovers back to the stores that make a difference. Besides sharing the avid fan’s passion and enthusiasm for music, Think Indie stores are equipped with a unique catalogue of exclusive releases, live shows and limited-edition goodies from a variety of well-known artists – the kind of stuff that makes cool record stores even cooler. Visit THINKINDIE.COM to learn more or to find a store near you.
Oddly enough, the release day of Volume One is the day we finally turn our attention towards completing Volume Two. We’re pulling up tracks and knocking out quick rough mixes to send to our good old pal Loud & Proud Peter Stroud. (I coined his nick name back when he was a member of my backing band The Sinners.) You may have seen him playing guitar with Sheryl Crow lately. Or you may know him as founder of 65 AMPS. In any event, if you do know him, you most certainly love him. We are thrilled to have him come lend his immense talents to The Blend project.

The Exception to the Rule

August 17th, 2009|Categories: News|

Mirror Tent Music, a new concert series produced by Teatro ZinZanni and musician Stone Gossard, will present The Hank Khoir on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. for a special evening of music alongside cirque performance, comedy and dance at Teatro ZinZanni’s spiegeltent, 222 Mercer Street.

Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam has assembled a notable line up of Northwest singers and musicians for a special night of music as The HankKhoir. The HankKhoir features Vince Mira, Shawn Smith, Pete Droge, Barb Ireland, Dejha Colantuono, Elaine Summers, Lonnie Marshall, Scribes and Stone Gossard with musical arrangements by Teatro Zinzanni’s own Hans Teuber plus Seattle instrumental giants, including Keith Lowe, Brandon Harper, DJ Bean, D’Vonne Lewis, Jeff Felder, Regan Hagar, Skerik and Steve Moore. Comedy and cirque performances by Teatro ZinZanni’s own Peter Pitofsky and Vertical Tango will be woven into the two-hour evening and round out the Mirror Tent Music experience.

Tickets are $40 and go on sale on Tuesday, August 18 at noon. Tickets can be purchased online at mirrortentmusic.org, by calling (206) 802-0015 or in person at the Teatro ZinZanni box office (Open noon to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and Noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Closed Mondays). Purchasing tickets online is the best way to avoid waiting on the phone. There are no additional fees for online purchase.

Any Day Now

August 1st, 2009|Categories: News|

EP available here this week, in stores on AUG 25, Idol runner-up sings Droge, film takes its name from a Droge song & more.

The Puzzle Tree Online Store will launch this week. We are hoping to go live on Tuesday, August 4. You will be able to pre-order THE DROGE & SUMMERS BLEND Volume One EP and immediately download digital files. Plus, we’ll send you the CD long before it hits store shelves on August 25. Today, we are working on mixing a “Commentary” track that will be included on a homemade “Special Features” CDR that will be part of a Deluxe Edition. More details when the store goes live.

Canadian Idol runner up, Mitch MacDonlad, covered my song “Small Time Blues.” I think he does a great version. See for yourself HERE.

Those of you who regularly follow The All Droge News Compendium are no doubt aware that I have been working on a feature film score that has had an evolving name. First, Worlds Apart. Then, Living In Between. Now, I am thrilled to report that they have named the movie after my song “A Lot Like You.”

Finally, an update on the romantic drama Elaine Summers and I wrote a song for last month. They did not pick our song. We did end up with two songs that will be strong contenders for a future Blend EP, though.

That’s it for now. Thanks for stopping by.

Invincible Summer

July 1st, 2009|Categories: News|

The Living in Between score is taking shape nicely. June saw some real progress. We are still in what we are calling ‘sketch’ mode with music while they continue to shape up the edit. This is the first time I have started into music on a project so early, and so far I like this approach a lot. I am able to work fast and stay focused on the core of an idea without getting bogged down with the minutiae of locking with picture. I know there is plenty of heavy lifting to come, but for now, it is liberating to shoot from the hip.
At the moment, I am putting Living in Between onto the back burner while Elaine and I take a shot at writing the love theme/ end credits song for a romantic drama. It’s a touching story from a director I really admire. If our song sticks, I’ll tell you more.
THE DROGE & SUMMERS BLEND Volume One will be in stores in late, mid August. You’ll be able to buy the record before it’s street date right here as early as late, mid July. More details later.

That’s it for now. Thanks for stopping by.

Done to a Turn

May 31st, 2009|Categories: News|

Happy to report that The Droge & Summers Blend Volume One mixes are complete and in the capable hands of grammy award winning mastering engineer, Gavin Lurssen. This week we turn our attention to finalizing art work and getting our online store ready for launch.
I was thrilled to join Stone Gossard in the studio last month. Stone assembled a crack band (Branden Harper, Keith Lowe, Hans Tueber, Barb Ireland, Steve Moore & Bean One.) I was there to serve as a kind of old school, executive producer… way more hands off than my normal routine… nice change of pace. Stone has some amazing new songs and picked some really interesting covers. There was a seven camera video shoot going on… keep and eye on pearljam.com for some videos from the sessions.
Recently completed music for another Amica Insurance TV ad. It’s a 60 second spot directed by Sam Jones.
I have been doing just a tad bit of writing lately for the score of the documentary, Living In Between (formerly known as Worlds Apart.) Will likely be putting this project squarely on the front burner soon.
Puzzle Tree Studio will play host to a basic tracking session for Garth Reeves this month. Jason Staczek will be producing and this time I get to play a complete drum kit! (Last time I only was allowed to hit one drum.)
That’s it for now. Thank you for stopping by.

I Can See the Forest Again

March 31st, 2009|Categories: News|

I recently composed original music for two Amica Insurance television spots directed by the multi-talented Sam Jones. I am not sure when the spots will begin airing. I will put one on my work page soon.

With the Amica gig behind me, I am turning my attention back to THE DROGE & SUMMERS BLEND project. We took almost all of March off from the first EP. I had become way too close to everything and could not see the forest for the trees. Now, we have renewed enthusiasm and perspective. And a wicked desire to use compression as irresponsibly as possible.

I lent a bit of drumming to a new song for Seattle singer-songwriter Garth Reeves. In the spirit of full disclosure, it was only one drum, struck with a mallet. Also hung around while they cut basic tracks and lent an opinion now and then.

We Want to Hear From You

February 28th, 2009|Categories: News|

The Puzzle Tree Online Store will be open soon. We want your feedback first. Responses to any or all of the following would be appreciated. You can email us at contact at puzzletreemusic dot com.
1 We are planning on making all of our music available in a variety of formats. How important is it to you to have the option of downloading a file that has better fidelity than an MP3? Would you be interested in a 24 bit 96k version? 16 bit AIFF? FLAC? Anything else?
2 What do you think a fair price is for a digital album? How about a 5 song EP?
3 Are you a fan of the idea of “pay what you want”? If so, why?
4 Do you buy CDs, digital downloads or both?
5 Where do you purchase music?
6 How do you discover new music these days?
7 In what environments to you listen to music?
8 When you want to check out a song a friend told you about, where do you look first?
Please feel free to share any other thoughts you have that you think we may find interesting. Thanks in advance for your input.

Tracking is complete for the first Droge & Summers Blend EP. We postponed the mixing process while we made some dramatic changes to the Puzzle Tree Studio control room. (Thanks to our friends at ASC… the Tube Trap monitor stands are beyond amazing.) Elaine is heading out of town, so we’ll throw the record on the back burner and take a much needed break and try to gain some perspective. While she is gone, I’ll turn my focus towards the score for the documentary Worlds Apart. And, I will try to get out and clear the blackberries that are encroaching on my Monkey Tree.

UNICEF’s Tap Project in Seattle is using our song “Into The Sunset” in it’s TV spots again this year. For info on World Water Week click HERE. You can view the clip from last year HERE.

If you want to know my top ten pieces of studio gear, visit www.vintageking.com

Slow & Steady

December 30th, 2008|Categories: News|

Elaine Summers and I have been steadily chipping away at the DROGE & SUMMERS BLEND project. In November, we were joined by Jay Bellerose (drums), Jennifer Condos (bass), Scott Weddle (guitar) and Rob Stroup (engineering). As always, Puzzle Tree Assistant Ninja, Vincent LaBelle was on hand. Before the sessions we were frantically working to complete the songs and get pre-produced. We got it all ready and once everyone was here, things went smoothly. We felt like a real band that had been playing together for a long time. Things came together quickly and we wound up with plenty of time left over to share stories and laughs. Since then Elaine and I have been overdubbing and mixing. Seattle’s Hans Teuber came out to play clarinet and pocket trumpet. And Portland’s Paul Brainard will be here soon to play some “poor man’s Jerry Garcia” style pedal steel guitar. I am not making any promises about when this will be released. We will serve no song before it’s time. We are enjoying the luxury of having our own studio. Plus, we are woodshedding on mixing and studying the way people used to put records together sonically.
I have been jumping away for the Blend record from time to time to work on the score for the documentary Worlds Apart. In a few days, I will begin working on the music for a short ‘preview’ trailer.
That’s it for now… Happy New Year!

What’s In A Name?

October 1st, 2008|Categories: News|

Elaine Summers and I have finally settled on exactly what we are going to call our project. Drum roll please… we are now “The Droge & Summers Blend.” That is our name and we are sticking with it. We are working on the first in a series of EPs now. Basic tracking was a dream. Our heartfelt thanks to Dave Hull, Matt Chamberlain, Scott Weddle, Rob Stroup and Vincent LaBelle for their amazing contributions. We could not be happier with how things are shaping up around our songs. The early stand out track is the upbeat toe tapper “Sad Clown.” We are chipping away on vocals and various overdubs. And we will soon turn our attention to more writing for Volume Two which will feature bassist Jennifer Condos and drummer Jay Bellerose. We saw Jay last night while he was in Seattle playing with Robert Plant and Alison Kraus. We plan on making Volume One available as a download before the end of the year. Look for the limited edition CD in early 2009.

You can hear Elaine and I singing on two brand new songs from our pal Stone Gossard. Visit PEARLJAM.COM/STONEGOSSARD to listen for yourself. I served as the executive producer on the tracks as well. Stone’s also got some really cool live video versions of some great songs on his site. He will be steadily releasing more new songs and live videos in the coming monthes. Gossard’s digital release helps to kick-off Timberland’s DIG IT campaign; a multi-city initiative bringing together eco-minded, activists and artists for daylong re-greening efforts.

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