It's not exactly fresh,and not exactly local, but we had to acknowledge this honorable mention of our neighbor to the south today (HT to We Own This Town
). From April 2010 through April 2011, Chicago native Shawn Rosenblatt, aka Netherfriends, embarked on a project to write and record a song and play a show in all 50 states, and he released the finished product on this year's Fourth of July. The result is a collection of hopeful pop tunes that are surprisingly sophisticated, given that Rosenblatt had no idea what kind of recording environment he would find any time he landed. The aptly titled 50 Songs 50 States
strikes a happy medium between Paleo's daunting Song Diary
, in which David Strackany wrote and recorded one song every day for a year (and frankly wore himself thin), and Sufjan Stevens' one-album-per-state project that has only yielded two albums in a decade.
When Rosenblatt visited Tennessee near the end of his trip, he played Trash Mountain in Murfreesboro, home to members of Meth Dad, Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt and others. He wrote and recorded this bittersweet ditty that puts the experience of wide-eyed independent musicians everywhere in a nutshell:
Tell my mom you like my songs
And it's not a passing fad
It might take my whole life to make a profit
And pay off my debt to my dad
But I'm not as stressed
And I'm feelin' blessed
'Cause of the people I have met
If it doesn't work out
At least I tried it
And look back with no regrets.
Stream it below, and check out the rest on Netherfriends' sweet interactive map, which also includes short blurbs on each place he stayed.