New Album Featuring Chris Butler and the Late Ralph Carney Due Out in September

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click to enlarge New Album Featuring Chris Butler and the Late Ralph Carney Due Out in September
Beth Becker
An Akron native, the late Ralph Carney left behind a remarkable legacy prior to passing away earlier this year.

The saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist played with local proto-punks Tin Huey and performed with the likes of Elvis Costello, the B-52's, Les Claypool and They Might Be Giants.

Most famously, he was Tom Waits' sax man on classic albums like Rain Dogs, Bone Machine and Mule Variations.

Now, Smog Veil Records has announced it'll release Songs for Unsung Holidays, an album Carney recorded with Northeast Ohio native Chris Butler.

According to the press release announcing the Sept. 7 release of the album, the songs are “deliberately silly and absurd about goof ball/off-the-wall holidays.” The disc includes tracks such as "Polka Day," a tune loaded with Northeast Ohio references, and "Gorilla Suit Day."

In the press release, Butler says the project came together with a call from Carney, who asked, “How come there are no more silly bands? Let’s do a project!” As a result, they brainstormed and wrote songs about obscure holidays.

"We'd pass tracks back and forth, and bingo…we soon had enough material for a whole record!" says Butler. "I had the good fortune of writing 'Christmas Wrapping' while in the Waitresses, and folks have always urged me to write other holiday songs for Easter or Thanksgiving. Nah. No fun in that. But National Salami Appreciation Day? Or National Polka Day? That’s more like it!"

All songs were written and produced by Butler and Carney and were recorded in their respective home studios. The record was mastered by Gary Hobish at Armin Hammer Productions.

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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