Attention all Bryce Avary fans: The Rocket Summer is giving away his(their?) new acoustic live album for free. You can download it here. This reminds me of the first time I heard of The Rocket Summer.
I think it was Kaitlyn Baldwin's dance group at camp dancing to "Around the Clock" on the chapel pews. Changed my life forever.
The Rocket Summer is made up of one guy: Bryce Avary. He sings, writes, and plays every instrument you hear on the recordings. I remember when I first heard his music, I wondered how he did it all live. I've seen him twice (maybe three times?) and he's played with a band each time.
BOTH times, the best part of the show was when he played the acoustic guitar (once in the midst of the crowd) by himself.
In the days of overproduced music, acoustic music performed by the main artist alone is an incredible experience. It's something that harkens back to the original days of vocal recitals.
There is a purity inside of the crowd knowing every lyric, every meaning, and hearing nothing but the artist's own musings. Rock concerts have brought something to the purity of classical vocal recitals: audience participation.
On the new TRS album, you can hear the crowd just as much as Bryce. So much so that he named it, "Bryce Avary, His Instruments and Your Voices"
It's really, really good.
Also interesting, is this whole "giving away albums" common trend happening these days. If you can produce an album relatively cheaply and distribute it digitally, why not give it away? Artists don't make money from album sales anyway. IF you give it away, you can drum up enough of a following to make more money at live shows. Seems like eliminating the middle man of the record company may be closer and closer than ever.