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Kim Rancourt and his all-star band; Photo Credit: Michael Lavine
Veteran musician Kim Rancourt has led bands and been on a clutch of records, but plum plum is the first one to come out under his own name. The album was produced by the renowned Don Fleming (Dictators NYC, Teenage Fanclub, Nancy Sinatra) and features an all-star band comprising drummer Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), Gary Lucas (Captain Beefheart, more), and Fleming on guitars, and bassist Joe Bouchard (Blue Oyster Cult).
plum plum is being release on Clown Heroes Records May 12th. The album loosely references New York then and now. There’s a song about no wave icon Pat Place, and “She Got Hit” is a side-door tribute to Lou Reed — it’s “Sister Ray” for the era of the Second Avenue Subway. “Leave Your Light On” was written, Rancourt says, for Dolly Parton to sing, and she should, too, preferably greeting a boat of new immigrants at the Statue of Liberty. Kim says “Arkansas is Burning” is his favorite song, a pink pussy hat of a protest against political stupidity. Some protest songs don’t get dated.
Rancourt goes into detail, as only he can, about his solo, yet collaborative foray on plum plum:
“When I turned 60 two years ago my friend Don Fleming
said it was time to record a solo album.
I had been in a few bands over the years but this
time Don wanted me to write a load of lyrics and he’d pick the ones he liked.
I trust Don to know what’s cool.
I would never have anyone else produce my music.
So for a few months I dug up old lyrics I always wanted to record,
cut snippets of verses and choruses, write a whole bunch
of new ones and sit on the floor and write pages of stream of conscience nonsense.
We put them all together and that is plum plum.
It easy for me to explain and convey to Don what the song should sound like musically.
I cannot play any instrument…except maybe “Louie Louie” on the guitar, MAYBE.
Don has the knack of taking what I’m thinking and bringing the music to life.
We are in tune like that in all the things we do.
I trust him and I trusted he would put together the best band he could find.
He did and that is why they are called the Dream Band – because they are.
Rock Vets who have played on countless records and in countless countries around the world.
They were very friendly recording sessions with my new band giving
me the encouragement I needed.
It was both cohesive and chaotic…how I like my music.
We could take our time and make a nice record.
We did most vocals in a recording studio that specializes in voice overs for commercials.
A great idea.
Don spent the a year and a half mixing the tunes and paring down the twenty four we recorded
to just ten…he said if David Bowie on his last record Black Star had ten songs that was good enough for ours.
My executive Producer Joe Defilipps spared no expense in both the recording process
and the packaging of the record.
He also sang with Don some amazing backing vocals witch we hadn’t done for some time since
we both led the band When People Were Shorter and Lived near the Water.
Standing next to Joe Bouchard and watching him play these tunes was magic.
Steve Shelly led the way…I feel it’s his finest outing.
Don and Gary Lucas dueled with their very different but similar styles…it’s called Rock and Roll.
Then we gave the tapes to my old friend Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound and well…Greg knew just what to do.
The record, I think has a little something for everyone.
It surprised me how it is a lot more psychedelic than I thought it would be.
I like that.
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