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Video: "Ghost In The Needle / Not OK At All" by The Wayside (independent)

20 December 2022

Before John J. Thompson founded True Tunes as a record store, magazine, and concert venue outside of Chicago in the late 80s, you could have found him playing with his band in basements, skating rinks, people’s yards, and eventually, opening for artists like Steve Taylor, Charlie Peacock, Sixpence None the Richer, the Lost Dogs, the 77s, and more. In 1991 with new bride Michelle singing, that band became the Wayside. A rotating cast of musical friends helped bring the Wayside’s roots-rock, alt-country and Americana sounds to life as the house band at True Tunes, as regulars at the Cornerstone Festival’s Gallery Stage, and as a frequent presence in smaller clubs and stages around the midwest.

The Wayside returns with a pair of double A-side singles called “Ghost In The Needle” and “Not OK At All,” marking the Thompsons’ first release of new Wayside material since 2010’s Spiritual Songs.

Since the Thompsons moved from Illinois to Tennessee in 2007 and the Cornerstone Festival ended its 29-year run in 2012, the Wayside had back-burnered the release of new material. John continued writing while producing projects for other artists. Michelle also remained a productive songwriter, but finding the time and budget to visit a studio and capture songs properly proved elusive. Without access to old haunts, gathering places and community, new songs remained under the radar until this year.

A confluence of events found the Wayside with new songs they were excited to record, friends like Steve Hindalong, Jimmy Abegg, Dan Wheeler, and Hunter Spivey who were eager to join, and an old friend in producer Matt Goldman who had the space and time to guide these songs into full flourish. The stars aligned.

“Now, if we can find our people and get this show back on the road,” John says, “we have a lot more where these two songs came from.”

“Ghost In The Needle” and “Not OK At All” are being released exclusively through the band’s Bandcamp store as a special bundled double single. The bundle includes the two songs, instrumental versions, a 12-page digital book with extensive liner notes and photos from the studio, and an extended version of the behind-the-scenes film featured here.

John continues, “We never really went away. We and have always stayed active writing and even playing occasional shows. But with the release of this project, it really feels like the Wayside is back.”

Click here: Ghost In The Needle / Not OK At All is available now via Bandcamp.

Songs by John J. Thompson
Lead Vocal, Lead Guitar, Harmonica: John J. Thompson
Additional Vocals & Songwriting: Michelle Lynn Thompson
Rhythm Electric Guitar, Bass: Jimmy Abegg
Acoustic Guitar: Dan Wheeler
Keyboards / Organ: Hunter Spivey
Drums / Percussion: Steve Hindalong
Produced by Matt Goldman (Glow In The Dark) and John J. Thompson
Co-Production by Michelle Thompson
Engineered and Mixed by Matt Goldman
Mastered by John Carter