The New Mongrels’ Raised Incorruptible is a new record from a 148-year-old band.
Those familiar with group will know the bizarre history of band member Haynes Brooke and his great-great grandfather Henry.
Deaf in one ear, shell-shocked, a 17-year-old veteran of the civil war, Henry founded the “Smythe County Mongrels Society” in 18661. He stated their purpose as “the joyful promotion, through song and rythmic utterances, of a unified moral code for all creatures.” Apparently the group met to drink hard cider and sing the entire book of Psalms to their own improvised melodies. Dogs and instruments welcome. Great-great grandpa rocked.
Brooke found the charter of the “Mongrels,” as they were called, legally intact in the Smythe County courthouse and brought the group back to life as the New Mongrels.
Today this underground society of musicians, artists and writers still operates under an amended version of the original by-laws, which calls for, among other things, “membership by invitation without regard to species affiliation.” This makes for strange committee meetings but great music.
Raised Incorruptible began in a rented house on the Rogue River in Oregon, when some impromptu mongrel recording sessions yielded promising results. Back in LA, Brooke created a calimitous batch of low-fi demos working with drummer Ken Palmer, house percussionist for Tim Robbin’s Actors Gang Theater. These demos went out to mongrel members across North America for input and review in keeping with the group’s odd collectivist procedures. Field trips to New Hampshire and Canada brought back musical contributions, then Brooke’s garage became the main recording facility and as mongrels passed through LA they were added to the final project. The record was mixed by film composer and mongrel member Kubilay Uner.
Despite the sometimes cumbersome procedural demands of their organization, a dispersed and evolving group of Mongrels built a powerful and unified sound. An ear-catching, mixed-breed blend of styles emerged, anchored always by the unique and lyrically rich songwriting of Brooke. Each cut has its own strong personality; together they have the combined intensity of a pack of wild dogs.
The New Mongrels: 148 years old and still rocking.
released January 14, 2014
Haynes Brooke: guitar, vocals, mandolin, piano, ukelele, percussion
Katie Green: vocals, violin
Kubilay Uner: bass, keyboards
Jeff Mosier: drums, vocals
Michael Lorant: vocals
Michelle Malone: vocals, guitar
Amy Ray: vocals
Laura Hall: vocals, accordion
Rick Hall: vocals
Lucy Brooke: vocals
Mike Moynihan: trumpet, vocals
Ken Palmer: drums, vocals, harmonica
Produced by Haynes Brooke and Kubilay Uner
Drums recorded at The Hobby Shop, Los Angeles, by Andrew Murdock
Additional Recording by Glenn Matullo, Atlanta
Mixed by Kubilay Uner at Dissonanz, Los Angeles
Mastered by Stephen Marsh at Marsh Mastering
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