Flatbed Honeymoon
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Flatbed Honeymoon

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States | SELF

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States | SELF
Band Americana Country

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This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Sep
22
Flatbed Honeymoon @ Checkpoint Charlie's

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Jun
16
Flatbed Honeymoon @ Birdie's Roadhouse

Varnado, Louisiana, USA

Varnado, Louisiana, USA

Jun
09
Flatbed Honeymoon @ Checkpoint Charlie's

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Music

Press


20. The Traveler by Flatbed Honeymoon
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The list author says:
"Great music that defines the term "Americana". Excellent song-writing and musicianship makes this outfit one to look out for."

- Amazon.com


#1. Flatbed Honeymoon, The Traveler

Flatbed Honeymoon staggers, whiskey bottle in hand, through the wilds of outlaw country on their second album The Traveler. They cover all the bases. “Greyhound” is a pitch-perfect goodbye to a broken stage of life, open to the possibilities that the next one will be better. “Getting Hard” comes on like a lovesick dream buoyed aloft on a cloud of strings. This album reminds me of the countrified years of the Rolling Stones, where self-destruction gives grace a wet, sloppy kiss on the barroom dancefloor of life.

- 225 Magazine


A rumble of sound coming out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana is calling itself Flatbed Honeymoon. The luggage tags on “The Traveler” read stops at country, rock, soul, folk and blues, heading for the home destination of American Roots music. A lonesome trumpet shares boxcar space in “Iron Rails” with country licks and western swing, a Celtic call and response vocal stands on the corner in “Me and the Boys” to busk with a jug band and flying fiddles push folk blues along ahead going into “Nashville”. For Flatbed Honeymoon, no load is too heavy, no sound that they won’t take to market and no song that can claim a single strain heritage. As a Gospel piano beats a tempo, a choir voice sings to out to the nearest “Greyhound”, searching for a homecoming in a new place, letting change happen and discovering it is “time to live if I am able”. ‘The Traveler’ crosses American soundscape taking in all of the scenery and churning out the perfect road trip mixtape, using songs as postcards to show where they have been and where they are going.

- The Alternate Root


ALTCOUNTRY.NL

By John Gjaltema

originally published in Dutch

A Spanish guitar is heard, and it’s almost as if a very beautiful song by Marty Robbins will follow. Not so, for then begins “Iron Rails,” the first song on The Traveler (self-produced) by Flatbed Honeymoon. An electric guitar kicks off “Iron Rails,” a song that moves along on a bumpy country rock rhythm with trumpets, which add to the enjoyable journey. The second CD from this band from Louisiana is an extremely musical journey on which the tracks are still somewhat shifting. The band performs a light jazzy piano number like “Greyhound,” and then brings in the sparkling guitar of “Getting Hard,” a song reminiscent of the fifties. Flatbed Honeymoon consists of three men and one woman who all sing and write songs. They also use different instruments extensively. “Sweet Chicago” is altcountry sweet with a sharp voice and is a song where everything is correct. The singing and the interplay of the record is a product of the diverse musical backgrounds of the band members, but in one way or another, it all comes together very finely. Vagabond Heart is virtually countrypolitan, yet has a sheer melancholy added by an extremely soulful trumpet.
- ALTCOUNTRY.NL


ALTCOUNTRY.NL

By John Gjaltema

originally published in Dutch

A Spanish guitar is heard, and it’s almost as if a very beautiful song by Marty Robbins will follow. Not so, for then begins “Iron Rails,” the first song on The Traveler (self-produced) by Flatbed Honeymoon. An electric guitar kicks off “Iron Rails,” a song that moves along on a bumpy country rock rhythm with trumpets, which add to the enjoyable journey. The second CD from this band from Louisiana is an extremely musical journey on which the tracks are still somewhat shifting. The band performs a light jazzy piano number like “Greyhound,” and then brings in the sparkling guitar of “Getting Hard,” a song reminiscent of the fifties. Flatbed Honeymoon consists of three men and one woman who all sing and write songs. They also use different instruments extensively. “Sweet Chicago” is altcountry sweet with a sharp voice and is a song where everything is correct. The singing and the interplay of the record is a product of the diverse musical backgrounds of the band members, but in one way or another, it all comes together very finely. Vagabond Heart is virtually countrypolitan, yet has a sheer melancholy added by an extremely soulful trumpet.
- ALTCOUNTRY.NL


Old Hat Americana
The broken-in nostalgia of Flatbed Honeymoon
By Christie Matherne
Published August 31, 2011
If you’ve never looked up the definition of Americana, don’t – it won’t tell you much.

Americana is what happens when an English professor starts a band with two highly qualified blues guitarists and a drummer who bought his first drum kit from a guy named Whiskey Pete in Los Angeles. The four-piece Baton Rouge band, Flatbed Honeymoon, sticks with the Americana label simply because there’s nothing else that accurately describes them.

Songs in Americana
“What does it mean, anyway?” said Kevin Casper, drummer for Flatbed Honeymoon. “It’s rock-n-roll, a little bit rock, little bit of country…”

After listening to their self-titled first album and their recent follow-up, The Traveler, it’s clear that shoving them into a more specific genre would be tough. Yet, it’s also clear that everyone who hears their music will call them something different, and will be absolutely sure of the declaration.

Someone who doesn’t listen to much country would label Flatbed Honeymoon as “country,” while a contemporary country fan would say the opposite. They’ve got twang, for sure, but they’re not pop-oriented like today’s country chart-toppers. They’ve got ballads, but they’re not ballads that would cause a Texas Club patron to find a slow-dance partner. Some of the songs sound like Johnny Cash at his darkest, and then, there’s one song on The Traveler – “Me and the Boys” – that sounds more like an Irish drinking song than any of the above.

When a band isn’t quite a cookie-cutter fit, sometimes the best clue lies in the name they go by. Who would sleep in the bed of a truck on their honeymoon? A couple that not only doesn’t have a lot of money, but also doesn’t care much about money. In fact, they might even prefer the truck to a hotel room.

“That sort of works out well for us,” Casper responded to the suggestion. “We don’t make any money, and we don’t have any money.”

“There’s a certain kind of whimsy to it,” added guitarist and vocalist, Eric Schmitt. “It’s kind of like how I’ve always worn this hat when I play, and it’s all torn up. I like things that are kind of imperfect; there’s still something kind of beautiful to it.”

That’s the sort of lyrical sentiment you’ll find on The Traveler, more so than current country and folk motifs. As the album’s title suggests, there’s a lot of restlessness present. Many of the tracks are about traveling – some are fairly straightforward, while others offer a different perspective. In the case of “Nashville,” penned and sung by bassist Denise Brumfield, it’s seen from the side of a woman whose lover booked it to Tennessee, but it’s not about a broken country girl’s heart. Quite the opposite, actually, with lyrics like, “If I’d have woke up a little earlier/I’d have laid you in your grave,” and, “If you ever come back/I’ll throw some things at you.”

Traveling melodies
The Traveler is an accidental concept album, which is kind of unlikely, considering all four members of the band write their own songs.

“We realized we had a bunch of songs that were about traveling, being restless, different places… going places,” said guitarist Jimmy Sehon. “It’s a light theme going through the whole thing.”

The concept blossomed out of that coincidence, and was eventually tied together with a simple fragment of a melody. If you’re not looking for it, you might not notice it – the detail works on more of a subconscious level.

“I had this little guitar piece I was working with, and Eric started playing this nice melody over the top of it on the trumpet,” said Sehon. “So we decided to take that melody and intersperse it throughout the album, as a little motif to tie everything together.”

Right before the first cut, the melodic watermark makes its first appearance, and Schmitt’s trumpet repeats it in “Vagabond Heart.” You can hear him whistling it right before “Me and the Boys,” and, according to Sehon, “if you wait and don’t flip the needle right when it’s over,” the flourish ends the album. “Kind of like bookends to the whole thing,” Sehon said.

That sort of attention to detail during recording is a luxury that most independent bands can’t afford. Musicians generally spend very little time in the actual studio due to recording costs, but this time around, Flatbed Honeymoon reaped the benefits of doing it alone.

They were able to take their time with The Traveler because they recorded it in a room Schmitt built behind his house, and Casper had sound engineering experience and all the necessary equipment. The newfound freedom allowed them to expand their recording time to nine months of Saturday recording sessions (compared to two long weekends spent recording their first album). Much of that time was spent figuring out details that no one thinks about.

“A lot of it is trial and error,” said Sehon. “None of us are professional engineers, and it was - Dig Magazine


Flatbed Honeymoon’s sophomore album, The Traveler, is going somewhere. It’s also a record about the band’s arrival, because judging by the solidity of this sound, the members of Flatbed have been on a journey of their own.

A lot has changed since the band’s last release in 2008, when Kevin Casper and Jimmy Sehon joined Eric Schmitt and Denise Brumfield to finalize the group’s lineup. It took some time to feel their way as collaborators and to define a unique sound. “We’re all very different,” Schmitt says, “and we each have musical influences from all over the place.” These days Flatbed encapsulates Americana in the truest sense of the word, with influences from ragtime, pop, standards, western swing, outlaw country, folk, rock and more.

The second leg of Flatbed’s trip was fine-tuning this sound. “We used to just be individual musicians who played together,” Brumfield says. “Now we are a band.”

Promising from the outset, the band has become stronger and more confident of late. More comfortable.

“We’ve been together long enough that we just intuitively know how to accent each other,” Sehon says. Their cohesiveness and camaraderie is evident on both The Traveler and at their live shows, where boots have a hard time not dancing, or for the shy, at least tapping.

Flatbed’s latest leg is the release of The Traveler, a record the band recorded on its own in Schmitt’s home studio. While Casper has experience with production, the members admit the album’s beautiful outcomes were often reached by trial and error. They enjoyed taking their time and focusing on the details without having to pay someone else by the hour. One listen reveals a joyful spirit to the sessions that pours through each cut.

“Recording was a very diplomatic process,” Casper says. “It was a lot of work, but thoroughly enjoyable. We could not have made a better record right now. We gave it all we got.”

All of these stops on the road—the band’s layers of influences, the years together, the newfound autonomy—are packed neatly into The Traveler. This eclectic folk album holds tight to a string of melodic motifs, Schmitt’s velvety voice—sometimes languorous, sometimes strong—Brumfield’s smooth, confident sass, strong harmonies, exuberant drinking songs, wistful ballads and above all, extraordinary musicianship.

This is the sound of a band clearly enjoying the ride.

- 225 Baton Rouge


Flatbed Honeymoon’s sophomore album, The Traveler, is going somewhere. It’s also a record about the band’s arrival, because judging by the solidity of this sound, the members of Flatbed have been on a journey of their own.

A lot has changed since the band’s last release in 2008, when Kevin Casper and Jimmy Sehon joined Eric Schmitt and Denise Brumfield to finalize the group’s lineup. It took some time to feel their way as collaborators and to define a unique sound. “We’re all very different,” Schmitt says, “and we each have musical influences from all over the place.” These days Flatbed encapsulates Americana in the truest sense of the word, with influences from ragtime, pop, standards, western swing, outlaw country, folk, rock and more.

The second leg of Flatbed’s trip was fine-tuning this sound. “We used to just be individual musicians who played together,” Brumfield says. “Now we are a band.”

Promising from the outset, the band has become stronger and more confident of late. More comfortable.

“We’ve been together long enough that we just intuitively know how to accent each other,” Sehon says. Their cohesiveness and camaraderie is evident on both The Traveler and at their live shows, where boots have a hard time not dancing, or for the shy, at least tapping.

Flatbed’s latest leg is the release of The Traveler, a record the band recorded on its own in Schmitt’s home studio. While Casper has experience with production, the members admit the album’s beautiful outcomes were often reached by trial and error. They enjoyed taking their time and focusing on the details without having to pay someone else by the hour. One listen reveals a joyful spirit to the sessions that pours through each cut.

“Recording was a very diplomatic process,” Casper says. “It was a lot of work, but thoroughly enjoyable. We could not have made a better record right now. We gave it all we got.”

All of these stops on the road—the band’s layers of influences, the years together, the newfound autonomy—are packed neatly into The Traveler. This eclectic folk album holds tight to a string of melodic motifs, Schmitt’s velvety voice—sometimes languorous, sometimes strong—Brumfield’s smooth, confident sass, strong harmonies, exuberant drinking songs, wistful ballads and above all, extraordinary musicianship.

This is the sound of a band clearly enjoying the ride.

- 225 Baton Rouge


5 Top Most Intriguing Albums of 2008
By Alex V. Cook | Also by this reporter

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I find it inspiring that each year I do this list, it gets harder. The music industry may have taken a nosedive along with every other semi-profitable enterprise, but around here scrappy little bands with great songs seem to be a recession-proof commodity. In the musical history of Baton Rouge, it has always been tough to keep up momentum, but the ones that shine through are, to me, the city’s greatest assets. So before getting to the Top Five, here are some honorable mentions: Bones with Songs of the Id, We Landed on the Moon! with These Little Wars, and Thou with Peasant.

2 Flatbed Honeymoon-Flatbed Honeymoon

I am the most reluctant of country music fans. Vapid country stars in tight jeans and oversize hats couldn’t be more bloodless if they were actual mannequins. That’s part of the reason why Flatbed Honeymoon is such a welcome group. Recorded with sympathetic glow by Fred Weaver, the record embodies a mix of the humorous and the tragic that makes real country music so vital. The other reason is the different styles three vocalists bring to the mix, ranging from Neil Young-harrowing to George Jones-smooth. I’d say you could fire most country music programmers and just put this record on shuffle. myspace.com/flatbedhoneymoon

- 225 Baton Rouge


Review: Flatbed Honeymoon Flatbed Honeymoon (self-released)

By Alex V. Cook

Monday, November 24, 2008

The words “country music” send a shiver up the spine of many people who have had to endure the ten-gallon circus that passes for it nowadays, but I was raised on low-watt AM country stations, where this music was the last popular expression of love, loss and laughing at life. I suspect the members of Flatbed Honeymoon had a similar upbringing, for the 15 tracks on the band’s debut come as close to capturing that AM country patina as anyone does. The stunning thing about this debut is the way the three songwriters integrate their strengths.

Eric Schmitt’s honey-dripping drawl makes the rambling opening track “Rain” as warm as an embrace and gives the hard love vignettes in “The Electrician” a sepia-toned glow. One minute, Randolph Thomas’ weathered delivery imbues “You Don’t Even Know” with a wisdom rising out of its congenial rolling boogie, and the next it wallows in existential crisis on “Patsy Cline.” Bassist Denise Brumfield offers a perfect counterpoint in her song “Constantly Insecure,” laying bare the darker mechanisms of love.

Throughout, Schmitt’s serpentine dobro winds around Thomas’ acoustic foundations, aglow in Fred Weaver’s sympathetic production. Hell, they even manage to be funny on the entendre-laden “One Last Screw” and “Reservation Blues.” I feel like I’m blowing the dust off an old radio, spinning the dial to find those old country songs and discovering they’ve matured along with me. Flatbed Honeymoon might mean there is still some hope for country music.

Essential tracks: “The Electrician,” “You Don’t Even Know,” “Constantly Insecure,” “West Texas”

Recommended if you like: George Jones, Lucinda Williams, Neil Young’s pastoral side - 225 Baton Rouge


Discography

Flatbed Honeymoon - The Traveler - 2011: Nine song record released on vinyl and CD. Songs can be heard on http://flatbedhoneymoon.com and iTunes.

Flatbed Honeymoon - Flatbed Honeymoon - 2008: Fifteen song record released on CD. Named one of the five best albums in Baton Rouge in 2008. Songs can be heard on http://flatbedhoneymoon.com and iTunes.

Photos

Bio

Flatbed Honeymoon formed in the early 2000s around the songwriting duo of two Louisiana State University English instructors, Eric Schmitt and Randolph Thomas. Bassist Denise Brumfield joined in 2008, and the trio headed into the studio to record their debut self-titled record with producer Fred Weaver. The fifteen-song record was listed in the top five local albums of 2008 by magazine 225 Baton Rouge. Later in 2008, drummer Kevin Casper joined as a permanent member, and the band continued to perform regularly throughout the south. Randolph Thomas left in the fall of 2009, and guitarist/mandolin player Jimmy Sehon joined to complete the current Flatbed Honeymoon lineup that has opened for the likes of Guy Clark, David Olney, Hal Ketchum, Eric Brace, Peter Cooper and Jimmy LaFave.

ERIC SCHMITT Guitar/dobro/lap steel/piano/trumpet/vocals/songwriter: A Lake Charles native, Eric moved to Austin during college and returned to Louisiana to teach English at LSU. He’s played a number of instruments over the years, including trumpet, guitar, ragtime piano, and most recently, steel guitar and dobro. Although he enjoys a variety of music, he has recently become interested in old country and in Texas songwriters like Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt. He plays guitar, steel guitar, and trumpet for the local old-time country band Breaker 1-9 and has spent the last few years working on original songs.

DENISE BRUMFIELD Bass/vocals/songwriter: A New Orleans native, Denise has been a staple on the Baton Rouge blues scene for the last 20 years. She has had the opportunity to play guitar alongside of and to learn from many of Baton Rouge’s blues legends: Raful Neal, Kenny Neal, Tabby Thomas, James Johnson, Rudi Richard, and Chicago Al, to name a few. She started and fronted the band, RUDY’S SHOES, in 1994, and has appeared at the Baton Rouge Blues Fest numerous times. Also in 1994, Denise toured Spain briefly with the blues band, Short Fuse. In 2000, Denise switched from guitar to bass, and expanded her repertoire to include roots rock and classic country.

KEVIN CASPER Drums/vocals/guitar/songwriter: Kevin Casper wanted to be a drummer since he was eleven years old, but his mom sold him out. Here’s the story: “I had been playing piano since I was five, so when I took the music test for the fifth grade band, I scored high. Too high, evidently, for a drummer. When the band director asked me and mom what instrument I wanted to play, drums was the answer. ‘Drums. Just drums.’ To which the band director laughed and said, ‘Oh, no, no, no! We give drums to people who have marks all over this test! We were thinking something more along the lines of the french horn.’ The french horn! I was into The Police, Michael Jackson, Van Halen, Hall and Oates. The french horn … well, my mom caved. We all settled on the saxophone. It was my first great compromise.” Sometime around 2005, Kevin bought his first drum set off Whiskey Pete Sheffer from the great Los Angeles band Los Duggans and played with several L.A. artists like Old Bull, Book, Tim O’gara, and Sean Fayecullen before moving to Baton Rouge in 2008.

JIMMY SEHON Guitars/mandolin/banjo/songwriter: Jimmy has been a guitar player in and around Baton Rouge for the last 20 years. After graduating from the Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood in the early 90's, Jimmy returned to Baton Rouge where he took over guitar duties for the soul/blues band, The Spencer Williams Band. Shortly afterward, along with Denise, he started the band Rudy’s Shoes. Later, Jimmy went on to play with the Elvin Killerbee Band. In 2009, after taking a few years off from performing, Jimmy joined Flatbed Honeymoon and added the mandolin and banjo to his arsenal of stringed instruments.