Red Jacket Mine
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Red Jacket Mine

Seattle, Washington, United States

Seattle, Washington, United States
Pop Rock

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"AllMusic Streams It All: Red Jacket Mine – Someone Else’s Cake"

We’re back with another exclusive album stream! Up this week is Someone Else’s Cake, the latest from Seattle foursome Red Jacket Mine. Finding inspiration in the lively, unfussy vibe of classic power pop and pub rock, AllMusic editor Fred Thomas says the album buzzes with “dabs of Elvis Costello-style organ, the lighthearted storytelling voice of Squeeze, and the summery instrumentation of Nick Lowe’s most upbeat tunes”.

Whether you dig ’70s pop or modern torchbearers like Ted Leo and Spoon, you’ll wanna take a bite out of Someone Else’s Cake. Give it a spin now!

Purchase Someone Else’s Cake via Fin Records and Amazon. Someone Else’s Cake is out February 19 on Fin Records. - The AllMusic Blog – February 11, 2013


"Album Reviews: Red Jacket Mine – Someone Else’s Cake (Fin)"

With “Amy,” the first cut on Someone Else’s Cake, offering a subtle nod to the Cars hit “Shake it Up,” and the second cut “Nickel and Dime” sounding like something that dropped off a Squeeze album, you don’t have to get far into the set to know what Red Jacket Mine is all about: concise pop songs that are a cut above typical radio fodder. Cleverly phrased lyrics are part of the deal. On “Ron Nasty,” singer Lincoln Barr relates rather matter-of-factly that Ron is a “particular brand of aloof/with a tenuous grasp on the truth/and he don’t like you,” but the snarky put-down doesn’t keep the song from including a sweet sing-along chorus that makes it seem like the nasty Mr. Nasty is actually being celebrated. That kind of sublime wit recalls the work of Elvis Costello, and the use of fuzz guitar and Farfisa embellishments here and there further the notion that Red Jacket Mine is quite fond of the best of the early New Wave wordsmiths. It may be Someone Else’s Cake, but the best thing to do here is grab the biggest slice you can. - Campus Circle – January 30, 2013


"Album Reviews: Red Jacket Mine – Someone Else’s Cake (Fin)"

by Don Yates

This Seattle band’s latest album is their finest work to date. It’s a warm, soulful, expertly crafted set of ‘70s-inspired pop-rock combining elements of early New Wave, Steely Dan, glam-rock, soul, roots-rock and more into vibrant pop gems with clever lyrics and sharp song hooks. - KEXP – January 18, 2013


"Review: Red Jacket Mine – Someone Else’s Cake"

While Someone Else’s Cake is only the third album in as many years from Seattle quartet Red Jacket Mine, they already sound like they’ve been on the block for quite some time. Maybe it’s songwriter Lincoln Barr’s old soul lyrics, which manage to be intricate, smart, and casual at the same time, or maybe it’s their breezy sound, built on a foundation of slick ’70s pop influences but branching out into more updated styles almost accidentally. More likely, it’s the masterful assembly of all these influences, motivations, and intentions into a streamlined final product that sounds so cool and self-assured there’s no chance it was made by some bunch of new kids. Starting with the peppy album-opener “Amy,” Red Jacket Mine dip deep into their bag of tricks for a hook-heavy three-minute blast of power pop with dabs of Elvis Costello-style organ, the lighthearted storytelling voice of Squeeze, and the summery instrumentation of Nick Lowe’s most upbeat tunes. Tracks like “Nickel & Dime” and “Skint City” tap into the world-weary-but-grinning perspective of Warren Zevon, or even more so, Steely Dan’s plastic bohemian sheen. The bleaty horn section and crunchy glam boogie guitar shuffle on “Engineer” all but quote “Bang a Gong” without rewriting the song. Much like 2010s contemporaries Ted Leo and Spoon, Red Jacket Mine marry their vast playlist of influences to their own songwriting approach, coming off not as plagiarists, but more as enormous music nerds who actually have something to add to their jumping-off points. This is evidenced by the over the top traditional country number “Have You Got a Permit to Preach on this Corner?,” a track that sounds like something the Byrds left on the cutting room floor circa Sweetheart of the Rodeo. The track offers a break from the pop and highlights how deeply the band considered the songwriting, consistency, and flow of the album. Drawing on the past but building something new from the components, Someone Else’s Cake ends up being as developed, thoughtful, and satisfying as it seems at first glance. For a band not too many years into it, Red Jacket Mine have funneled a lifetime’s worth of spring afternoons listening to records into 11 cleanly polished and highly varied slices of pop music magic. - AllMusic.com – February 11, 2013


"‘Someone Else’s Cake,’ Red Jacket Mine"

(5 H’s!)

This Feb. 19 release comes from Seattle, but sounds more like a product of post-punk Britain, when Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Graham Parker and Squeeze ended up on the UK charts along with other literate singer-songwriter pop masters. This outfit is led by singer-songwriter/guitarist Lincoln Barr. The tight rhythm section is Matthew Cunningham on bass and vocals and Andrew Salzman on drums percussion and vocals. That trio makes extremely cool music along with keyboardist Daniel Walker and producer Johnny Sangster on percussion, guitar and vocals along with other studio cohorts. There are so many good songs that it’s hard to pick highlights, so here’s a few flavorful sonic dishes, starting with the opener, “Amy.”

Early Elvis Costello and prime-time Squeeze are valid instrumental comparisons for tunes such as “Nickel & Dime,” the garage-soul “Engineer,” the insanely catchy “Ron Nasty” and the playful title song.

This is a heaping helping of intelligent, brainy music that will win many fans. - Biloxi Sun-Herald – February 14, 2013


"Review: Red Jacket Mine – Someone Else’s Cake"

Take early Elvis Costello, Squeeze and Nick Lowe, filter in some Alex Chilton, add a shade of country and you’ve got “Someone Else’s Cake” — the fine, fine, fine new album from Seattle’s Red Jacket Mine.

Kicking off with the gorgeous “Amy” and wrapping up with the pub-rockin’ “Bellar & Bawl,” the disc rambles through horn-honkin’ swagger on “Engineer,” takes a soulful trip to “Skint City” and heads full on into Elvis & the Attractions territory with the propulsive title cut.

With titles such as “Listen Up (If the World is Going to Hell),” which turns out to be a romantic swinger, and “Have You Got a Permit to Preach on This Corner?” for a country putdown, it’s clear Red Jacket Mine leader Lincoln Barr can write smart lyrics that are perfect for his songs.

“Someone Else’s Cake” wraps up in a tidy 33 minutes, 33 seconds. Simple math tells you these are 3-minute gems, and they’re flat irresistible. Grade: A - Ground Zero: Lincoln Journal Star – February 19, 2013


"Watch: Red Jacket Mine – “Someone Else’s Cake”"

Fin Records newcomers Red Jacket Mine are releasing their third LP Someone Else’s Cake today, February 19. In anticipation, the band has just released a video for the album’s title track.

The video and song both exude a classic campy, cool similar to Elvis Costello and the Attractions – lead singer Lincoln Barr even color-coordinated his suit with his Fender Jazzmaster. These practioners of tasteful pop are throwing a 21+ release party at the High Dive on February 22. They will also be playing at the Treefort Music Fest in Boise, ID in late March. - SSG Music – February 19, 2013


"Video of the Day: Red Jacket Mine – “Someone Else’s Cake”"

Highlight: “Our keyboard player Daniel Walker described this tune as a ‘socio-sexual-economic’ treatise, and there’s a little election-year frustration there, too — a keen ear will pick out the line about ‘mitts like yours’ — but it’s basically a kiss-off in the grand pop tradition,” Lincoln Barr tells Spinner. “Given its obvious musical heritage, we thought it’d be fun to use Elvis Costello’s classic ‘Pump It Up’ video as a taking-off point, with a nod to the Stones’ Let It Bleed album sleeve (one of many references the brilliant Shawn Wolfe incorporated into the packaging for Someone Else’s Cake).” - Spinner – February 19, 2013


"Review: Red Jacket Mine – Someone Else’s Cake"

4 out of 5 stars
Seattle-based trio Red Jacket Mine are more akin musically to the British pub-rock movement of the late 1970s than the grunge-fueled signature sound of their hometown, and it’s high time these talented power-poppers got the national attention they deserve. Long-gestating third album “Someone Else’s Cake” may be the one that catapults Lincoln Barr’s band to new heights. The 11-track release is remarkably consistent and a heck of a lot of fun, as Red Jacket Mine serve up one delicious tune after another. Among the many highlights are “Amy,” “Ron Nasty,” “Engineer,” “Skint City,” “Listen Up (If the World Is Going to Hell),” “Better to Be Broken Than Blind” and “Have You Got a Permit to Preach on This Corner?” Sounding both retro and current at the same time, “Someone Else’s Cake” is one of 2013’s early surprises. - McKeesport Daily News – February 23, 2013


"Lee’s Listening Stack — Fab Picks for February, Part Two"

Red Jacket Mine
Someone Else’s Cake
(Fin Records)

Red Jacket Mine — Lincoln Barr, Matthew Cunningham and Andrew Salzman — know how to stir the perfect formula when it comes to affirming their pop pedigree. Barr possesses one of those elastic, honey-soaked vocals that brings to mind the Rascals or the Guess Who, one more than capable of asserting the exuberance obvious in Red Jacket Mine’s delivery. Cunningham and Salzman give the music an edgy and exhilarating undertow (especially evident on the trudging, steamroller blast of “Engineer”), but they generally keep the music as giddy as it ought to be. “Nickel & Dime” suggests Steve Forbert’s breezy, aw-shucks folkiness, “Have You Got a Permit to Preach on the Corner” finds them in country corn realms (with honky-tonk piano no less) and “Better To Be Broken Than Blind” offers a bit of sweet soul that the Temptations would once have been proud to claim as their own. On the other hand. “Skint City” brings to mind the striking affability of Steely Dan, a band that Red Jacket Mine effectively emulate throughout. (No surprise really, considering the fact that they covered The Dan’s “Any Major Dude Will Tell You” as the B side of one of their singles). But where Fagen, Becker and company drifted into jazzier terrain and jettisoned the accessibility factor, Red Jacket Mine stick to the template established on; that is, to produce a joyful sound that makes for any number of welcome returns. And ultimately, that’s what finds this Cake so damn tasty. (www.redjacketmine.net) - No Depression – February 26, 2013


"Red Jacket Mine: The TVD First Date"

“Confession time: records (in the physical sense) weren’t really a part of my childhood. See, I was born in 1982, and while my folks certainly were and are music fans, they’re not really collectors of anything… besides children, maybe.

In fact, I only remember three records being in the house when I was growing up: an original Beatles “Let It Be” 45 (cool), a Lynyrd Skynyrd Gold & Platinum double LP (ok…), and Glenn Frey’s The Allnighter (yikes). Despite the randy title, I can’t recall ol’ Glenn getting much action, but perhaps I’ve blocked it out.

Like most teenagers in the mid-’90s, I spent much of my disposable income on CDs, and early signs of my future fetishism were apparent – I’d spend hours ogling expensive, strangely-titled imports by popular “alternative” artists of the day at the grimy Disc-Go-Round and expansive Planet Music in Memphis. I still regarded LPs as artifacts of an earlier time, though.

The vinyl bug first bit me hard 12 years ago, when my wife bought me a turntable for our first Xmas together, along with 180-gram reissues of Alex Chilton’s Like Flies on Sherbert, T. Rex’s The Slider, the Kinks’ Arthur, and handful of other classics. (I’m a lucky man.)

That was it – I was hooked. When we first visited the Pacific Northwest in 2004, we spent most of our time hunting for records at Sonic Boom, Easy Street, Bop Street, Ditch (Victoria, BC), and Zulu (Vancouver, BC) – places that would become regular haunts when we moved to Seattle soon after. I flew home clutching what must’ve been 50 LPs – stuff I never would’ve found in southeast Missouri. (Though it must be said that Vintage Vinyl and Euclid Records in St. Louis are fine establishments that have taken a great deal of my money over the years, and deserved every penny.)

Ever since I started recording under the Red Jacket Mine name back in 2003, I’ve dreamt of my songs appearing on vinyl, and our recent partnership with Fin Records has made that dream a reality.

The music on our new album, Someone Else’s Cake – lovingly recorded by Johnny Sangster – is the best we’ve ever done, and the stunning-if-I-do-say-so-myself packaging (masterfully designed by Shawn Wolfe) is the icing on the proverbial cake. I can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”
—Lincoln Barr - The Vinyl District – February 28, 2013


"Review: Red Jacket Mine – Someone Else’s Cake"

8/10 stars!
Seattle band headed by songwriter Lincoln Barr (also in Stag), who’s smart lyrics and casual style are a mix of both Bob Dylan and Van Morrison. Red Jacket Mine also has a hint of pub rock and Memphis soul, shown on “Amy” with its tight composition and wild outro. The big hooks come out on “Ron Nasty” as the guitar and harmonies are in perfect form.

“Engineer” boasts a sax and drum rhythm and shambling Bowie-like chorus that really wins you over too. Add a touch of Steely Dan and you get “Skint City” and “Listen Up (If the World is Going to Hell)” with its 70?s lounge vibe. It’s also got a Elvis Costello styled cynical streak that runs throughout each track. Each song is solid (no filler) and it varies the style enough, adding alt-country on “Have You Got A Permit To Preach On This Corner.” It ends with the infectious beat of “Bellar & Bawl.” Highly Recommended for sure. - Powerpopaholic – March 2, 2013


"Review: Red Jacket Mine – Someone Else’s Cake"

More or less in the vein of Pure Pop for Now People, we have a new set of juke-length tunes from the well-oiled, Seattle-based combo, Red Jacket Mine. There are unabashed strains of Nick Lowe, Graham Parker, and Elvis Costello in songwriter Lincoln Barr’s apparently effortless demonstrations of succinct craftsmanship. But Barr lapses into easy cliché when he throws anger at a hackneyed target (the street preacher in the country-based “Have You Got a Permit to Preach on This Corner?”) and tells us nothing new with “Nickel and Dime.” The frustration with women that veins through SEC is refreshing (at least he expresses it, in this over-careful world) while feeling somewhat off-putting. I feel safe saying these things ‘cause SEC’s garnering mucho critical kudos. So I don’t feel alone in shouldering the responsibility for reporting that “Ron Nasty” has the melodic finesse of Alex Chilton, the Bolan-esque “Engineer” is sexier than anything emitted to date by Lowe or Costello, and beer’s likely to have just the right tang with “Skint City” playing. For some of us – especially those with great Rumour-love, three-minute pub rock rarely gets better, even if SEC could use the handful of edits that could remove the feeling that it’s a songwriting showdown entrant. Its cranky charm, handy compositions, and bar band excellence compensate for any excesses of testosterone, yada-yada vitriol, and ideas. www.finrecords.com - Dagger Zine – March 4, 2013


"Download: Red Jacket Mine – “Any Major Dude”"

The quirky southern charm of Memphis pedigreed songwriter Lincoln Barr is inconspicuously displayed on Red Jacket Mine‘s surreptitiously sincere treatment of an under-appreciated Steely Dan classic, “Any Major Dude (Will Tell You)”. Barr’s emphatic, no frills delivery recalls sophisticated pop crooners Elvis Costello and Alex Chilton and nods to 70s U.K. pub-rock bands like Squeeze. Red Jacket Mine’s brand of songwriting dissects emotional paradox and societal hypocrisy with nuanced humor, while consummately affecting a modern, polished edge.

Their soulfully balanced, irresistibly blithe sound transfuses a salient sense of ease, establishing instant familiarity with the listener. The band’s third LP, Someone Else’s Cake, out now on Seattle’s Fin Records, was three years in the making. The sedulous product of this labor of love sparkles with the deliberate exuberance of conscious pop perfection, warmly dressed out in retro recording fetish by the masterful Johnny Sangster of Crackle and Pop! Studios in Ballard. “Any Major Dude” was released as the B-side to their single “Amy” on limited edition 7-inch white vinyl, but you can download it free below, courtesy of Red Jacket Mine. While you’re at it,take a moment to check out their new video for the eponymous single from their latest release, Someone Else’s Cake. - SSG Music – March 4, 2013


"Review: Red Jacket Mine – Someone Else’s Cake"

I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Lincoln Barr’s record collection stopped sometime in the late 70’s after the first couple of Elvis Costello albums came out and Big Star’s Sister Lover hit the racks…and there ain’t anything wrong with that.

With his laid back vocal delivery over strong power pop melodies Barr and the rest of the crew in Red Jacket Mine (no idea where that name comes from) deliver 11 great tacks on their first proper release. Some of these songs have been heard before when the Seattle band decided to turn out a limited edition of color vinyl 7 inches. Which is ironic once you get through the entirety of Someone Else’s Cake and realize that Red Jacket Mine is much more an “album band” than a “singles band,” as each track seamlessly bleeds into the next with ease.

Songs like the title track and “Have You Got a Permit to Preach on This Corner?” become quick favorites, but there really are no bad tracks on this record. Someone Else’s Cake is a throwback to a time when bands focused on songs over singles. - NeuFutur Magazine – March 6, 2013


"Mayer’s Playlist for February 2013, Part 2: Red Jacket Mine – “Someone Else’s Cake”"

Is the plethora of power pop releases a sign of spring’s arrival? It certainly seems that way. Add Seattle/Portland’s Red Jacket Mine to the list of sunshiny recent releases. This track’s 1960's style pop song really hits the spot with its hand-claps and head-bobbing chorus. - Twangville – March 7, 2013


"We Recommend: Red Jacket Mine at the New Frontier Lounge – Friday, March 8"

By the time “Amy,” the lead-off track on Red Jacket Mine’s latest album, reaches the totally over-the-top organ breakdown, I’m completely sold on whatever Red Jacket Mine is doing. That organ solo hearkens back to the ballsy pop-mindedness of old guards like Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe. At a time when punk was reestablishing simplicity and authenticity in music, people like Costello and Jackson were doubling down on the old ways – hitting them harder and more precisely than what was expected. Red Jacket Mine continues that tradition. Instead of running from pop music, the band’s way of standing out is to do it better and tighter than its peers. The rest of the band’s album is filled with equally outstanding and effortless-sounding moments. Every brilliant addition of a honky-tonk piano or crisply hand-clapping refrain just reeks of professionalism. - Weekly Volcano – March 7, 2013


"Review: Red Jacket Mine – Someone Else’s Cake"

It’s no secret that Fin Records does some of the best packaging around and they keep upping the ante. The new Red Jacket Mine album has a seriously cool pop art vibe on the sleeve art and is a hand numbered edition of 500 on white vinyl with a custom inner sleeve that keeps up the fun artwork. “Someone Else’s Cake” is an album that lives in the realm of soulful power pop that is radio friendly to the max. If dusty copies of Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, and Nick Lowe lps are living on your record shelf than you should make room for this lp. “Listen Up” and “Bellar & Bawl” were both released as singles as part of a limited edition colored vinyl series leading up to the release of the bands third full-length album. Leading man Lincoln Barr pairs smart songwriting with pop melodies and catchy lyrics that will have you nostalgic for the days when the power pop trio ruled the radio-waves. - R.A.D. Vinyl – March 14, 2013


"Review: Red Jacket Mine - Someone Else's Cake"

I don’t like to quote from the one-sheets that often accompany review CDs, so I won’t. But I’ll agree heartily with the angle taken on the one-sheet for Red Jacket Mine‘s album: this is an act that’s hard to pin down stylistically. Some retro elements (combo organ textures) are folded into the modern-feeling songs, but overall there’s a classicist approach that reminds (albeit not overtly) of the best AM radio rock of the 70s. Someone Elses’s Cake sounds like a record full of hits’ at least it will to those who came up in the 70s. It’s the kind of thing that can (and should) appeal equally to those with and without any sense of musical history. Because in the end, good songs and good arrangement are timeless qualities. Often those qualities are in short supply, but not here. Consistently entertaining, this will stick with you long after it’s done. - The Musoscribe - 3/15/13


"On the Record – Red Jacket Mine"

by Keith Wierzbicki

Spotlight on the vinyl output of Seattle-based indie band Red Jacket Mine with their two special single releases of “Listen Up” b/w “Rosy Days” and “Bellar & Bawl” b/w “Grow Your Own”.

Red Jacket Mine
“Listen Up” b/w “Rosy Days”
Fin Records
7? 45-RPM single, colored vinyl, picture sleeve

Jaunty pop is Red Jacket Mine’s specialty and fans of Elvis Costello will find kindred spirits in this one as the band ladles on bright organ riffs and Stax hit single references, all tied together with sugary vocals from singer/guitarist Lincoln Barr. B-side “Rosy Days” has a sound that recalls Squeeze at their best.

Red Jacket Mine
“Bellar & Bawl” b/w “Grow Your Own”
7? 45-RPM single, colored vinyl, picture sleeve

Here again Red Jacket Mine show an enormous talent for crafting bouncy pop tunes; “Bellar & Bawl,” dressed up with twanging guitar and driving piano, has the kind of hook that must have Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe wondering, “Did we write that?” RJM know how to leave you wanting more, too, as the song comes to an unexpected cold close leaving the listener suddenly bobble-heading along to silence and ready to re-spin the record. Speaking of wanting more, the guys are working on a full-length for release in 2013 and hopefully it’ll be packed with gems like these. - antiMUSIC.com – August 17, 2012


"Review: Red Jacket Mine – “Amy” b/w “Any Major Dude Will Tell You”"

by Sarah Elson

The latest single from this power-pop band, “Amy” is full of breezy pop melodies and plenty of doo-wops that will have you humming for days. On the flip side, it’s all smooth soul. - Seattle Weekly’s Reverb – October 3, 2012


"69 Local Record Reviews: Red Jacket Mine’s “Listen Up (If the World is Going to Hell)”"

by Ma’chell Duma LaVassar

Red Jacket Mine are a sonic respirator keeping ’70s AM pop alive and well—radio-ready vintage Top 40 flirting with soul that could blend right in on a mixtape next to Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers. - Seattle Weekly’s Reverb – February 29, 2012


"Pick Three with Lincoln Barr of Red Jacket Mine"

1. Willie Morris – North Toward Home

A fellow Southern transplant in Seattle recommended this to me, and I initially added it to the massive pile of great Southern lit that I haven’t gotten around to…but something about his description compelled me to snag a used copy from Powell’s and take it on a recent trip to the Yucatán peninsula with my wife.

Morris hooked me instantly with his vivid descriptions of his boyhood in post-war Yazoo City, Mississippi, his social/political awakening at the University of Texas in the late 1950s, and his experiences as a somewhat-ashamed provincial in the “big cave” of New York City, where he worked as an editor for Harper’s from 1963 to 1971. This beautiful coming of age story affected me nearly as deeply as Robert Gordon’s It Came From Memphis (the book I credit for opening my eyes to the value of my Southern roots). Highly recommended.

2. The Fender Stratocaster (especially as recorded at Ardent Studios)

A Jazzmaster has been my main guitar for years, but I’ve recently fallen under the spell of its less-idiosyncratic older sibling, the Stratocaster. They’re ubiquitous in rock & roll (Hendrix, anyone?), but the Strat sounds captured at Ardent are my personal Holy Grail.

Between the crystalline arpeggios of #1 Record and Radio City (the middle section of “Way Out West” is a particularly sublime example) and the juicy “squank” of the rhythm guitar sounds on ZZ Top’s Tres Hombres (see “Hot, Blue, and Righteous”), Terry Manning and John Fry should be on the Fender payroll, as far as I’m concerned.

3. The Toronto music scene

While Memphis will always be my musical Mecca, I’ve been blown away by the quality of music coming out of Toronto over the last few years. The band Zeus, in particular, has been a revelation – their album Say Us was my hands-down pick for 2010, and I can’t wait for their sophomore record Busting Visions, which comes out March 27. Also worth checking out: Jason Collett’s Rat a Tat Tat, Bahamas’ Barchords, The Golden Dogs’ Coat of Arms, and Peter Elkas’ Party of One. These folks are all friends and collaborate extensively…check the liner notes. Something’s happening up there, and I dig it.

Lincoln Barr is the singer/songwriter behind Seattle soul/pop combo Red Jacket Mine. Born in southeast Missouri, he spent his formative years outside Memphis in Horn Lake, Mississippi. Red Jacket Mine recently released a limited-edition 7” on Fin Records of “Listen Up (If the World is Going to Hell),” and a second single, “Bellar & Bawl,” is slated for release in May 2012. They will perform live on KEXP on Saturday, March 3 at 8pm PST. - Ardent Studios Music Blog – March 1, 2012


"Tell Me About That Song: Lincoln Barr, Vocalist of Soulful-Power-Pop Band Red Jacket Mine"

by Joe Williams

A lot went into writing your favorite song, but how much do you really know about it? This week Lincoln Barr, vocalist and guitarist of Seattle soulful-power-pop band Red Jacket Mine, delves into surgical procedures, sexual gratification and suicide pacts.

Song: “Listen Up (If the World is Going to Hell)”
Album: Listen Up (If the World is Going to Hell)
Release Date: Feb. 21, 2012 on Fin Records

When it was written: December of 2010

Where it was written: Sitting on my couch at home, heavily sedated by pain medication.

Favorite line in the song: “If it seems to carry on would be absurd / I’ll free you from your cares, if you only say the word.”

Which part was the hardest to come up with: This song has a lot of chord changes, and it was tricky getting some of them just right. (“Should that be an F major, or an F# minor? They both have an A up top…”) Fortunately, I had plenty of time on my hands.

If you could go back and change anything, what would it be: Nothing. I’m sure someone else might find something to change, but this tune came together just like I had hoped – in composition, performance, and production, thanks in no small part to the esteemed Mr. Johnny Sangster.

Odd fact about song: In late 2010, I had to have a fairly serious surgical procedure, which provided the downtime necessary to write this song (and several other keepers.) I was unable to sing for nearly a month, which made the songwriting process interesting. I had to sing in my head, and sketch out melodies on the guitar, instead of singing along. It was a good three weeks before I ever heard this song out loud, and much longer before I could sing it at full strength.

What was your inspiration for writing the song: I’d always wanted to write this type of song – triumphant, groovy, heavily influenced by Gamble & Huff Philly soul. And the “come on and get with me” lyrical theme is an old standby. But I knew I had to turn it on its head somehow. What if the narrator’s ultimate goal wasn’t sexual or romantic gratification, but something darker?

When was your favorite time performing it live: This past weekend on KEXP! It was so much fun looking around the room, seeing my buddies, and knowing that our friends and family – some of whom have never had the chance to see us live – were listening in around the world.

What is the meaning behind the song: This song can be interpreted in a variety of ways, all of which I’d encourage, but the basic lyrical conceit is a lover pleading with his partner to join him in a suicide pact. This is seen as a positive, proactive step (“take some ownership of your own fate”) – the world is going to hell, after all, so honey, we might as well. (Sung with tongue firmly in cheek, of course.) - Seattle Weekly’s Reverb – March 5, 2012


"PoPTV – Red Jacket Mine “Listen Up (If the World is Going to Hell)”"

by Kevin Mathews

I make no apologies for being a lover of ‘old-school’ pop music cuz ultimately it’s about substance and not mere form. Pleased to report that bands like Red Jacket Mine, which focus on 80s-styled soul, country, blues, rock, and pop (think: Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello, Style Council, Hall & Oates) are still out there, if you know where to look!

Red Jacket Mine has already released two studio albums (including 2009?s Ken Stringfellow-produced Lovers Lookout) and currently consists of bandleader Lincoln Barr, longtime drummer Andrew Salzman and bassist Matthew Cunningham. “Listen Up (If the World is Going to Hell)” is a brilliant slice of soul-infused pub rock that bears repeated listening.

So check out this surrealistic music video for Red Jacket Mine‘s new 7? single and please send them your love, okay? - Power of Pop! – March 18, 2012


"PoP10 – Red Jacket Mine"

by Kevin Mathews

1. Why play music?

Quite simply, it’s all I’ve wanted to do since I first picked up a guitar at age 13. There’s nothing else like writing songs – the initial spark of an idea, the satisfaction of hearing it all come together, and all of the hard work in-between.

2. Who are your influences?

Craftsmen – Nick Lowe, Alex Chilton, Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson. These guys might not’ve been blessed with Sam Cooke’s voice or Elvis Presley’s good looks, but they found a unique approach to songwriting and music-making and developed it, diligently, over long and winding careers, driven only by what was interesting to them at that moment. That’s what I want.

3. What is success?

See above! Finding a supportive audience, and building it slowly but surely. The ability to travel and experience different cultures through music-making would certainly qualify as ‘success’ in my book.

4. Why should people buy your music?

Well, because we spend a lot of money (not to mention time) recording and delivering it to your ears! All proceeds go toward our continued efforts in that department.

5. Who do you love?

My wife, my family, my bandmates and friends. People that inspire me. Bo Diddley, for sure.

6. What do you hope to achieve with your music?

I’ve already achieved a lot of the things I dreamt of when I started writing songs – I’ve shared stages with some of my favorite musicians (Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, Chuck Prophet, Jason Falkner), made albums with them (Ken Stringfellow), and spent countless hours in the studio and in a van with my buddies, playing music all over the western US. As I approach 10 years trading under the Red Jacket Mine name, I suppose I’d just like continue expanding in all directions – more music, more friends, more travel and shared experiences. Very few people that I know are getting rich in this business, so to a certain extent, that’s what we’re all collecting – experiences.

7. Who comes to your gigs?

Friends and friendly strangers, mostly. The occasional mummy.

8. What is your favorite album (at this moment)?

Can I choose an upcoming one? My favorite new band of the last few years, Toronto, Ontario’s Zeus (themusicofzeus.com), has a new album called Busting Visions coming out on March 27 via Canadian super-indie Arts & Crafts. Their debut album, Say Us, was my hands-down pick for 2010, and something tells me they’ll take the crown this year, too.

9. What is your favorite song (at this moment)?

Well, I’m enjoying the Staple Singers’ Uncloudy Day this fine Sunday morning, and that’s sounding pretty mighty, but my current pick comes from another brilliant Toronto artist – “Caught Me Thinking” by Bahamas (aka Afie Jurvanen, erstwhile guitarist for Feist, Jason Collett, and others). Check out the video, and then pick up his new record, Barchords.

10. How did you get here?

I was born in southeast Missouri in 1982, and moved around a bunch as a kid, spending my formative years in northwest Mississippi (near Memphis, Tennessee). I returned to Missouri for college, where I met my lovely wife (and started releasing four-track recordings under the Red Jacket Mine moniker), and we’ve lived in Seattle for the last seven years.

Red Jacket Mine’s new 7? single – Listen Up (If the World is Going to Hell) is out now! Find out more. - Power of Pop! – March 19, 2012


"Review: Red Jacket Mine on Fin Records ("Listen Up (If the World is Going to Hell)")"


Recent Press
Review: Red Jacket Mine – Bellar & Bawl on Fin Records

7 i n c h e s blog – July 9, 2012

by Jason Dean Egan

The never ending conveyor belt of singles from the Fin Records factory keeps right on rolling and I’m starting to realize you’d need to start your own blog to keep up. They must run a tight ship over there with deadlines and teams of artists designing sleeves, lining up recording sessions…a whiteboard of upcoming projects, phones ringing off the hook…like the trading floor of the stock exchange, but for singles. We can dream.

Lincoln Barr is the mastermind behind the bedroom 4 track project that was became early Red Jacket Mine. That kind of dense experimentation comes through on this latest single from Fin Records where Lincoln’s sparkling hyper-pop has been distilled from raw innovation with Andrew Salzman and Matthew Cunningham bringing their own live performances to the recording. His previous single on Fin brought together a lot of the masters pop, from the session groove of Steely Dan to the indie pop of Kurt Heasley on both of these brief samples for a full length out later this year.

A-Side’s “Bellar & Bawl” is a slick, clear, rocking and rolling number with those glittery doubled up vocals and polished handclaps. A sort of country honkey tonk sound, with it’s share of piano flourishes and harmonious backup vocals. He’s one of those talented songwriters who’s absorbed a tremendous amount of intelligent song craft and draws equally from across the board. This results not only in instrumentation but lyrics that you aren’t going to really get until tomorrow. Picking up heavily on the Squeeze sound, sort of timeless in that it’s not tied distinctively to any trendy genres.

B-Side’s “Grow Your Own” has got these subtle strums and an odd tom beat, Lincoln’s got an enthusiastic vocal and slight reverb on his almost 50's bopper sound, maybe that’s where the Elvis Costello references come from, it’s an equally strong, unique vocal tying all sorts of classic early rock and roll. A similar kind of do-wop soul sound once removed; simultaneously a condemnation and celebration about that particular era. It’s the kind of thing that should actually be in a jukebox somewhere in a highway diner, the middle of nowhere….scratchy,coming out of a crappy speaker. It would actually give you some kind of energy to finish that roadtrip. Incredibly emotive, dense disjointed lyric narrative, complex songwriting that might even be his undoing at times. But then damn I’m into this crunchy, alien distortion solo that pops up towards the end of this, completely out of place, and I appreciate that borderline unlistenable sound… that hes going to take a chance on that.

Download card included on clear orange vinyl with the usual embossed stamping and color inner sleeves…get it from Fin Records.

(Thanks for the awesome review, Jason! – LB)
Video Premiere: Red Jacket Mine, “Bellar & Bawl”

American Songwriter – June 4, 2012

by Evan Schlansky

“Bellar & Bawl” is a tale of frustration with a friend who’s found love and doesn’t mind paying for it, so to speak,” says Lincoln Barr of acclaimed Seattle power pop band Red Jacket Mine.

“The title comes from a quite possibly fabricated memory of my Southern grandparents’ description of my pitiful childish blubberings… the real word is “bellow,” of course, but “bellar” sounded so much better.”

Watch the “Bellar & Bawl” video below, which proves that men will still do anything for a lady in red.

Mayer’s Playlist for Spring 2012, Part 2: Red Jacket Mine – “Bellar & Bawl”

Twangville – May 31, 2012

by Mayer Danzig

Imagine if Squeeze and Big Star had recorded some songs together, marrying the glossy sheen of the former with the grit and vitality of the latter. I’m guessing that it would sound something like the songs on this Seattle trio’s latest digital single. Have a listen and decide for yourself.

Review: Red Jacket Mine – “Bellar & Bawl” b/w “Grow Your Own” (Fin)

The Big Takeover – June 1, 2012

by Michael Toland

Red Jacket Mine has been quietly building up a body of work (two albums so far, including the Ken Stringfellow-produced Lovers Lookout) and gigs (shows with everyone from Alejandro Escovedo and Chuck Prophet to Stringfellow and Hugh Cornwell and Glen Matlock) for the past few years. Now the Seattle trio is gearing up for a major push. This is the second in a series of 7-inches that showcases the band in small doses – sort of a musical handshake, if you will. Leader Lincoln Barr is something of a traditionalist, favoring new wave-ish power pop melodies and savvy lyrics – reminiscent, but not imitative, of Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello and their peers. “Bellar & Bawl” rocks a little harder, while “Grow Your Own” (soul, not pot) mixes in a blue-eyed soul flavor. Both tunes indicate a sophisticated pop palette and a wry sense of humor. A perfect introduction to what sounds - 7 i n c h e s blog – March 22, 2012


"Excerpt: Lincoln Barr, Bahamas, Loney Dear at Chop Suey"

by Brittney Bush Bollay

Red Jacket Mine lead singer Lincoln Barr opened the night with an excellent set. Performing solo but commanding the stage, his swagger and playing style hinted at the influence of great rock and roll singer-songwriters like Lou Reed and Joel Plaskett, and kept the normally-chatty early crowd rapt and “unnervingly respectful.” - Sound on the Sound – March 29, 2012


"Today Reverb Recommends You Spend 4 Minutes and 55 Seconds With Red Jacket Mine’s “Bellar & Bawl” b/w “Grow Your Own”"

by Chris Kornelis

Lincoln Barr and his band of urban pop tarts have been releasing a steady stream of solid singles with their new label, Fin, in anticipation of their forthcoming LP, which we understand really is forthcoming. The latest single, “Bellar & Bawl,” inspired me to spend the rest of my day devouring the Big Star catalog. Barr has a special talent for making new hits with vintage sounds that are above pastiche. “Bellar & Bawl,” and the flip side, “Grow Your Own,” are no different. - Seattle Weekly’s Reverb – May 11, 2012


"Video: Red Jacket Mine – “Listen Up (If the World is Going to Hell)”"

Everyone loves singles, right? Well brace yourself, Martha, cuz Red Jacket Mine have gotten in cahoots with Fin Records to drop a series of limited edition vinyl 7-inchers leading up to the release of their full-length debut. Lincoln Barr is the main man behind Red Jacket Mine, and based on the little I’ve heard, he’s a chap who has a stack of well-worn early Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello platters lurking in the basement.

Still, with the sheer number of submissions we get every day, it would have been easy to miss the smoothly grooverific “Listen Up (If the World is Going to Hell)” if not for the video. Because, if there’s two things that MOKB can always get behind, it’s animals in people clothes, and people in animal clothes.

I should also mention that Barr is showing no signs of letting up. On May 29th, Bellar and Bawl b/w Grow Your Own will become your latest morsel of RJM’s ear candy to hit retailers, but we’re giving you a taste a week early. - My Old Kentucky Blog – May 23, 2012


"Interview with Lincoln Barr of Red Jacket Mine"

What does your songwriting process look like? Walk me through an entire song from start to finish.
Traditionally, it’s started with the music for me – a chord progression or melody on the guitar will spark an idea, and I’ll often have the entire piece of music finished before I get too far with the lyrics. Lately, however, I find myself starting with a title or phrase more often, then working up the music and filling in the blanks from there. I’ll take them however they come, frankly!

Due to a limited amount of me-and-the-guitar time, I’ll often jot down or record an idea on the fly (usually when I’m already 5 minutes late for my bus), then mull it over in my head all day and try to solidify things when I can get to a guitar again. My favorite thing to do is write lyrics when I’m walking…if I’ve already got the melody and basic song structure down, it becomes a syllable puzzle at that point, and something about feet slapping the pavement seems to help. The early to mid-morning hours also seem more productive for me, which isn’t always convenient when you’ve gotta work, or you’ve been up til 3 the night before, but hey – I’ll take it.

Once I’ve wrestled a new tune to the ground, I’ll record a bare-bones, nigh-unlistenable demo, and the band and I will work up an arrangement in the rehearsal room. I like to start playing new songs live as soon as possible, as that’s where the real progress seems to happen.

How has music changed/influenced/made a difference in your life?
Music has pretty much made my life what it is today. I just turned 30, and it was wild to realize that I’d been playing guitar for over half my life. I’ve been tinkering around with songs for nearly as long, and most all of my important personal relationships revolve around music. My wife of ten years and I bonded over punk records in our college days, which led me to Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, and so many more of my favorites. Our decision to move to Seattle seven years ago had a lot to do with finding more opportunities to play, and since then, I’ve learned a lot, made many lifelong friends, and created what I hope is just the beginning of a substantial body of work.

What make you passionate about the music you are currently making?
I feel like the songs we’re playing now are our most immediate and engaging to date – music to be actively enjoyed, not just ‘admired’ – and audience response to the live show and recordings seems to bear that out. I’m still very proud of our first two albums, 2008's Hello, Old Cloud and 2009's Lovers Lookout, and they were undoubtedly necessary steps toward the place we’re at today, but I do feel like that material was more difficult for listeners to apprehend at first listen…which, as you know, is often the only chance you get to make an impression.

The music we’re making today excites me, and I feel like it’s truer to my influences than ever before. Memphis soul and pure pop have always had a place in our world, but now I’m letting those horses run free, and it feels really natural. Suddenly, everything’s easier – singing, playing guitar, and most importantly, locking together as a band. Our rhythm section, Andy Salzman (drums) and Matt Cunningham (bass), is simply slaying it right now, and it makes all the difference.

Our producer Johnny Sangster also deserves heaps of credit. He’s proven to be the perfect fit for this material, and I feel incredibly lucky to be working with him at what feels like a really auspicious time for the band. The same goes for our label, Fin Records – it’s empowering and inspiring to work on these songs and know that they’ll be released and supported by folks that really care. - Alright, I’m Wrong – May 25, 2012


"Review: “Bellar & Bawl” b/w “Grow Your Own” 45 – 8 stars!"

by Fred Mills

(Fin)
www.finrecords.com

Seattle’s Red Jacket Mine, whose Ken Stringfellow-produced Lovers Lookout (2009) generated favorable comparisons from this very publication to vintage psych, Big Star-informed garage/pop and Memphis/Muscle Shoals soul, is in the middle of a singles-issuing frenzy, of which the platter at hand is the followup to February’s “Listen Up” 45. Another single is in the wings, with a full-length scheduled for early 2013, so without further adieu:

The Faces-meets-Georgia Satellites “Bellar & Bawl” marries choppy power pop guitars to insistent Memphian ivories, and all the tuneful swagger implied by that description should not be underestimated; this is a song destined, if musical justice prevails, to be covered by bar bands across the land – at first, second, third and last call. Meanwhile, the soulful, more pub-rocking “Grow Your Own” (as in, “grow your own soul,” natch) takes things down a notch or two while providing crucial sustenance for, as the saying goes, your rock ‘n’ roll…

Wait, did the man mention soul? Yeahhhh… FRED MILLS - Blurt Online – May 29, 2012


"Review: Red Jacket Mine – “Bellar & Bawl” b/w “Grow Your Own” (Fin)"

by Michael Toland

Red Jacket Mine has been quietly building up a body of work (two albums so far, including the Ken Stringfellow-produced Lovers Lookout) and gigs (shows with everyone from Alejandro Escovedo and Chuck Prophet to Stringfellow and Hugh Cornwell and Glen Matlock) for the past few years. Now the Seattle trio is gearing up for a major push. This is the second in a series of 7-inches that showcases the band in small doses – sort of a musical handshake, if you will. Leader Lincoln Barr is something of a traditionalist, favoring new wave-ish power pop melodies and savvy lyrics – reminiscent, but not imitative, of Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello and their peers. “Bellar & Bawl” rocks a little harder, while “Grow Your Own” (soul, not pot) mixes in a blue-eyed soul flavor. Both tunes indicate a sophisticated pop palette and a wry sense of humor. A perfect introduction to what sounds like a marvelous band. - The Big Takeover – June 1, 2012


"Mayer’s Playlist for Spring 2012, Part 2: Red Jacket Mine – “Bellar & Bawl”"

by Mayer Danzig

Imagine if Squeeze and Big Star had recorded some songs together, marrying the glossy sheen of the former with the grit and vitality of the latter. I’m guessing that it would sound something like the songs on this Seattle trio’s latest digital single. Have a listen and decide for yourself. - Twangville – May 31, 2012


"Video Premiere: Red Jacket Mine, “Bellar & Bawl”"

by Evan Schlansky

“Bellar & Bawl” is a tale of frustration with a friend who’s found love and doesn’t mind paying for it, so to speak,” says Lincoln Barr of acclaimed Seattle power pop band Red Jacket Mine.

“The title comes from a quite possibly fabricated memory of my Southern grandparents’ description of my pitiful childish blubberings… the real word is “bellow,” of course, but “bellar” sounded so much better.”

Watch the “Bellar & Bawl” video below, which proves that men will still do anything for a lady in red. - American Songwriter – June 4, 2012


"Review: Red Jacket Mine – Bellar & Bawl on Fin Records"

by Jason Dean Egan

The never ending conveyor belt of singles from the Fin Records factory keeps right on rolling and I’m starting to realize you’d need to start your own blog to keep up. They must run a tight ship over there with deadlines and teams of artists designing sleeves, lining up recording sessions…a whiteboard of upcoming projects, phones ringing off the hook…like the trading floor of the stock exchange, but for singles. We can dream.

Lincoln Barr is the mastermind behind the bedroom 4 track project that was became early Red Jacket Mine. That kind of dense experimentation comes through on this latest single from Fin Records where Lincoln’s sparkling hyper-pop has been distilled from raw innovation with Andrew Salzman and Matthew Cunningham bringing their own live performances to the recording. His previous single on Fin brought together a lot of the masters pop, from the session groove of Steely Dan to the indie pop of Kurt Heasley on both of these brief samples for a full length out later this year.

A-Side’s “Bellar & Bawl” is a slick, clear, rocking and rolling number with those glittery doubled up vocals and polished handclaps. A sort of country honkey tonk sound, with it’s share of piano flourishes and harmonious backup vocals. He’s one of those talented songwriters who’s absorbed a tremendous amount of intelligent song craft and draws equally from across the board. This results not only in instrumentation but lyrics that you aren’t going to really get until tomorrow. Picking up heavily on the Squeeze sound, sort of timeless in that it’s not tied distinctively to any trendy genres.

B-Side’s “Grow Your Own” has got these subtle strums and an odd tom beat, Lincoln’s got an enthusiastic vocal and slight reverb on his almost 50's bopper sound, maybe that’s where the Elvis Costello references come from, it’s an equally strong, unique vocal tying all sorts of classic early rock and roll. A similar kind of do-wop soul sound once removed; simultaneously a condemnation and celebration about that particular era. It’s the kind of thing that should actually be in a jukebox somewhere in a highway diner, the middle of nowhere….scratchy,coming out of a crappy speaker. It would actually give you some kind of energy to finish that roadtrip. Incredibly emotive, dense disjointed lyric narrative, complex songwriting that might even be his undoing at times. But then damn I’m into this crunchy, alien distortion solo that pops up towards the end of this, completely out of place, and I appreciate that borderline unlistenable sound… that hes going to take a chance on that.

Download card included on clear orange vinyl with the usual embossed stamping and color inner sleeves…get it from Fin Records. - 7 i n c h e s blog – July 9, 2012


"Every Local Release: Download Red Jacket Mine’s Genial New Single, “Poplar Bluff,” For Free"

Seattle Weekly’s Reverb (http://www.seattleweekly.com/) – January 4, 2012

by Erin K. Thompson

Seattle rock-and-soul trio Red Jacket Mine will be releasing a 7-inch, “Listen Up (If the World is Going to Hell),” next month on Fin Records. To tide fans over in the meantime, there’s “Poplar Bluff,” a genial single that boasts easy, mellow instrumentation, a compelling chorus, and the sharpest arrow in the band’s quiver, frontman Lincoln Barr’s sweet, smooth, and unassuming vocals. Barr ominously described the song’s subject matter to me as “a particularly unsavory southeast Missouri town I encountered a few times as a kid.”

Listen to “Poplar Bluff” on Red Jacket Mine’s Bandcamp page. - Seattle Weekly's Reverb


"Preview - REVERBfest at Lock & Keel - Red Jacket Mine"

Having lived in Seattle only since 2004, Lincoln Barr has already found a firm place in Seattle’s pop scene. With his band, Red Jacket Mine, Barr has gigged relentlessly around town, perfecting what he calls “twilit pop,” which really is a more poetic way of saying they sound like a mellow folk-informed pop band with a tinge of British psychedelia. Heavy on the layered harmonies and mournfully pretty melodies, comparisons have been made to that other local lite-pop concern, Grand Archives. I hear a lot more Downpilot in them, however, especially in Barr’s whispery late-night vocals. Fitting then, that Downpilot’s own Paul Hiraga is a guest on their most recent album, Hello, Old Cloud. Currently, Red Jacket Mine is at work on another album, being produced by none other than ex-Posie Ken Stringfellow.
-- Brian J. Barr - Seattle Weekly - October 1, 2008


"Review - Red Jacket Mine - Hello, Old Cloud"

If you want to be technical, Hello, Old Cloud is songwriter Lincoln Barr’s third full length under the Red Jacket Mine name. Barr’s first two albums were recorded via four-track and self released. When I reviewed The Daylight Moon (Barr’s 2nd effort) in 2004, a promising foundation was hinted at. That promise continued to build when Barr moved from Missouri to Seattle and acquired a full band for 2006’s Starboard Meets The Sound EP. The improved production values of that release take an even bigger step forward on Hello, Old Cloud. This is the true birth of Red Jacket Mine.

Hello, Old Cloud reveals how much Barr has grown as a songwriter in the last five years. His band, which consists of Ryan Chapman, Patrick Porter, and Andy Salzman (who has been playing with Barr since The Daylight Moon) deserve a share of the credit. They have helped bring out Barr’s broad influences, all of which are on display. Prior to writing this review, I learned that Ken Stringfellow of The Posies and Big Star would be co-producing their next record. This seems like a perfect fit when taking into consideration that I can hear the spirit and energy of both those artists on Hello, Old Cloud.

I’ve always appreciated Barr’s vocals and they are in strong form throughout the record. Bandmate Patrick Porter steps up on backing vocals, providing some excellent harmonies, especially on “Jesus’ House” and “22 Rose Petal Place.” An early version of the latter song appeared on Starboard Meets The Sound, but it sounds even better here. I also appreciate “Don’t (Settle Your Debts On The Phone),” a stripped-down track that recalls Barr’s early work. The confidence and general consistency of Hello, Old Cloud overshadows its missteps, of which there are surprisingly few. Although I believe that this is a very solid record, I am confident that Red Jacket Mine are just getting started.
-- Hugh Miller - Unfinished web zine (http://www.liepaper.com) - May 19, 2008


"Weekend! Music - Red Jacket Mine (Doug Fir Lounge, 3/15/08)"

The golden twang of Laurel Canyon seems to be making a resurgence in modern alternative music, with bands like Grand Archives infusing their laid-back, summery pop with a slight country glow.

Add Seattle’s Red Jacket Mine to the list of folks to watch in this genre. With an excellent new album just about to be released, Lincoln Barr and company have been slowly generating a (much deserved) regional buzz.

“Hello, Old Cloud” drifts along languidly, buoyed by Barr’s slightly fragile voice and intelligent lyrics. Like spiked lemonade, it’s refreshing and intoxicating.

-- Barbara Mitchell - Portland Tribune - March 14, 2008


"Red Jacket Mine, Aug. 29, VAC"

Sometimes you have to take a step back in order to move forward. Seattle-based Red Jacket Mine frontman Lincoln Barr knew that when he and the band recorded their second full-length album, Lovers Lookout due out in October. They recorded on 2-inch tape, something rather unheard of in the world of digital overdubbing.

“We’re proud of our first CD [Hello, Old Cloud], but we approached it like kids in a candy store,” Barr said.

On Hello, Old Cloud, if they wanted more keyboards, they added more keyboards; if they wanted more guitar, they added more guitar. This time around, though, they kept it simple. They recorded in a room together and, for the most part, kept the tracks as they were, mistakes and all.

Recording on tape gives Lovers Lookout and its American retro-rock sound an aura of authenticity. It also provides for a tonal quality and energy that’s more immediate and definitely reflective of where the band is musically. The result is church-organ pop and rock songs, rich with slow-burning slide guitar and lazy juke joint drums. And Barr’s Conor-Oberst-earnest voice and his emotive, intelligent lyrics on themes of love, life, death and even theology: “Perpetually wandering penitent / … From the parapet scream, ‘Thank my stars,’” (from the song “Deseret News”). When was the last time you heard the word “parapet” in a song? - by Amy Atkins, Boise Weekly, August 26, 2009


"Just-Washed Honesty"

There really aren’t any smoke and mirrors with Red Jacket Mine’s latest album, Lovers Lookout (due in October). Recorded almost entirely live on tape in studio, the band’s songs exhibit a naked honesty that implies exactly what they sound like on stage: clean rock/pop that’s only slightly sullied, as if the songs are being played by upstanding chaps who wandered into a rowdy Nashville roadhouse.

Singer Lincoln Barr produces thematic, high-octave vocals that have that just-washed Cadillac shine. His lyrics ring bell-like and clear above the loping rhythms provided by bassist Ryan Chapman and drummer Andy Salzman, who bridge the gap between 1970s honky-tonk and modern hipster rock transplanted to the Northwest. Patrick Porter, the guitar and pedal steel player, provides some of the album’s most interesting instrumental moments, including an intro to the song “So Long, Radiant Flower” that will have fans of country acts like Conway Twitty nodding their heads.

In fact, one of the unfortunate things about this album is how few and far between these “country” moments are. The production is so tight, it might feel a little anal retentive at times. The snare drum in many of the songs sounds like it has been muted all to hell, and Barr, although sounding confident, revisits many of the same melodic themes in his vocals. If these guys were to let it all hang out, they could provide the kind of sublime aural satisfaction that discerning home listeners crave. But overall, this album is a pleaser. - by Shaun O'Dell, Eugene Weekly, August 27, 2009


"Review: Red Jacket Mine – Lovers Lookout"

Subtitle: Big stars? Maybe.

Out of Seattle here is a quartet who manage to blend a rootsy easy listening sensibility with a dash of early seventies chiming guitar pop. It’s a good marriage and one that looks to still be in the honeymoon period. There is an immediacy to tracks like ‘Childish Things’ and the ever so damn catchy ‘Showponies’ that take very little amount of plays to lodge themselves in that part of the brain marked ‘constant rotation’ (even though at times it reminds me of ‘Rio’ by Duran Duran, weird!). ‘Nightcrawler’ is a thoughtful, imaginative ballad that slowly evolves into a moody, broody epic whilst ‘Apricot Moon’ arguably the standout of what is a pretty solid record, is a wonderfully realised tune that pits viola against guitar to enterprising effect.

The record is produced by Ken Stringfellow whose experience of working with the likes of The Posies and Big Star is clearly evident on Lovers Lookout. Jangling guitars, soaring harmonies, and sharp, precise production is the key here making for a good hearty listen. Add that to a pop awareness and all of a sudden you have a band that, given the exposure, could do pretty well for themselves. What’s not to like? - by Del Day, Americana UK (http://www.americana-uk.com/) – November 10, 2009


"Review: Red Jacket Mine – Lovers Lookout"

by Fred Mills

(eight stars!)

The Northwest’s gonna rise again. Though Seattle and the NW region in general no longer generates the same level of excitement it sustained for a good while in the aftermath of the Nirvana goldrush – the Internet, with all its unfolding egalitarianism, ensured that practically any regional scene could enjoy its fifteen minutes or more, A&R hysteria and press hype be damned – there are always little breakthrough moments we indie rock aficionados look (listen) for. One such moment arrives with Seattle’s Red Jacket Mine, whose second full-length is bursting at the digital seams with pristine pop and luminous blue-eyed soul, with hints of psychedelia and Americana lining the seams.

Did someone just mention pop? Right from the get-go, Lovers Lookout is aglow: “Stay Golden” chugs along on a rich bed of guitar jangles and organ hums, while just two songs later, on “Childish Things,” the band builds up a jubilant head of powerpop steam that’ll have you reaching for your dB’s and Big Star (hold that thought) records. On the latter track, guest Eyvind Kang also adds a striking, almost cinematic, string motif. And soul? The band dips a foot into Memphis and Muscle Shoals territory via “Such An Easy Thing,” an organ-driven slice of R&B brimming with passion thanks to songwriter Lincoln Barr’s smooth yet vulnerable warble. Likewise, “Apricot Moon” is a smoky waltztime ballad with soaring vocal harmonies and Kang’s strings again lending an uncommon dramatic heft; another guest, Ian Moore, unleashes some appropriately bluesy guitar licks as well. And everything coalesces wonderfully with “The Pose,” a shimmering, thrumming marriage of Brit-pop and vintage college rock, sophisticated in tone yet with a raw, primal edge.

As produced by Ken Stringfellow, Lovers Lookout has instant cover-sticker cachet – and Posies/Big Star/R.E.M. fans will surely find the four young men of Red Jacket Mine to be kindred spirits – but the bottom line is that these guys have the kind of songs and chops that will weather any level of scrutiny. Come on up for the rising.
- Blurt Online (http://www.blurt-online.com/) – December 31, 2009


"Q&A: Lincoln Barr Of Red Jacket Mine"

by Brian J. Barr

It’s a fact–digital is cold, analog is warm. And recording live in the studio creates a much more intimate and engaging album than any amount of knob-twiddling. Need proof? Listen to Lovers Lookout, the new album from Seattle pop group Red Jacket Mine. The brainchild of singer-songwriter Lincoln Barr (no relation to this trusty music scribe), Red Jacket Mine has garnered recognition for its mix of jangly pop, dreamy soul, and lonesome Americana. But on Lovers Lookout, those elements are wrapped in a vintage, fuzzy atmosphere resulting in powerpop that is as luminous and warm as a beam of morning sun in your kitchen.

Tonight, Red Jacket Mine will have the pleasure of sharing the High Dive’s stage with none other than Oregon’s Americana titans Richmond Fontaine. SW caught up with RJM frontman to discuss his band’s approach for this record and how living in Seattle has kept the Southern U.S. native from singing about fried chicken.

From the first notes of Lovers Lookout, I was struck by the tone and sound of the record. It sounds like it was cut live and recorded on tape. Can you tell me about the recording process?

You nailed it. We bought four reels of two-inch tape – just enough for an album – and cut the record live in one room (Ballard’s Soundhouse Recording) over six days. (We spent a couple of extra days on string and background vocal overdubs later.) Our buddy Ken Stringfellow produced and played keys live with the band. We didn’t have enough tape to keep extra takes, so it simplified our decision-making process immensely. Ken was perfectly attuned to this (somewhat outdated) philosophy, and got the best out of us…we couldn’t have done it without him!

If I’m not mistaken, your band is named after a coal mine explosion that happened in Virginia in the 1800s. How did the name come about? It does have a hell of a poetic ring to it.

Very astute! I originally encountered the name through a song on a Folkways anthology (”The Red Jacket Mine Explosion” by the Phipps Family). I don’t have a personal connection to the place, but I thought the name was incredibly evocative. An iTunes review recently pointed out that ‘our music does not honor the miners or their legacy,’ but I guess you can’t please everyone!

Local violist freak Eyvind Kang has contributed to both Lovers Lookout and your previous record, Hello, Old Cloud. What’s it like, working with someone as insanely gifted as Eyvind?

Eyvind is a true original, and an absolute pleasure to work with. I originally met him through my friends in the Stares, and he’s played on both of our records. He’s so far beyond our level, it’s ridiculous, but he always brings enthusiasm and spontaneous brilliance to the proceedings.

There is a confidence that makes Lovers Lookout explode and shimmer in an organic, un-digitized way. It seems like your band is really working together as a unit now.

Thanks so much – that’s the highest compliment I could ask for. After making Hello, Old Cloud, which was very much a ’studio’ creation – heavily layered and perhaps a bit too ornate for its own good, I realized that what I really respond to in records is the performance. (I’ll take Neil Young’s Tonight’s the Night over Steely Dan’s Aja any day.) I wanted to make a record that reflected the chemistry we’d developed as a live unit, so we did all the work in our rehearsal room, striving to make the live arrangement as complete as possible – little or no overdubbing required. Everyone involved rose to the occasion, and I’m incredibly happy with how it turned out.

Listening to Lovers Lookout, it’s obvious it was made in the Northwest. But I also pick up traces of Southern pop, especially Big Star. Since I know you’re from Tennessee and now live in Seattle, how much effect do you think geography has influenced your music?

I was born in southeast Missouri, but spent some very formative teenage years in northwest Mississippi, near Memphis. I still feel a powerful connection to the place, and some (or most!) of my favorite music – Big Star, Al Green, Stax, back to the Sun stuff and country blues – was created there. Despite the fact that my wife and I have lived in Seattle for five years, I still identify as a Southerner, and I think that sensibility comes through in our music. Fortunately, we’ve got some Northwesterners in the band to keep me from writing exclusively about fried chicken.
- Seattle Weekly’s REVERB blog (http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb) – January 8, 2010


"Better Living Through Music - Red Jacket Mine - Saturday, March 7"

It isn’t often that you can go to a show and see a band at the genesis of a fairly prolific career. That is what awaits you Saturday at The New Frontier. Red Jacket Mine, fronted by the silky smooth vocals of Lincoln Barr, has created a darker American sound that they describe as twilit pop. Complete with steel guitars, crunchy drums, and a guitar that often soars into beauteous oblivion, this band will satisfy the country-pop hipster post-rock scallywag in anyone.
-- Chuck Dula - Weekly Volcano - Tacoma, WA - March 5, 2009


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

What is the Seattle sound? Truth is it changes. Frequently. Garage rock reigned in the mid-'60s. Grunge exploded out of the Emerald City in the early '90s and the world is still reeling. Today, hip-hop acts like Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Shabazz Palaces, and Blue Scholars rule the roost.

Red Jacket Mine sounds like none of these. Led by songwriter Lincoln Barr, this quartet proudly calls Seattle home, but you'd be hard-pressed to pinpoint the guys' area code simply by spinning their superlative new album, Someone Else's Cake.

At first blush, this batch of eleven originals seems more like a product of England in the aftermath of punk, when angry young men such as Graham Parker, Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, and Messrs. Difford and Tilbrook of Squeeze spilled out of the pubs and elbowed their way into the UK charts. (There's even a hint of graphic design innovator Barney Bubbles in Shawn Wolfe's cover art.) But pay closer attention. Trust me, it isn't hard. Someone Else's Cake brims with melodies and lyrics that reveal new, deeper charms with repeated spins.

Barr grew up in Memphis, TN. Soul music is in his DNA. Check out the horn sounds that plump up "Better to Be Broken Than Blind" and the smoldering organ that anchors "Novelty’s Gone" if you doubt his River City bona fides. The songwriter and guitarist attended college near St. Louis, MO, a city with deep roots in jazz and blues tradition. Today, Barr also plays with Seattle quintet STAG, and while his own compositions eschew the sugar rush immediacy of that power pop combo for a somewhat subtler approach, they share an affinity for indelible hooks.

The follow-up to 2009's sophomore full-length Lovers Lookout began taking shape in late 2010. In the wake of lineup changes—new bassist Matthew Cunningham had joined longtime drummer Andrew Salzman in the RJM rhythm section—the band cooked up a series of limited-edition, colored-vinyl 7-inch singles. "Listen Up (If the World Is Going to Hell)" and "Bellar & Bawl" distilled Barr's myriad influences into succinct gems designed to sit alongside any of the 45s he might stock in his own jukebox. As XTC once declared, this is pop—just not the kind that panders to the lowest common denominator.

As the singles garnered favorable press and airplay on KEXP 90.3 FM Seattle, Barr's confidence increased. This sound felt truer to his aesthetic than ever, especially after the addition of Oklahoma native Daniel Walker on keys fleshed out the arrangements. More songs flowed forth, accumulating over the course of a year. "Listen Up" was composed in a post-sinus surgery painkiller haze, when its author couldn't even sing the melody. Other compositions slyly reflected the headlines; economics and politics filtered into the lyrics of "Skint City" and "Ron Nasty." So did episodes from daily life. As the 2012 election dragged on, a ranting evangelist outside Barr's office exacerbated his exhaustion with hearing everyone's opinion, inspiring the classic country-tinged "Have You Got a Permit to Preach on This Corner?"

"I'm not writing message songs, but what's going on in the larger world makes its way into the music, even if I'm just trying to write a catchy little soul song," the songwriter admits. Therein lies the beauty of Someone Else's Cake. Something else is always brewing just below the surface of its catchy hooks and clever lyrics. How many times will a listener bop his or her head along to "Listen Up" before noticing its underlying message: when life gives you lemons, take your own life? Monetary terms pepper "Nickel and Dime," yet the losses Barr outlines in his charming drawl aren't the kind reflected in a bank statement.

Barr credits producer Johnny Sangster for helping Red Jacket Mine fully realize its new sound. "We couldn't have gone into this renaissance without his partnership," he says. While they shared points of intersection—Sangster's production and engineering credits include the Posies’ album Success; Ken Stringfellow produced Red Jacket Mine's Lovers Lookout, and lends his distinctive pipes to Someone Else’s Cake—the co-owner of Crackle & Pop! Studio also contributed a no-bullshit, punk rock attitude that favored brevity and eschewed getting too literal about referencing other musical eras and styles.

Red Jacket Mine isn't part of the latest wave from Seattle or anywhere else. Someone Else's Cake is timeless in its sensibilities, snagging the ear with endearing melodies and lyrical barbs, then engaging the heart and mind with ideas that run deeper. If the end result sounds like an album that's already withstood the test of time… well, that's because it undoubtedly will.

Watch the video for "Someone Else's Cake": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_nIk4mDItc

Watch the video for "Listen Up (If the World is Going to Hell)": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9neR520ANo

Watch the video for "Bellar & Bawl": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ_Hfy82T38

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