Circle 9: The War Between the States
Let me make somethin' clear up front: we're rock and roll vets in Baltimore. When we started, Deadhead cover bands roamed the earth and white guys hated rap. Consequently, our drawn out jams owed more to "Sister Ray" and the Velvet Underground than to Jerry and the fellas and we rapped constantly, trading lines like RUN-DMC and tryin' to incorporate multi-rhythmed lyrics like Chuck D.
A lot's changed since the early 90s. Jerry's dead, Grunge has come AND gone. Little honkies are rappin' all over the goddammed place, and boy bands and Britney Spears and shit - what the fuck's up with that?
Amidst all this garbage, sequestered in a tiny corner of the east coast, barely south of the Mason-Dixon Line, we're sittin' in a converted warehouse working on a concept album about the 19th century: The War Between the Sates.
Rock and Roll's always been of the moment. THIS moment. It's like a little baby who's playin' with a baseball. The baseball rolls out of the baby's immediate view and the baby instantly forgets about it, on to new things. The thing that gets lost in the lurching money machine that is Rock and Roll is that Rock and Roll is a legitimate art form rooted in self-expression that stretches back over centuries and continents. The same way that Scottish war songs grew into Bill Monroe's mandolin and west African polyrythms infused Robert Johnson's guitar, Rock and Roll is directly linked to the purest impulses of the human spirit since the dawn of communication, the urge to sing and make music. To fight and to fuck.
Also, Rock and Roll is a peculiarly AMERICAN art form. Them Brits from the 60's like the Beatles and Sabbath, they didn't INVENT anything, they just took what was there and made it better (or different, depending on your point of view), much in the same way the mountain folk took them Celtic songs and turned them into rural American folk and the slaves mixed African chants with gospel music and got the Blues. But this is a digression. Rock and roll was born in the United States of America and right up to this very day, the Civil War defines this country. Say what you will about the Founding Fathers (all white and male), they left HUGE holes in the blueprint concerning ruling of, by, and, for the people. They figured they'd work it out later, I guess. The Civil War is that family meeting.
What emerged from that bloody clash was the unified country in which we live today: imperfect, violent, and free. In terms of art, rock and roll is the USA's greatest accomplishment, or at least it's MY favorite. So why not use my favorite American art form to try to capture some of what was goin' on when this nation was born? It's fuckin' rock and roll, man. Anything goes.
Anyway, that's what we've been up to lately. Work all day, play all night, and always be tired. That's Circle fuckin' 9, my friend.
Country Â» Alt-Country
Rock/Pop Â» Indie Rock, Psychedelia/Space Rock
I suppose we're high-falutin'. Our current CD, a 2 disc set entitled THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES traces America's trail through the Civil War. Yes, a concept album about the 1860s! In moderm terms we're like a mix of Ween and DBTs. Longer in the ago we'd be like a mix of The Allman Brothers and the Velvet Underground. It really doesn't matter because it's all just turn of the millenium Western World folk music.
(from the Circle 9 bidnizz postcard)
In the eight years Circle 9 has been together there is too much shit to talk about. There have been arrests, loss, addictions, 2 7'' records, several compilations, 3 full length CDs of which the latest is a 2 disc concept album about the Civil War called "The War Between the States" (dubbed by Baltimore's City Paper as one of the city's best records of 2002), a documentary of sorts called "The Cracker Gets the Cheese", cross country misadventures, in town misadventures, a surprising amount of radio play/support, and a magical place called Eutaw Street.
As the world around us grows darker, Circle 9's world grows brighter. They're currently immersed in thier next projects, a 3 disc musical novel which features over 30 songs, and a full length film.
Yeah, we have full time jobs, wives, girlfriends, mortgages, and other interests but you'll have to read about those on the internet!
Check out the artist's website:
2. Freedom Africa
3. Fort Sumter Breakdown
4. Rebel Stand
5. You Reap What You Sow
6. CSS Virginia
7. Miss Kathryn
8. Cheyenne Reverie
10. Pickett's Charge
11. Kiss the Snake
12. Abe Lincoln Blues
13. Death In America
15. An Educated Man
16. Sherman's March
17. Appomattox Courthouse
18. Long Walk Home
19. Risin' Outlaw
20. Rosa Parks Waltz
21. Fandango/Moai Reprise