THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Deadstock: Uncollected Recordings 2005-2020, is an album gathering up the songs that no one got to hear: Unreleased tracks and alternate versions from six studio records and scattered sessions, that form a kind of alternate history.
It sounds funny to say, ‘Here’s bunch of songs so good I never put them out,’ but these are as good as anything I ever wrote, and we’ve played some of them on the road for years. They didn’t make it onto albums because I still think of albums as the unit of measure, and it’s more important to me to make a record work than it is to make sure a particular song sees the light of day. They tend to find their own way out the door anyway.
Deadstock isn’t a documentary, it’s an album. It’s arranged and meant to be heard that way, with seven new original songs — and two released prior only in Europe — as well as new full-band takes of back catalog numbers like Mesa, Arizona, Ghost Repeater and Pretty Hands. Some of these are blood relatives, like Real Love, Any Town Will Do, and Mesa, AZ (three songs written in three days driving around the desert southwest before the Ghost Repeater sessions) while some show the obverse side of the coin, like Cold Late Spring Bark River (a less austere telling of a night I wrote about in Heart to the Husk from Horse Latitudes), and Crown of Smoke, the present-tense companion to the narrative flashback in Little Warble, from Blood Brothers.
There’s a song I wrote for one of my heroes, the late great Rainer Ptacek of Tucson, and a song called Jacaranda that I wrote while driving up the 101 in California years ago, feeling lucky; there’s a song called Adios Mexico that I co-wrote with my friend Airon Kluberton — an airplane mechanic in Talkeetna, Alaska — when I was up there on tour, and there are two songs I always loved from the Cold Satellite collaborations with poet Lisa Olstein and guitarist David Goodrich, presented in new versions. The band is mostly the one you know from the last many years (featured on the Wolves and Blood Brothers records, and on the road), and then the Iowa boys — Chief, Rico, Bo, and the great Dave Moore — from Ghost Repeater on two tracks, plus guest appearances by Kris Delmhorst, Pieta Brown, and Caitlin Canty on backing vocals.”