SONG PREMIERE: The ClamStompers tell the funny tale of ‘Dwane (Every Time My Baby Lies, I Lose a Tooth)’
Aaron McCurdy and Katie Kelly have been performing together for six or seven years in a variety of bands that have ranged from rock to outerfolk, playing most recently as a duo simply named Katie & Aaron. For their debut EP, however, the Wilkes-Barre singer/songwriters have branded themselves The ClamStompers, and with just one listen, it’s easy to hear why.
Last year, they began writing music that encompassed country, traditional folk, ragtime, and old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll, and now they’re giving NEPA Scene readers the exclusive first listen to “Dwane (Every Time My Baby Lies, I Lose a Tooth),” one of five tracks from their new album.
If the title sounds strange, McCurdy, 27, thought the same thing when Kelly, 31, told him that the lyric, “Every time my baby lies, I lose a tooth,” popped into her head one night as she was drifting off to sleep, but from that initial line, they were able to create a classic-sounding country tune that centers around a character who lies to his wife.
Laughing as they wrote, McCurdy threw in a swing breakdown as he was learning some jazz chords and “Dwayne” was born.
“The album has bluegrass, country, and ragtime. This song represents the vintage sound present throughout the entire disc,” Kelly told NEPA Scene.
The duo recorded the album, made up of the first batch of songs they ever wrote together, with producer Mark Wohl of local lo-fi pop band Mock Sun at his own Wide Eyed Studios over eight sessions. Each track began with them performing live to analog tape, a suggestion by Wohl, and they were joined by Anthony “Shiny” Montini of Silhouette Lies, TheWay, and Umbriel on drums, Mark Dimirco of Mock Sun on bass, and Nashville session player Kurt Bauman on fiddle.
The album is also called “Dwayne,” named after the single and this fictional character that each track is built around. While an official release date has not been set, limited handmade copies will be available for purchase tonight, Jan. 16, at a show at The Susquehanna Tavern (167 Susquehanna Ave., Exeter) with Terry Childers and Mark Dimirco, starting at 8 p.m. For more information, see the Facebook event page.
Kelly has released four prior albums, all including McCurdy on vocals and mandolin. The ClamStompers are also performing with Kelly’s other band, The Charming Beards, along with Skip Monday and Pity Party, at The Keys (244 Penn Ave., Scranton) on Friday, Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. For more information, see the Facebook event page.