Let me tell you about my dear friend John Rayne, a techno-evangelist bard from a post-apocalyptic American future.
When John and I speak we do not speak. I point at a certain leaf or smash a specific pixel and he nods in agreement. He cocks a shotgun in my front lawn and I know we're off for an adventure.
Once he cut a lock of hair off a sleeping lion (in Hell of all places) that I still keep nailed above my desk. When it rains outside my window it's usually raining in Nashville too.
I asked him once by pointing at a bleeding dog running by, "John Rayne, how does one slow down their frantic heartbeat? How does one look death in the eye with confidence? What do I do with all this digital pollution? I threw a fistful of soil at my screen and nothing happened. It was still the 21st century. I only ask you because it seems like for you the future has already arrived. You read a lot of books. I just go to the cinema."
He shrugged, but later when he was singing his unfinished folk songs to me I began to hear a whirling inferno of moans, whispers, booms, coos, incantations, and angelic lullabies that spoke of life, love, nature, and death.
In my mind I was transformed to a crumbling church cut into a thundering prairie; machine walls with moss covered gears and aching motherboards crying for their sons. small fires and degraded Statues framed the surrounding wildflower fields in a new, jagged relationship. Gnarled tree roots and ghosts twisted their way around a humble congregation of men and women singing about hope in a world of darkness. It was in this Heaven, this Hell, that John's heart and mind are always burning.
Blood is the cheapest wine and being that so, John, Rove, and I toasted on top of a biblical mountain and poured our cups of blood over dead computer parts lying in the grass. We buried the parts in the dry soil and wet them with the tears of our family in hopes that this creation would grow into something new. Mother Nature takes her own course.
The dark clouds rolled in over our heads and gave off a gentle rumble as if to acknowledge our work. I looked at John, who was fixated on something in the distance. He looked like a character from a novel our friends had written together. Then, with a single confident motion, he cocked his shotgun, his battered guitar, and started walking toward the Boom Forest.
-Zach Johnston November 22nd, 2013
released January 2, 2014
John Paul Roney (Baraboo, WI) acoustic guitar, additional engineering, backing vocals, electric guitar, lead vocals, percussion, producer
Davey Roberts (Baraboo, WI) audio production, drums, engineering, guitar, keys, piano, tenor guitar, producer, percussion, mandolin
Zach Johnston (Baraboo, WI) banjo
Eric Hillman (West Bend, WI) producer, arranger, piano, keys, programming, backing vocals
Matt Roberts (Baraboo, WI) backing vocals, bass, cello, piano, keys, vocals, synth, arranger
Brian Holl (Little America, WI) guitar, vocals, whistles
Cheston Van Huss (Baraboo, WI) clarinet, flute, backing vocals
Jason Krunnfusz (Baraboo, WI) backing vocals
Monica Martin (Baraboo, WI) vocals
Matt Holmen (Baraboo, WI) electric guitar
Dan Govier (Baraboo, WI) synth, electronic drums, backing vocals
Brittany Hayes (Baraboo, WI) harp
Erin Rae McCaskle (Nashville, TN) vocals
Nate Babbs (MN) drums
Rick Parker (CA) mixing, mastering, additional engineering, drums, percussion, bass
Albuquerque "Mr. Cookies" Roney (Nashville, TN) baby bunny
Special thanks to Zach Johnston for woodland wisdom, imaginative guidance, and for translating memos from the Divine C.E.O