Thursday, November 6, 2014

Spongetone rolls alone on new vocal-centered album

In May Spongetones frontman Jamie Hoover had one of his rotator cuffs replaced - a rather debilitating experience for his guitar playing. Instead of sitting on the couch flipping channels, he decided to use the instrument he had left - his voice - to make a new solo album. He recently released that album, "Jamie Two Ever" digitally and as a limited edition CD featuring eight extra covers. The original tracks are available on iTunes and CD Baby. Physical copies are limited to 300 and are for sale through Hoover's website.

Hoover had a second rotator cuff surgery recently, which will keep him off the stage through late December when he'll join fellow Spongetones Steve Stoekel and Pat Walters for an acoustic New Year's Eve performance at Big Ben's Pub where the band members perform semi-regularly.

"Having these two surgeries got me to thinking - well, what do I have left? My voice!," Hoover says. Stoekel - Hoover's regular duo partner - wasn't really interested in making an a cappella album, so he Hoover decided to go it alone. He approached the project as a challenge.

"Most, but not all cuts are a cappella," he explains. "At times I just banged on pickle buckets and trash cans for drum sounds. Sometimes (I created percussion) just with my mouth."

The album isn't entirely vocal though. It includes a couple of older full band cuts and the last two new songs feature a full band since those were recorded after Hoover healed from the first surgery.

"I figure rule No. 1, no rules!" he adds.

Check out more on "Jamie Two Ever" here and watch the video Cool King Chris created for the track "The Jim Joanne Massacre." Hoover calls the song his version of "My Girl, Bill."

"I got an email from an old friend," he explains. "Due to the large pink signature on it, somehow I decided he'd had a sex change."

The song took flight from there. His friend had not, by the way, but sometimes a suggestion is all it takes to get the creative ball rolling.

"Boy, what an imagination I have."