NASHVILLE, TN, November 20, 2020 – Nashville Outsider Music announces the release of Mixed Shapes, a new supersized double album of cover songs from Nashville-based recording artist Tom Schreck. The album’s program includes Schreck’s unique versions of both classic and obscure songs from such artists as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Beck, Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, Semisonic, Elton John, Death Cab for Cutie, The Ink Spots, Buck Owens, Rihanna, and several others.
Access the album here: http://smarturl.it/mixedshapes
“These are songs that I admire and songs that I tried to ‘make my own,’” remarks Schreck. “I hope you’ll hear something honest and raw in what we came up with.”
Schreck produced the album at home, playing many of the instruments himself, based on arrangements he had workshopped in soundchecks at the artist stage at Nashville's Germantown Art Crawl — a monthly event where Schreck curated the music from 2016 to early 2020 (when the ritual was derailed by the pandemic). Longtime collaborators Ben Owens (lead guitar) and Cornelius Perry (bass) contributed on about a dozen songs apiece, and a few others (Matt Iceman, drums on one track; Emily Nelson, cello on one; and Rory Hoffman, synthesizer and qanun on one and tenor sax on another) are also featured. Ben Cowherd and Drew Kohl assisted with some pre-production/editing elements. Dean Tomasek contributed cover art.
The tracklist spans material from the canons of 60s rock and folk, 70s disco, 80s pop, 90s-00s alt-rock and R&B, Tin Pan Alley, jazz fusion, and some more recently-written songs composed by some of Schreck’s talented songwriter friends (Connor Rand and Matthew Moon, both based in Nashville, and Kelly Mason Smith, based in Wilmington, NC).
Schreck used a mix of analog and digital gear in the recording process, achieving a distinct warm, lo-fi sound that is at times melancholy, enigmatic, rootsy, quirky, and occasionally funky. He performed acoustic and electric guitars, bass, ukulele, banjo, live percussion, keyboards, harmonica, melodica and accordion and shaped the overall sonic signature of the production. Like on his third album of original music, #Schrexit, released earlier in 2020, he employed programmed beats on several tracks to widen his sonic possibilities and add a danceable energy to some of the material.
The resulting sessions had a casual, charming and sometimes unpolished vibe. Schreck subsequently handed the multi-tracks off to longtime mix engineer and sonic confidante Jason Hall to mix and master the songs — a process that happened entirely remotely during the pandemic. Schreck notes, “In a way, this album is a great encapsulation of the musical life I have built in Nashville — letting certain ideas grow from just a kernel, beginning tracks on my own by layering instruments and vocals, bringing in talented collaborators to add their flair, and ultimately getting a seasoned engineer to shape it all into a cohesive finished mix. Even though much of this was done on separate workstations, I feel that this is a record that, for me, could have been made only in Nashville."
A01 "Umbrella" [Rihanna cover; Stewart/Nash/Harrell/Carter]
A02 "Back in the USSR" [Beatles cover; Lennon/McCartney]
A03 "Supergolden Black Sunchild" [Beck cover]
A04 "I Believe in You" [Dylan]
A05 "Sunset Road #1" [Béla Fleck cover]
A06 "Never Loved a Band" [Moon/Rand]
A07 "I Don’t Wanna Go on with You Like That" [Elton John cover; John/Taupin]
A08 "Act Naturally" [Buck Owens/Beatles cover; Russell/Morrison]
A09 "Walk On" [trad. blues; arr. McGhee/McGhee]
A10 "Out of My Head" [Fastball cover; Scalzo]
A11 "Hitch My Wagon" [Kelly Mason Smith]
A12 "Blue Water" [Dave Matthews Band cover; Matthews]
A13 "I Will Follow You into the Dark" [Death Cab for Cutie cover; Gibbard]
A14 "Naked and Famous" [Presidents of the United States of America cover; Ballew/Dederer/Finn]
B01 "Girl from the North Country" [Dylan, arr. Schreck]
B02 "Feel the Strain of Sorrow Never Ceasing" [Beck cover]
B03 "We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me)" [Cogane/Mysels/Robertson]
B04 "Singing in My Sleep" [Semisonic cover; Wilson]
B05 "Helter Skelter" [Beatles cover; Lennon/McCartney]
B06 "Nothing Else Matters" [Metallica cover; Hetfield/Ulrich]
B07 "Sunset Road #2" [Béla Fleck cover]
B08 "Do Re Mi" [Woody Guthrie cover]
B09 "Till There Was You" [from the Music Man/Beatles cover; Willson]
B10 "Wading in the Velvet Sea" [Phish cover; Anastasio/Marshall]
B11 "I Threw It All Away" [Dylan]
B12 "Sea of Heartbreak" [Don Gibson cover; Hampton/David]
B13 "I Will Survive" [Gloria Gaynor cover; Perren/Fekaris]
Tom Schreck: Lead & harmony vocals, acoustic guitar, nylon-string guitar, electric guitar, bass, banjo, ukulele, harmonica, melodica, accordion, bass melodica, synthesizer, electric piano, sampling, percussion, drum programming, overall tracking, arrangements and production
Jason Hall: editing & mix engineer
Ben Owens: lead guitar on “Sunset Road #1,” “Sunset Road #2,” “I Don’t Want to Go On with You Like That,” “Hitch My Wagon,” “Supergolden Black Sunchild,” “Walk On,” “I Will Survive,” and “Naked & Famous”; acoustic guitar on “Girl from the North Country"
Cornelius Perry: bass on “Blue Water,” “Sunset Road #1,” “Sunset Road #2,” “I Don’t Want to Go On with You Like That,” “Loved a Band,” “I Threw It All Away,” “Out of My Head,” “Supergolden Black Sunchild,” “Walk On,” “I Will Survive,” “Nothing Else Matters,” “Girl from the North Country,” and “I Believe in You"
Matt Iceman: drums on “Sunset Road #2”
Emily Nelson: cello on “Singing in My Sleep”
Rory Hoffman: qanun and lead synthesizer on “Sunset Road #2”; tenor saxophone on “Singing in My Sleep”
Drew Kohl: pre-production editing on “Sunset Road #2,” “I Believe in You" and “Blue Water”; additional editing on “Helter Skelter”
Ben Cowherd: vocoder/vocal editing on “Helter Skelter”
David Rodgers: cello arrangement on “Singing in My Sleep"
Dean Tomasek: cover art
About Tom Schreck:
Tom Schreck is an independent musical artist currently based in Nashville, TN, and originally from Bismarck, ND. His recorded projects Outsider (2009), Save Your Glory (2014), The Added Glory EP (2015), #Schrexit (2020), and Mixed Shapes (Cover Songs) (2020), showcase an artist with an insatiable creative appetite and a fascination with wide-ranging genres of music, from folk and standard singer-songwriter fare to garage rock, indie, power pop, electronic, Celtic, R&B, jazz, classical, croonerism, world music, and much more. His work has earned him finalist honors in the USA Songwriting Competition three consecutive years, as well as features on Nashville radio station Lightning 100's Local Lightning Spotlight and on the syndicated NPR program On Point. His unique singing voice, compositional style and captivating performances have placed him as a distinct and respected creative force in the Nashville community and beyond. Visit Tom online at www.nashvilleoutsider.com.