Thursday, 25 September 2014 16:22

Max Lockwood Crafts First Solo Release With a Lot of Help From His Friends

Written by  Kyle Austin
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Max Lockwood Max Lockwood Courtesy Photo

 Max Lockwood – Outrider Release Party
The Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids
Oct. 16, 8 p.m.
18+, (616) 272- 3758


Max Lockwood didn’t make his first solo record so much as he grew it. Instead of hiring studio musicians to execute a defined vision, the Big Dudee Roo bassist simply took the 12 original songs he’d written for his senior thesis project at the University of Michigan and sowed them throughout his circle of friends. And when your friends are some of the most luminary talents in Michigan’s thriving folk-rock scene, you’ve got some fertile soil to work with.

With the help of Dan Rickabus of The Crane Wives, Joey Schultz of Fauxgrass, Brennan Andes of The Macpodz and Seth Brenard and May Erlewine, Outrider, was recorded at Heart Center Studios in Big Rapids over three days of organic sessions.

“To be able to record this album with an incredible group of people that are not only friends, but also musical heroes of mine, was an amazing and humbling experience,” Lockwood said. “It became a truly collaborative process and the songs became something a lot more than I ever could have expected.”

Sonically, Outrider reflects the incredible breadth of musical knowledge and experience Lockwood and his friends posses. The record moves seamlessly between folk, rock, country and soul, featuring big, full arrangements that blend sounds wherever possible. Takes happened live and in the moment, with the entire band tracking in the same room, giving the finished product the feel of music made with passion in mind rather than perfection.

“Everyone in this scene puts music first,” Lockwood said. “We’re not worried about a profit margin or anything like that. Making money is nice and we all want to do well, but the music comes first.”

This grassroots approach gave Lockwood the freedom to create on his own terms. Outrider also features a pair of spoken-word pieces where he experimented with setting his poetry to sparse instrumentals in the vein of minimal-process musicians like Phillip Glass and Steve Reich.

Fittingly, Lockwood debuted Outrider amongst friends and fellow musicians at the annual Earthworks Harvest Gathering, held on the farmland the Bernard family has called home since 1977. But when he brings it to Grand Rapids, he believes the community spirit will be equally strong.

“It’s an amazing time to be playing original music in Michigan.”

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