St. Louis indie-pop group Bo & the Locomotive is preparing to release its first album since 2011, and the band is giving fans a chance to listen to it before it's even available.
In production for roughly two years, It's All Down Here from Here has been a labor of love for band leader Bo Bulawsky, and that process will be shared with fans during a special listening party at 8 p.m. Thursday, August 14 at the Luminary. Presented by Vintage Vinyl, the evening will feature tracks from the new album as well as presentations by Bulawsky and producer David Beeman about the making of the album. Album designer Daniel Murphy of Secretly Canadian also will share and discuss his artwork.
"We're all in a room together. It's a listening party and art show where we can all talk and drink together," Bulawsky tells RFT Music. "It's a unique way to support local music without feeling like you're being taken advantage of or begged on by an online forum."
Though It's All Down Here from Here is finished, there are still a few steps Bulawsky's group has to complete before its release. Ticket sales from the listening party go directly to pressing and releasing the album, and there are additional perks fans can receive for helping. Tickets are $25 and $40 and include admission to the party, a free download of the album and a copy on CD or vinyl (once released). The $40 level also includes limited-edition hand-pressed vinyl plus the contributor's name in the liner notes.
"Put simply, it came to the point where we needed help getting [the album] out," Bulawsky admits. "None of us have a wealth of money to pull from, and the bummer is that it takes a lot of money to get a record made and released properly all the way from concept to reality if you have no financial backing [like a label would provide].
"We worked long and hard on this album, and we just really wanted to do something different and special to raise funds. Instead of just another online donation campaign, we wanted to have an in-person event where we can interact with the people who are helping to fund it," Bulawsky continues.
Bo & the Locomotive recently went through a lineup refresh, which has performed a few of the new songs during a recent show despite not having recorded It's All Down Here from Here. Now part of a five-piece ensemble, Bulawsky is excited about the new sound the group is producing.
"It's kind of like starting over for all of us, really. We're still learning each other and figuring out how we sound best as a new unit," Bulawsky says. "But we're able to do a lot of things live that we couldn't do before with four people. We kind of had to work out some new dynamics and new parts for the new members, but having the dedicated guitar and dedicated keyboard opens up a lot of possibilities for us."
Tickets for the It's All Down Here from Here listening party are available at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/737701. Fans who purchase tickets but are not available for the party still will receive their ticket-level incentives.
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