For more than a year members of the Toadies have been talking about the new record that dramatically re-imagines and reinterprets old material, a la the stripped-down sets that have kicked off the annual Dia De Los Toadies fest since 2008. Finally, we get our first taste of the final product, which now has a title (Heretics) and a release date (September 18) and a set list, which you will find below.
But long story short: You get two new songs, some set-list standards ("Possum Kingdom," but of course) and the band's cover of Blondie's "Heart of Glass," a familiar concert offering since at least March 2014.
Frontman Vaden Todd Lewis has called the new record "bizarre"; sure, only if you've never heard the band play acoustic in a Deep Ellum barbecue restaurant in the middle of the afternoon. As Todd told our Christine Ricciardi back in April, whilst promoting the Bockslider-flavored Martin House brew, "I believe you can take any decent song and you can put totally different instruments on it and play it and it will still be a good song. We took that belief and applied it to our own music."
Guitarist Clark Vogeler says this morning there are guests, "lots of guests." Among them: Joe Butcher (!) on pedal steel and Willie Nelson's harp player Mickey Raphael on album-closer "Send You To Heaven," a song the band used to perform but never released. Sarah Jaffe provides some back-up vocals, and the Honeybear Horns show up on "Backslider." (Black Joe Lewis' horny horns have played with the Toadies before -- on 2013's "Rattler's Revenge," but only the video version.) Other familiar names also show up on bonus tracks that Vogeler says will be released later.
Vogeler ticks off some of the instruments on there: "organs, Rhodes piano, mandolin, banjo, modular synthesizer." He laughs. "All kind of stuff on there. It was fun to make and I like listening to it. That's a success, I guess."
Judge for yourself with this sneak peek:
The track list:
1. "In The Belly of a Whale" (a new song)
3. "Beside You"
4. "Queen Of Scars" (a new song)
5. "Rattler's Revival"
6. "Heart Of Glass" (Blondie Cover)
7. "Possum Kingdom"
8. "The Appeal"
11. "Jigsaw Girl" and 12. "Send You To Heaven"
This year's Dia de los Toadies kicks off September 11 at Panther Island Pavlion and features Kirtland Record labelmate Sarah Jaffe, opening with her own acoustic set. The rock fun takes place the following day with the likes of Lewis' once-and-future side project the Burden Brothers, Local H and others. Also: THE BUCK PETS. Behave accordingly.