Dewey Kincade | Dewey Kincade, Vol. 1: To Be Free

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Folk: Free-folk Rock: Classic Rock Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Dewey Kincade, Vol. 1: To Be Free

by Dewey Kincade

Primordial acoustic camp-fire music with forays into classic rock liberation.
Genre: Folk: Free-folk
Release Date: 

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1. Come On
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2. Same Old Thing
3:26 $0.99
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3. What We Both Know
3:55 $0.99
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4. With the Wind
4:02 $0.99
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5. I Am the Storm
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6. Four in the Morning
4:39 $0.99
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7. Questions of the Heart
3:45 $0.99
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8. To Be Free
3:41 $0.99
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9. Who's Next to Die
3:27 $0.99
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10. Things Will Be the Same
4:09 $0.99
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11. Smile on Me
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12. Song to You
2:52 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Time is a curious thing. We can exist within it, and we can occasionally step outside of it. How I am able to write these words is a marvel to me, because I am very much within time. But the “what” of what I am writing is a product of being outside of time. This makes total sense to me, but as I write the words, I am struck at how peculiarly it must come across.
This project is an effort on my part to present my music, and I imagine that my choices must seem very bizarre. For one thing, I am starting at the beginning, or close to it. Having written songs for over thirty years, you would think that my most recent work would be the place to start, and I hope to share that with you as well, but instead I am starting with the songs that I began writing when I was 14. However, I need to explain what I’m trying to do here, if it is to make any sense at all.
As I began working on this project, I thought to myself that this album was over thirty years in the making. It seemed like I might use that line to market the work, but as I began to reflect on that idea, I began to realize that maybe this was the only way it was ever supposed to happen. See, I never left this music behind, and I think for many years I wasn’t sure why.
So why now? Part of the answer is purely pragmatic. I have a studio which allows me the opportunity to do so, but the window is closing. The digital technology which makes it possible will be obsolete, and I am racing against time. If not now, I never will. I have a sincere hope that in putting this music out there, I will somehow be able to build a bridge from a time long ago in my life that leads to right now. But in order to do that, I need your help. I need people to pay me for this work, and I think I owe you an explanation. Songs should stand alone, but they don’t always.
Honestly, if it weren’t for the looming demise of my entire studio, I might never be presenting this work for you. I would keep tinkering, trying to make it “just right” whatever that means. While these songs are not in what I would consider their best form, they are in what I consider to be their no-shame form, and that will have to do.
Another reason why now is that I have become the person my music always needed. I am a producer, and a teacher. As a producer, my job is to make the songs work, and I must improve them without destroying the thing that makes them valuable in the first place. As a teacher, well, that’s where it gets a little more complicated, but I will give you the shorthand version:
See, a few years ago, I created a field I named “Song Studies.” Maybe someday I’ll write a book about that, but in the mean-time, I can tell you that it is a lot like Film Studies. We watch movies all the time, but we can also study them from an academic perspective, and make an effort to squeeze out truths from them that are not derived solely from the aesthetic enjoyment of them. But there is an important difference between Film Studies and Song Studies. As a society, we haven’t been examining songs in this way. Not really.

From an early age- middle school for many of us- we are taught how to read a poem. We are taught how to read a story. Obviously, we can derive enjoyment from literature without instruction, but our teachers give us new layers that we couldn’t see before. As a result, we are able to read poetry and prose, and gain a richer understanding of them. While we may not ever take Film Studies, there are people that we read or listen to or watch who have, and their study of film helps shape how we see it. If a Song Studies field existed, it might do the same.
So while a song should stand alone, context matters. And that is what I’m trying to do here: provide context. Look at it another way: songs should stand alone, but they are often grouped with albums. You might enjoy the Beatles’ “Why Don’t we do it in the Road” on its own merits, but for me, it doesn’t really work outside the context of the White Album. The songs that you surround a song with can make a particular song work in a way that it might not otherwise work.
When I was very young, I bought singles on vinyl, because that’s all I could afford. I would be in middle school, and browsing in a record store, and dreaming of all the records that I would one day buy, and I wanted something of my own to take home right then and there. Often times I would have to beg my older sister or brother to buy it, and if they approved, they just might.
It wasn’t until I was in 8thgrade, that I began buying albums. By then my brother and sister where not living at home, and I was earning a little bit of money mowing the lawn. I would have enough money each week to buy a pizza or an album. I remember when I bought my first album- it was The Monkees’ Present. I had been watching The Monkees television show, and I wanted to listen to some of their music. I decided not to get the Greatest Hits album, because I figured I would eventually buy all their albums, and I didn’t want to pay twice for the same song.
It was a strange album to start with, because there were no hits on it. In fact, when I first listened to it, I didn’t like it. It was only because I had bought it with my scarce resources that I gave it a couple of more listens. Over time, I came to really enjoy it. This became a recurring experience for me. Albums usually started off as weird and vaguely unpleasant experiences that grew on me over time. To me, that explains my love of Bob Dylan in a nutshell.
While none of this was in my head at the time, I have come to see that how I listened to music shaped how I wrote my own music. I started writing songs when I was in twelve, and I think I wrote four or five that weren’t very good, and I don’t have a record of them anymore. In the beginning my goal was simply to achieve a song. The writing itself felt like an accomplishment. It was very challenging for me. I spent a lot of time on each one, and the results were never what I’d hoped for. They were never “true songs.” I was learning to write songs, but I wasn’t learning to write my songs.
It wasn’t until I was buying albums, and pushing through my initial distaste for them that I began to write true songs. Perhaps I had simply come of age, but I had been listening to music for as long as I could remember. But listening to the radio, and listening to albums that your family owns isn’t the same as listening to your music. And the music that I was listening to was not what everyone else was listening to, and that turns out to have mattered a lot.
The first song that was my song was “To Be Free.” It’s the first song that I kept for the rest of my life. So what changed? How did I write one of my songs? Honestly, it came very easily. It didn’t take much time at all. I didn’t have to push the song up the hill at all. That’s because it was true. The truth is the easiest thing to remember, right? It’s also the easiest thing to write. It said what I wanted to say as a human being. Before, I was just trying to write a song to impress people.
At 14 years old, I was able to write a song, but it’s taken much longer to figure out how to record an album. I’m not talking about the mechanics, though being able to engineer myself has been a big help. Albums are curated songs. What songs make the cut and why?
Most of the albums that I’ve released were a hodge-podge of songs. My first few albums were a mixture of the best songs that I had yet to record, and some of my more recent ones. The result was, that they didn’t work together. In some cases, they worked sonically, but not lyrically. This was because the writing of the songs were separated by many years.
When I was about 29 I began recording all my songs. I was in The Navigators with Phelim White and Andrew Emer, and I wasn’t churning songs out as I had before. We were playing out regularly, and even doing a little bit of touring. I had a manager, and a full length album was on the horizon. So I decided to present them with my whole catalogue. But a funny thing happened in the process. I began to hear my songs in their proper context. I began to notice that there is a story between the songs. The songs from a given period go with the other songs from the same period. I had been writing albums all along, and I hadn’t yet appreciated it. While I had recorded albums before, I hadn’t recorded a “true” album.
The next album, which became Glory, Glory(as the Navigators) wasn’t a true album either. It was another hodge-podge. I wasn’t fighting to make a true album, and the financial/time constraints didn’t make recording such an album feasible. The recordings turned out really well, but the album didn’t. In fact, it wasn’t even an album. It was only six songs.
It would take years before I had a very make-shift studio, and I began to record ALL my music. By then, my band was finished, and it was just me trying to make music as best I could in my own studio. Over the years, I refined my approach to production. I recorded hundreds of songs. Some of these turned out pretty good, but I never released any of them. Unless I could get the album right, I didn’t see the point.
There was a barrier in getting an album right. Having recorded in high end studios, with Grammy winning producers had spoiled me. I couldn’t put something out that was a step back in production quality. And so nothing ever got released. In the mean-time, I had moved back to Louisville and began producing other artists. I managed to make several true albums for other artists, but I felt that the only way I could ever make my own true album would be to spend money that I didn’t have. When you’ve spent years of your life in a pursuit, and you’ve got no money to show for it, it’s hard to gamble on your dreams. Especially when you’re raising kids. What about their dreams?
And yet, here I am. I started at the very beginning, because it is always a bit tricky to know where one album begins and another ends. At least I know where this one begins.

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