December 02, 2022

vinyl update/ shirts/ Ferndog

Friends! Today is the final BANDCAMP⚡FRIDAY of 2022 (you're shocked, I know). Thank you so much for your support and interest in our music, it means the world to us!

Fern found a box of "Leading Up To" t-shirts (XS, S, M, L, XL, 2X, 3X) and "Carp on the Cob" long-sleeve t-shirts (S, M, L, XL, 2X) in Garth's basement - good dog, Fern! We have added these to the ole Bandcamp and you can find them (along w/ vinyl/CDs/tapes) here:

A quick note from Comedy Minus One:

"Took longer than we expected but The Rutabega "Leading Up To" vinyl test pressings are officially APPROVED!
Better to wait and get it right than to rush it through.
Hope to have an estimate on when you'll receive your orders soon.
Thanks to the good folks at Smashed Plastic as always!"

It's not too late to get your vinyl pre-order in!

Love and sweaty hugs,

j&g (and Fern)

November 04, 2022

BC⚡️FD // Leading Up To... shirts

Happy Bandcamp Friday to all who celebrate. I know it's late in the day, but if you have not yet purchased a copy of "Leading Up To" today is a great day to do that. The full digital album is available for immediate download/streaming, and CD/tape/vinyl (orange or black variants) copies are available for pre-order. All physical orders on Bandcamp come with an immediate download. 

We have also added limited numbers of this beautiful Jay Ryan "Leading Up To" t-shirt design. Shirts are super comfy 100% ringspun cotton Alternative Apparel in "stay gold" and they were printed by Repeater Press' own @Nick Erickson. Two color print (dark orange + dark grey ink). 

*Kalamazoo friends - Garth MIGHT have a limited amount of this design in crewneck sweatshirt form (same Stay Gold color). You could hassle him if you are interested in buying one out of the back of his vehicle in some shady Kzoo parking lot. Or at a nice place, like the Bookbug. As I understand it, there are XS, L, 2X, and 3x sweatshirts remaining. 

Ok! Thank you so much for your support, it means the world to us.๐Ÿงก

November 02, 2022

how can i keep from singing?

i genuinely love Enya's music, what can i say—i'm a sucker for pretty music. i also genuinely love Maurice Rickard, and the music they regularly release as SNWV. often when listening to a good SNWV drone i will find myself singing along (how can i keep from it? ๐Ÿ˜Ž), and often what comes out is "my life goes on in endless song..." that is what sparked me to ask Maurice if they would like to collaborate on this study (it was Enya month for the PRF Monthly Tribute).

Maurice sent me some beautiful guitar + Max/MSP drones to work with, and i got busy (in between episodes of Atlanta S4, which omg) layering some other guitar + vocal stuffs. i'm really happy with how it turned out, particularly in headphones.

i took some video footage this past Saturday at Cobus Creek County Park at one of my favorite spots (right by Punk Rock Tree) and thought it synched up nicely w/ our recording. so yeah, if you need something calm to look at/ listen to dive on in. ๐Ÿงก

ps: I should also note that you can hear SNWV featured on our song "gone" from the new rutabega record:

pps: this Fri (11/4) is another Bandcamp Fri which would be a perfect day to purchase the aforementioned new rutabega album if you are In The Market. You can do that HERE.


October 27, 2022

Campout gratitude/ healing

Pic by Hench <3

i knew i needed last saturday. i needed it to be on the calendar. i needed the practices leading up to it. i needed to breathe the air at Camp Pretty Lake. and i needed to stand under the trees and stars with some humans that would let me do it in a way that felt safe and ok. you Campouters gave me that and didn't make me feel weird about my health or my anxieties or my anything. you just let me show up and be me and yeah, i'm still crying thinking about it. 

i don't know what this winter is going to bring, but i feel like i can face it with a calm strength now.


thank YOU. 

thank you. ๐Ÿงก

ps: Leading Up To is officially out TOMORROW—10/28/22!

October 19, 2022

thank you // PRF Campout 2022


poster by the one and only Chafe Hensley

1.)  THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts to all of you who have pre-ordered 'Leading Up To,' listened to "Unsilent," shared the links, and shown so much love. We know there is a ton of new music available, so it means the world that you would make time for our tunes. Again - thank you

2.) I wish I could say we had a list of hot tour dates to announce, but because of *gestures wildly* the only show we are playing this year is PRF CAMPOUT 2022 at beautiful Pretty Lake Camp in Mattawan, MI (@ 10 miles southwest of Kalamazoo). 

Our set will be Saturday, October 22 and there are Day Passes available (but please know that there are incredible bands playing throughout the weekend, as well as the PenRF: readings of original poetry/ fiction/ creative nonfiction). Most importantly - all proceeds go to Pretty Lake Camp to help make summer camp happen for kids who aren't otherwise able to afford it. ๐ŸŒฒ

If you are interested in attending you can register, review vax requirements and find payment info at this handy link

All right, thanks again for your kindness. ๐Ÿงก

October 07, 2022

leading up to

Via Comedy Minus One:

The Rutabega have returned with “Leading Up To,” their first album in six years! Hear the song “Unsilent” while you pre-order a copy today on the CMO site or through Bandcamp. Available digitally in full on October 28th with vinyl (160 gram black and orange variants in full-color reverse board jackets), compact disc and cassette release dates to follow. The Rutabega will also play the PRF Campout on October 22nd in Mattawan, MI.

“Oh, to fly above the cretins and all of their politics.” The heroic opening bars of “Plague,” the first song on Leading Up To, promise — and deliver — a rousing return for The Rutabega. Through 20 years and counting the band has grown an ecosystem rich with anthemic guitars, pop with a carbonated heart, and inexplicably resilient intimacy. In a true midwest weathering of the seasons, the South Bend, Indiana duo is here to remind us that there are things we can still rely on: ourselves, each other, and music. 

Singer-songwriter/guitarist Joshua Hensley and drummer/carpist Garth Mason are as symbiotic as ever. It’s evident they’ve accrued more than a decade of live performance together. Each occupies their space and still manages to weave around the other in a full and fluid complement. We can hear the machinery sometimes, the glimpse of synth and the actual and figurative bells and whistles. This is the exertion of life, the natural friction of relationship rendered in a plaintive, driving plea. The outcome is songs that are as honest and hardworking as they come. The Rutabega are showing up for us, and inviting us to do the same. “You start to shout a healing sound. You start to shout, come on, come on.” 

The first half of the record developed as much of the band’s work does, through the organic growth that happens while playing live. The Rutabega is a distinctly community experience, their shows are visceral points of connection. Though Hensley’s vocals tell a faceted story of human emotion on their own, he often invites friends and family to sing with him. His steadiest vocal collaborator on Leading Up To, Emily Trimboli-Hensley, is a light spilling out over every edge. Most of the second half of the record was developed in the studio. As Hensley tells it, the songs came together quickly, a function of their enduring collaboration, their trust in themselves, and in us, to do things differently. If anything, Leading Up To tells us that whatever we are, we’re always changing. We can transition from what we know and expect, what we reliably turn to, into something unfamiliar, but we’re still connected.

Lyrically and vocally, The Rutabega does not abandon us. Midway through the collection is “Gone,” a true-to-form nearly 10-minute expanding epic, the mighty taproot burrowing deeper into the darkness because that’s where the nourishment lies. “I came home and the house was dark, I could tell that something was wrong.” These are moments of tectonic shift and Rutabega pulls them into focus for us so we can better begin to map. We may not know where we are, but we’re here together. “Please don’t leave. Don’t be gone from us.” In “Walk On Ahead,” Hensley chronicles the end of his grandfather’s life, the gratitude in knowing we have said what we need to say, and the type of love that frees us. Mason lost his grandfather while the duo was recording, and the album is dedicated to their grandparents. The feeling of family is urgent throughout the record, as is the appeal that we are all family. “I’ll be beside you. I’ll be everywhere.”

The record closes with “Mulch,” darker and more driving than the handful of songs that precede it. This darkness is the familiar shadow of Rutabega’s hopefulness, a poignant return to some sonic and emotional churn. Something more like soil. And soil’s where we start again.

Like the forest and the mycelium, The Rutabega is generative. They know we’re moving forward, and they’re not afraid. “Our bodies become bread for the trees, become the fruit, become the seeds, we all break down.”

— Anne Hensley, Weirder Wonderland

all songs performed by Joshua Hensley and Garth Mason

Emily Trimboli-Hensley: vocals on 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 & 9

Angela Blake, Bailey Williams, Julie Poole & Rachel Berryman: vocals on 3
Maurice Rickard (snwv): intro to 4, recorded live at the Terrace Bay Hotel during PRF Thundersnow, February 15, 2020.
Melissa Scales: vocals on 9
Nathanael F. Trimboli: vocals on 4 & 8

Jared Myers: additional lyrics on 7

mastered & lacquers cut by Carl Saff
front cover by Jay Ryan
additional design and layout by Nathanael F. Trimboli

special thanks to Emily, Nicole, Jack & Priscilla

for the Grandparents