Nine Times Blue Soars with Debut Full-Length CD, Falling Slowly
Renegade Recordings announces a November 20 release date for Falling Slowly, the debut full-length CD from Atlanta-area based power pop quartet Nine Times Blue, which will be distributed nationally by City Hall Records. Co-produced by Bryan Holmes of The Producers, Falling Slowly was mixed and mastered by two-time Grammy-winning producer Don McCollister, who’s worked with such top-selling artists as Sister Hazel, Indigo Girls, Third Day and Shawn Mullins. Nine Times Blue is comprised of Kirk Waldrop (vocals, guitar), Greg King (guitar), Jeff Nelson (bass) and Jason Brewer (drums), and the album features numerous guest appearances, including John Faye (IKE, The Caulfields), David Myhr (The Merrymakers) and Bryan Holmes.
The new album’s nine original songs showcase the creative writing style of bandleader Kirk Waldrop, who takes his classic power pop influences (The Smithereens, Squeeze, Gin Blossoms, Jimmy Eat World and Plain White T’s) and embodies them with a modern esthetic that makes them newly relevant. Bryan Holmes, leader of ’80s power pop hit makers The Producers, described the band as having “great songwriting talent with a distinctive, unique voice and yet the songs maintain a familiarity that radio will like. It’s new and fresh, but with a hint of ‘have I heard this song before’?”
Nine Times Blue, whose music has been described by one critic as “clean-cut jangly rock,” will kick off the release of Falling Slowly with several Atlanta advance performances, including a 7-8 PM set as part of the “Barktober Fest” at Atlanta’s Sweetwater Brewery on October 27, a benefit for Angels Among Us Pet Rescue; as well as a show with several other area bands on November 9 at the Famous Pub. The band will celebrate its official CD release with a show on December 1st at Smith’s Olde Bar in the downstairs Atlanta Room. (1580 Piedmont Ave. NE), with additional groups to be announced. The band will also support the new CD with tour dates throughout the southeast and east coast from December into the first months of the new year.
The name Nine Times Blue comes from a Michael Nesmith song of the same name. It was recorded by The Monkees, but never released officially until it was re-recorded years later on Mike Nesmith’s First National Band album, Magnetic South.
Nine Times Blue singer/guitarist Kirk Waldrop previously fronted the Athens, Georgia-based group, The Features, from 1994 – 1997, which released two singles – “Reasons Why” and “So Much Time” through Democrat Records.
The first incarnation of Nine Times Blue was formed in Washington, DC, in 1999 and lasted until the fall of 2004. A second version formed in 2007 and functioned mainly as an acoustic duo, although a handful of full band performances were played over the next couple of years at festivals and clubs around Atlanta. In July, 2010, Nine Times Blue participated in the “343 For Kids” event benefitting the Children’s Restoration Network, which involved 343 hours of continuous music and set a record as the World’s Longest Concert (by multiple artists) in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The current lineup (Jeff Nelson, Greg King, Jason Brewer, Kirk Waldrop) was formed over the last year during the recording of Falling Slowly. “The songs on Falling Slowly are largely not autobiographical, but instead are from the perspective of others that I know or have known,” says Kirk Waldrop. “The majority of my songs are written with music and melody written first. For some reason, the majority of the ideas I have for songs come to me while driving and I sing a melody or lyrics into my phone recorder. So – when sitting down to write songs, I just go back through all the recorded snippets on my phone and pick one or two to start with.”
Waldrop’s primary influences include The Beatles, Squeeze, Crowded House, Elvis Costello, Marshall Crenshaw, Nick Lowe, The Posies, XTC, The Smithereens, Matthew Sweet and Robyn Hitchcock. Falling Slowly features several local Atlanta music friends, including former Nine Times Blue members Eric Leland and Eric Jefferson, Joe Giddings, Jonathan Gale and Jerry Mason.
In addition to his work with Nine Times Blue, Kirk Waldrop, along with his partners in Tribute LLC, organized and produced two Paul McCartney tribute compilations that were released in 2001 by Oglio Records, titled Listen to What the Man Said and Coming Up. The CDs, which featured such artists as Robyn Hitchcock, Matthew Sweet, Semisonic and They Might Be Giants, helped raise money for breast cancer research in the memory of Linda McCartney.