• John Eberly, vocals, acoustic, electric, and bass guitars
• Josh Davies, piano, synthesizer
• Matt Penner, drums, percussion
• Katherine Eberly, backing vocals
• Josh Goss, saxophone, harmonica, flute
All songs written by John Eberly copyright 2007
Produced by John Eberly and Josh Davies
Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Josh Davies
a copy of
Available in Hutchinson at Hastings
416 E. 30th
or by mail order $9.00 to
709 N. Washington
Hutchinson, KS 67501
By either check or money order made out to John Eberly.
1. Not Your Fault
2. Under The Stares (Love Will Bring you Down)
3. Somewhere Along The Way
4. Broken Heartland
5. The Ocean
6. Your Best Friend 7. Steps
8. One Good Reason
9. Deeper Than Blue
10. The Only One
11. Would You?
12. Days [click
13. Blue Million
14. Jumpstart [click
Originally titled Songs For M many of the songs on the
new cd Retox by John Eberly (see his previous cd Imagination
voted best Wichita-area release of 2004) were written in response
to a request by John and Martina McBride for songs for McBrides
most recent release. The recordings were submitted as simple acoustic
guitar/vocal tracks, mixed and regarded as finished.
These demos for M. McBride circulated among friends of John E.s
who urged him to go into the studio and flesh out the tracks. Arrangements
were made and over a ten-day period in late February he worked primarily
with Josh Davies on Steinway piano and synthesizer (Davies also
mixed and co-produced Retox), Matt Penner on drums (veteran
of the local punk rock scene in bands Penny District, and Last Ride
Out). Playing acoustic, electric and bass guitars, and handling
all vocals and harmonies with the harmonic help of wife Katherine
on some tracks, Eberly also enlisted the aid of Josh Goss, who previously
played alto sax on some dates in Hutchinson supporting the Imagination
cd, to add sax, harmonica, and flute.
The result is Retox the reinvigorated, intoxicating,
full sound of the potential the songs that began as stripped-down
to the basics unplugged demos for Martina held all along. They have
an over-all Country-rock feel, although more akin to
the roots of Country, Blues, Rock, and even Rockabilly -check out
One Good Reason- than to any contemporary Country
music sound. Some tracks defy any label such as the rhapsodic
Would You? while others echo early Rolling Stones with
Andrew Loog Oldham, like Under The Stares (Love Will Bring
You Down) while Days is decidedly Beatlesque.
Broken Heartland not only defines the songs Kansas
roots but also that the home is most often where the heart breaks.
Defining broader parameters of loss ala a country blues form
reminiscent of Leadbelly, A Blue Million also takes
its title from an old Captain Beefheart lyric. Like 2004s
cd Imagination, John Eberlys songwriting inspirations
are eclectic and his powers of synthesizing various styles and influences
not always easy to detect or define.
The cover image of John Eberly splayed across the stage apparently
unconscious holding a bass guitar is based on the classic image
of Orpheus washed up on the shore with his 4-string lute returning
to the world of consciousness after descending to the underworld.
John Eberly regularly performs as a solo artist, often with the
help of his wife Katherine on vocals, guitars and sometimes drums/percussion.
He works with various break-out groups that in the past year have
included a string quartet from the Hutchinson Symphony, as well
as the entire Hutchinson High School symphony orchestra. The musicians
assembled for the RETOX sessions will form the core of the band
that will perform music from the cd under the nom de plume John
Eberly & The Shiftless Drifters.
Watch local listings for performances in Wichita and surrounding
area this summer!
on the packaging of RETOX by John Eberly:
Do-It-Yourself is pure punk ethos. The packaging of RETOX
hearkens back to the days when John E. would record original cassette
albums at home on a 4-track Fostex. A quick trip to Kinkos with
homemade artwork, and a new album of songs was born and ready to distribute.
RETOX was recorded with the best 24-track equipment and microphones
available, even run through a studio-quality finalizer after mixdown.
Sonically, it is the finest D.I.Y. presentation of John Eberlys
recorded work to date. The slim-line cases and photocopy sleeve however,
hearken back to the good old days. No fake label or pretense involved.
This product is obviously homemade by the hands of the artist.
There is a whole cottage industry of cd duplication services available
for independent recording artists without a label to produce a product
that mimics a major label release. It is reminiscent of
the days when a poet would send a manuscript of poems off to an ad
found in the back of a magazine that offered to publish
their poems in book form for a price. For a relatively hefty fee,
for example, $1,000 for 1,000 cds (in a descending scale in
which the fewer bought, the higher the price per unit) the independent
recording artist can get a uniform product into the stores and attempt
to pass it off as mainstream. But with no distribution,
most copies of self-produced cds do not sell well. Few people
have the $ to spend recording and then footing the bill for such production,
not to mention the depressing trunk-load of cds carted around
to hawk at gigs and give away as presents for years to come.
Getting signed to a small label somewhere may seem like an alternative,
however, these labels virtually operate the same way the vanity press
of old produced books for self-proclaimed poets. They produce the
product and sell it back to the artist. Distribution, again, is virtually
What about the big payoff, the major label signing? Champagne all
around! Often the deal goes like this
in careers, not hits. But if the hit isnt
forthcoming, what career are they going to support?
Punk rock was originally a rebellion against major label mentality.
Of course, it was co-opted as any fashion trend eventually is co-opted
and sold to the mainstream. But the spirit of DIY will always come
back around when the alternatives are to be accepted and financed
by some record company, or to pathetically try to resemble the cooperate
RETOX is a step backward to go forward
Doing it yourself doesnt
break the bank of the artist, while passing on savings to those who
enjoy music for the sake of the music and not for the way it looks.