hamell on trial
NASHVILLE, TN (July 28, 2017) – Hamell on Trial, the musical alias of New York-based poet and folk punk hero Ed Hamell, returns with TACKLE BOX on August 11, 2017 via New West Records. TACKLE BOX is Hamell’s tenth record, second on New West, and was co-produced by the Grammy award winning producer Phil “The Butcher” Nicolo (Bob Dylan, Ms. Lauryn Hill). A one-man explosion, Hamell on Trial is a dynamic performance informed by politics, passion, intelligence and the all-important sense of humor. The latter shines through in the video for album track “She Ride It,” which is available exclusively at Funny Or Die and can be viewed now HERE. Of the song and video, Hamell explains, “With this particular video I was looking for something different than the political slant the majority of the songs on the album contained. Something bipartisan. Maybe something Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell could, um, get behind. Although no one, NO ONE would want that mental image. Putting the creation in procreation, if you will.” The 16-track set also features the controversial song “Not Aretha’s Respect (COPS),’ an autobiographical tale teaching his child how to not get shot by a police officer. The Line Of Best Fit recently premiered the video for the “provocative new ode,” which can be seen HERE. Of the track, Hamell offers, “‘COPS’ is a song about parenting. My son is 15, I'm teaching him how to drive. I'm explaining, because he has the ability at home to explain his side of the story to me, that he might not have that chance when he's in a situation with a police officer. Say ‘Yes sir, no sir’ and come home safe to me. The boss ain't always right, but he's always the boss. All four incidents in the song actually happened. I play all kinds of gigs, house concerts, theaters, diy punk rock rooms and the kids love this song. It even has a chorus they can sing along to and rally behind. Last year I was touring across the country with my son and the day after we played Dallas, some cops got shot. I wish no violence on anyone. I preface my introduction to this song live now by saying I just wish the good cops would call out the bad cops. This ‘Code of Blue’ thing is helping no one. And if we don't think it's a race thing, well…”
Armed with a battered 1937 Gibson acoustic guitar that he amplifies mightily and strums like a machine gun, a politically astute mind that can't stop moving, and a mouth that can be profane one minute and profound the next, with TACKLE BOX, Hamell sets his sights on the new America and issues personal and spiritual. Fittingly, in celebration of the album’s release, Hamell will take his songs straight to the source of much of its inspiration – Washington, DC. On August 11, “Hamell Takes DC” with live broadcasts of select songs from various political monuments throughout the nation’s capital via Facebook Live. Visit Hamell on Trial’s Facebook page for more information HERE. TACKLE BOX will be available at all streaming services and for purchase digitally, on compact disc, and in LP format. Purchase of the TACKLE BOX LP includes a bonus disc of Hamell’s live show titled BIG MOUTH STRIKES AGAIN. Preorder is available now HERE.
TACKLE BOX features all instruments and sounds played by Hamell himself, with the exception of one. Hamell states, “The first voice you hear on the album is Donald Trump. It’s from a campaign rally where he was saying he'd like to punch a protester in the face. His supporters cheer. I thought I'd kickstart the album making people aware that, should they disagree with that attitude, should they find his actions deplorable, his lies, his vanity, his lack of grace and intellect, his pandering to the lowest common denominator, his inciting violence towards minorities and the disenfranchised, they could find safety here at a Hamell show, from a Hamell song. Let us remember that he did not win the popular vote, his supporters are in the minority and I will treat them with all the respect THEY show minorities. The first voice you hear on the album is Donald Trump. ALL other voices you hear on the album, in firm and resolute opposition, are mine.”
Hamell’s caustic wit and devil-may-care attitude has long been a favorite of anti-establishment icons Aesop Rock, Kimya Dawson, Ani DiFranco and the critical elite inciting Rolling Stonemagazine to call him "Bald, bold and superbad!" Henry Rollins says "Hamell is a one man rock show!" He has been described as "Bill Hicks, Hunter S. Thompson, and Joe Strummer all rolled into one" by Philadelphia Weekly and a "one man Tarantino flick: loud, vicious, luridly hilarious, gleefully and deeply offensive" by the Village Voice. His performances invoke thoughts of the great, rebellious satirists and social commentators of the past: Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor and Bill Hicks. There's no way around his obscenity but in that is a willingness to fight for the free thinkers of the world.