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"Ways of Escape"

Format: CD, Digital
Catalog # OTR040
Release Date: October 14, 2010
Wholesale Distro by:
Darla / The Orchard (digital)

Purchase this record at our secure online store!

Track Listing:

1. Rev War
2. Ghost Brother
3. Summer Fruit
4. Chosen Enemy
5. A Good Day to Die
6. Wind Horse


7. Sorrow and Woe
8. Sour Grapes
9. Old Ways
10. Half Your Life Gone
11. Ways of Escape


Great Lakes
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Great Lakes formed in Athens, Georgia in 1996. Founded around the songwriting partnership of Ben Crum and lyricist Dan Donahue, with multi-instrumentalist Jamey Huggins and a rotating cast of several other players. They released an eponymous debut in 2000. Over time Huggins began to switch his focus to other projects, and Crum and Donahue relocated to Brooklyn, releasing The Distance Between in 2002. Diamond Times appeared in 2006. In 2009 Donahue moved back to Athens, leaving Crum to carry on in New York. 2010's Ways of Escape is the first of their records to feature Crum as the primary songwriter. With its frank and personal folk- and country-influenced songs, the record has a bare emotional style that's far from the innocent optimism and lighthearted psychedelia of the band's early records. Adorned with gentle guitar, stately piano, beautiful pedal steel, soulful organ and subtle yet powerful drumming, Ways of Escape is distinguished by the accomplished musicianship of the group of veteran players who made it. With Crum singing and playing guitar, it also features Kevin Shea on drums, David Lerner on bass, Jay Israelson on piano, Joe McGinty on electric piano and organ, Jon Natchez on bass clarinet and saxophones, Heather McIntosh on cello, Linda Rosenbury on violin, Phillip Sterk on pedal steel, and Suzanne Nienaber singing backing vocals. Great Lakes will tour Europe and the USA in 2010 and 2011. All songs written by Ben Crum, except Sour Grapes by John Prine and lyrics to Summer Fruit by Dan Donahue.

Personnel and their other projects etc...
Ben Crum- lead vocals and all guitars (ex-Ladybug Transistor, ex-Essex Green)
Kevin Shea- drums (Storm and Stress, Talibam!, The Swirlies)
David Lerner- bass (ex-Ted Leo and the Pharmacists)
Jay Israelson- piano (Mice Parade, Lansing-Dreiden)
Joe McgGinty- organ and electric piano (leads Loser's Lounge series, has played with Psychedelic Furs and Ryan Adams)

Phil Sterk- pedal steel (The Woes, Bigman)
Linda Rosenbury- violin (played with The Wowz)
Heather McIntosh- cello (Elf Power, Circulatory System, Japancakes, The Instruments)
Jon Natchez- bass clarinet, baritone and tenor saxophones (Beiruit, Herman Dune, Bishop Allen)
Suzanne Nienaber- backing vocals (sang backing vocals on last Ladybug Transistor album)
Past members: Jamey Huggins, Kevin Barnes, Derek Almstead, Joel Evans, Dottie Alexander, Bryan Poole, Scott Spillane
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"On the group's fourth long-player, lone founding member Ben Crum holds the reins, and his gentle delivery, lyricism, and obvious love of late-'60s and early-'70s country and folk-rock help make *Ways of Escape* the perfect late-summer road trip companion." -Allmusic

"The record is completely authentic and raw. Based around the fully fleshed out songs, the artists playing are 100% complimentary. No one takes the spotlight and everyone falls into a back pocket to give the songs the bed they deserve to lay upon. This record is definitely worth picking up." -Dysonsound

"A delightful album that comes across as a diverse yet perfectly balanced slice of post-Americana, *Ways of Escape* represents a significant shift in their sound, not unlike what would happen if Belle and Sebastian had spent too much time listening to a bunch of old Graham Nash records. There's something here that folks fans will truly love. "
-Cover Lay Down blog

"Like both city and country, oscillating between Cash, Cohen and Reed." -Kulturjournal

"A sweeping and heartfelt song cycle. You will be rewarded by spending your time with it as it plays like a live show. Enjoying it as a cohesive body of work makes Crum’s creation all the more satisfying." -Glide Magazine

"Ways of Escape immediately left me impressed. There is warm storytelling attached to telling instrumentals that leave you breathless. The songs are incredibly great"
-We All Want Someone To Shout For blog

"Gently soothes and entices in equal part. Gorgeous." -The Mad Mackerel blog

"One of the best albums of this year ... they've happily brought together garage and country influences to make records that defy description as defiantly as they possibly can... This is a spectacular album." -Exclaim!

"It makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck sometimes it's that great." -No Depression

"Four stars. accomplished pop music- with grandiose guitars, weeping pedal steels, honking saxes and barrelhouse piano. The results are utterly great." - Uncut

"Stunningly mature, rich-sounding third album-A beguiling blend of elements: fuzzy garage pop, country twanging and dustbowl balladeering all tied together with soft psychedelic glue." - Plan B

"Anyone with even the slightest predilection toward the hopelessly romantic notions underlying pure pop music will find plenty to identify with in Great Lakes 12 songs. Every summer deserves an album like this." -Austin Chronicle

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