If you’re one of the nine people who purchased The End of Summer (self-deprecating laugh) and read the acknowledgments at the back, perhaps you noticed my shout-out to Alex Brown Church of the band Seawolf, who let me paraphrase lyrics from one of his songs. (Each story opens with a quote that seemed appropriate for the story’s content, but for one particular story, “Dumb Supper,” I felt strongly about using lyrics from the Seawolf song “Leaves in the River.”) Before the book entered the press stage, I reached out to Dangerbird Records in hopes of obtaining permission to paraphrase a couple lines of lyric from this song. While I did receive a polite and enthusiastic response from the record label, the cost involved with using the lyrics would have been round-about $1,000. While disappointed, I instead responded and explained (politely) that I’d be lucky to see that kind of money back in book sales between now and my death; I thanked them for responding and explained I would likely instead just remove the lyrics and find something else to use. At that point, the person with whom I’d been corresponding reached out personally to Alex to see what he thought, who responded with his blessing that I could use the lyric free of charge.
I was completely blown away.
“Leaves in the River” wasn’t just a song with appropriate lyrics, but also a song I knew by heart, because it’s one of my favorite all-timers. It made me a fan of Seawolf and I’d been following the band ever since. Not long after this exchange, Alex announced a Kickstarter campaign to fund a fully independent project to create a “completely stripped down” Seawolf album. The least I could do was pledge what I could to help him achieve his goal. (Not that he needed my help, because he met his goal in no time, since many other people besides myself know how awesome he is).
If I’m being brutally but realistically honest, the art he creates is going to have much more impact on many more people than my own ever will, but it still felt good to help him reach his goal, since he was so incredibly decent enough to help me reach mine. (And if I wanted to be super lame about this whole thing, I’d share this brief statement on the Kickstarter campaign page: This project was successfully funded on October 1, 2013. Which was also The End of Summer‘s release date. Talk about kismet.)
And so, all these months later, Seawolf has officially released, to its Kickstarter backers, the album “Song Spells, No. 1: Cedarsmoke.” I’m currently on my third listen and it’s gorgeous. It feels so good knowing that I had even just a 0.0001% impact on helping this thing come to life. From what I can tell, this album has only been made available to backers, but keep an eye on the band’s Facebook and website for its eventual release. And if you don’t know Seawolf yet, get started. You have no idea what you’ve been missing.