Just released my first single from “Jim Crow’s Tears” on SoundCloud. Be sure to check out this soundtrack with a powerful message. “Unbind My Eyes” features the incredible Antwaun Stanley on vocals.
Jim Crow’s Tears
The Latest Update
“Unbind My Eyes” on soundcloud
CD Available August 20, 2016!
I am very excited to announce that “Jim Crow’s Tears” is being released for sale on August 20, 2016! This week I’ll be releasing several videos and audio clips and posting them here for everyone to check out. First up is a trailer for the project.
Thanks so much for following the journey of this album!
Wow. It has been an intense process but we are finally done recording. We’ve had 7 incredible sessions with some of my dearest friends and last night my engineer/bassist, Darell Campbell, and made our edits and created a rough mix.
I am so thankful for the support from New Music USA to document this project. While the recording may be done, we still have work to do: mixing, mastering, art work, packaging, distribution, etc. that is beyond the means of the grant. Stayed tuned for more excerpts and also updates on the process of getting the album ready for public sale.
Thanks for tuning in!!
Session IV: Keys
Had the pleasure of recording the great Mike Jellick on keys! Here’s a taste of him showing off a bit on the number “Never Approve”.
Session III preview
Third session is complete! I met with Christina Manceor in Ann Arbor, MI and had a field day layering different percussion instruments. We’re talking marimba, tam-tam, gong, chimes, bells, slapstick, and a lot of ambient sounds. This clip will give you a small taste of the great work she did.
Next up is a session with my keyboardist Mike Jellick!
Thanks for tuning in…
Lauren Johnson (LBoogie), layering percussion on “The Final Straw”. 4 out of 26 people have been recorded… so excited about the progress. Next up is recording Christina on pitched percussion in Ann Arbor, MI tomorrow.
Rhythm Section Teaser
The best rhythm section in the world tearing up the closing number to Jim Crow’s Tears!
scheduled and ready to roll
Thanks so much for following this project. I’m so elated to have this work properly documented! Major thanks to everyone at New Music USA for making this possible. I am truly blessed and grateful.
Jim Crow’s Tears features 6 vocalists and 20 instrumentalists, so it is a quite involved process to plan and record this piece. Here’s a taste of the recording schedule madness and who’s involved. Each session is engineered with my good friend and partner in crime, Darell Campbell. Some video teasers will follow!
Monday March 17, 12am – 4am
Jon Dixon – Keys
Darell Campbell – Electric Bass
Nate Winn – Drums
Thursday May 8, 9pm – 12am
Lauren Johnson – percussion
Monday May 12, 4pm-7pm
Christina Manceor – marimba/percussion
Wednesday May 21, 4pm-7pm
Kris Johnson – Trumpet
Caleb Curtis – Alto Sax
Marcus Elliot – Tenor Sax
Vince Chandler – Trombone
Tony Lustig – Bari Sax
Sunday May 25, 5pm – 9pm
Leah Celibi – Violin
Leslie DeShazor – Viola
Cecilia Sharpe – Cello
Miles Brown – Double Bass
Shawn “Thunder” Wallace – Flute
Sigal Hemy – Clarinet
Andrew Bishop – Bass Clarinet
Saturday May 31 – Sunday June 1
“I composed ‘Jim Crow’s Tears’ to pay tribute to those who endured dark periods in our nation and fought to implement change. This is not only a ‘black’ issue but is central to the human experience. Other cultures, nationalities, ethnicities, and lifestyles have been marginalized and faced discrimination across the world. This piece is an expression of what it means to deliver one’s mind, body, and spirit from the chains (literal or figurative) of oppression. My desire is for ‘Jim Crow’s Tears’ to provoke reflection, dialogue, healing, and positive change.”
– Kris Johnson
About Jim Crow’s Tears
Jim Crow’s Tears allows you a glimpse into a tortured soul. From slavery with its dehumanization to Minstrel Shows and its degradation, this musical transports you back in time when finding one’s autonomy was an anomaly. It will make you cry. It will make you angry. It will make you laugh. Mostly, it will make you think.
This album takes all the negative stereotypes forced upon a people, blows them up and exposes their absurdity. It speaks to the mistreatment of a people who helped to build a nation, only to be discarded socially and legally generation after generation.
Through one man’s tears you will be enlightened to the struggle. You will be hopeful for the future. You will be grateful for him and the progress made. You will be educated on work still to come, and how people are still contributing to the problem. Come along this journey with Kris Johnson and experience Jim Crow’s Tears.
This is a video excerpt from Jim Crow’s Tears that demonstrates the conflict between Jim Crow and his fellow minstrel performers. This excerpt was selected because of the variety of musical styles represented and it features an important moment in the development of the story.
Start and End Dates
06/01/2014 — 06/07/2014