San Antonio-based songwriter, Jared Putnam, leader of the sometimes more, but usually one-man pop-rock band, The March Divide, is a prolific songwriter (three albums and four EPs worth over the last few years), but he's also a studio hound, in general, who loves to be there recording.
As Putnam preps songs for a new album, he has been having some fun recording cover versions of songs that have inspired him, some that are beloved hits, and some that are both. Most of all, they are songs he grew up with.
"I feel like these are the songs that introduced me to music, around the age that I started to care," he says.
Working with engineer Mike Major (At The Drive-In, Coheed and Cambria), who also plays keys on the majority of the tracks and has been working with Putnam for years, was a comfortable environment in which to have a good time with these tunes.
Artists including The Cure, The Bangles, Willie Nelson, Culture Club, and 'Til Tuesday get a treatment from Putnam that isn't ironic, but truly interpretive in the best way, as he takes his style and applies it with the thoughtful touch that makes it clear why we love these songs, and why he does, too.
"People might write this off as a rehash, but that honestly didn't even occur to me until I was finished recording. For me, these songs are endearing. I was a little kid and these songs were on MTV. Everyone loves something about these songs."
Adding to the fun, graphic designer Krist Krueger has taken Putnam's image and created a "covers for the covers," with each song accompanied by Warholian art depicting Putnam wearing the iconic hairstyle of the artist he's paying tribute to.
The second track to be released is "Manic Monday" by The Bangles, written by Prince.
"I was learning all of these cover songs right around the time that Prince died, so instead of learning 'Purple Rain,' or whatever other song comes to mind when you think of Prince, I decided to learn 'Manic Monday,' a song Prince wrote for The Bangles, to do my small part to show that Prince was awesome."
released February 24, 2017
Written by Prince, originally performed by The Bangles.
Performed & Recorded by Jared Putnam, at home in San Antonio, TX.
Mixed & Mastered by Mike Major, at home in Madeira Beach, FL.