Garrison Owen York during a calm moment. © Chad Howard

The band Open to the Hound takes their inspiration from “nature, nature of humans, voids, patterns, awkward things, failures,” says their leader singer-songwriter Garrison Owen York, “and the love for all of that, drives the cogs” he says with a smile.  A Colorado native, bound by a swaying van to New York City in late 2009, this Brooklyn outfit announces their new self-titled release this Autumn 2012.  York is a friend and collaborator of ours.  He played at Frontrunner Gallery twice in the past few years and designed the soundscape for The Cave this past spring.  The album can be heard HERE.

Who are the members of Open to the Hound?
Garrison Owen York (writing, vocals, guitars, harp, keys, percussion)  Carly Howard (vocals, keys) Cameron Powell (banjo, percussion)  Tyler Phillips (bass, on record only, does not play live)  Kevin Tooley (percussion, on record only, does not play live)

What was the timeline for the writing of these songs?  How would describe the production of your new album?

The production of this new record was very different than the first 3 self released.  (these can all be found in the discography link on my website).  Including the soundscape I devised for the Cave.  I recorded everything in 2 weeks at Kevin Tooley’s home studio off E 24th street and 2nd ave.  We recorded guitar first and then I would sing over the track.  We used a very nice german hand made microphone, which I feel like made a big difference in capturing the subtleties of my voice.  It was totally new experience for me recording to a click track and under the gun…sober too!  I learned a lot…and Kevin was pretty flexible and definitely reasonable.

Is there an overarching story to this album for you?

Performing a solo show ¬©Courtney O’Reilly

There are definitely themes in the album…but the songs were written over a 6 year period.  Though two of which were written in the two week recording period.  “Master Cabbie” & “Out on a Limb”.  I think the message of transformation is clear.  The evolution of my character as a performer.  The whole album is definitely a “coming of age” story.  Lots of brutal honesty.  If you read close…I’m pretty open with my life. This is important to me as I find it difficult to get passionate about lyrics that don’t mean anything.  Getting my cab license had a huge effect on the record.  After all, I would have never met Kevin Tooley if I hadn’t began going to the Russian Turkish Baths to detox for the drug test.  Master Cabbie the song is a direct reflection of this encounter.

Can you say anything about some of your most recent gigs in NYC this year?

I recently applied, and received, a residency at 17 Frost, Brooklyn.  I plan to rehearse twice a week here.  I have banjo/drums/keys covered.  We will begin having auditions for bass players and general multi-instrumentalists before Christmas. My most memorable show of the year was my acoustic, alone, set at the Cave.  There are videos on my website documenting that evening.  Bloody Your Boots has the best audio quality.  I will begin playing live, solo, a few times a week.  I will be taking the printed CDs on a mild tour from Colorado to NY beginning October 28th.  I will play throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan during the winter.  More shows.  More reviews.  More people on the mailing list.  These are goals.  New band members.  A full concert with many instruments by spring of 2013.

Open to the Hound – Black Blood (OFFICIAL VIDEO) from Garrison York on Vimeo.

Black Blood is the first official video for the record.  It cost $45 to make.  This included 2 bottles of wine, a case of beer and dinner for the cast as well as white shirts and black paint.  It was shot by Tyler Phillips & Me.  Edited by Me.  Executive producer Chad Howard.  Dancers:  Carly Howard, Courtney O’Reilly, Jennifer Oman.  Actor/character referenced in song/girl smoking thru the whole video:  Camilla Goncalves.