It makes sense that since Peter Holsapple has long been the go-to guy for musicians such as R.E.M., Hootie & The Blowfish, John Hiatt, Indigo Girls, the Troggs, Juliana Hatfield and too many others to name here that when he needed assistance on his first solo album in 21 years that he would turn to, well, himself. Game Day (out July 27 via Omnivore) is a solo record in the truest sense of the word, as the dB’s co-founder pretty much did everything himself on the 13-song LP, which features a bonus track as well as two “super” bonus tracks (“Don’t Mention The War” and “Cinderella Style,” both from a stellar seven-inch single released last year). Holsapple recorded and mixed all of Game Day in the basement of his house and, stylistically, threw in everything but the kitchen sink, though he could’ve done that as well, since he moved to a new place right after finishing the LP.
It’s hard to believe it’s coming up on half a century since Holsapple made his recording debut in a band that also included Mitch Easter and Chris Stamey called Rittenhouse Square. (Readers from MAGNET’s hometown of Philly will get the moniker’s reference.) Given Holsapple’s status as a music lifer and the fact that he has only one previous solo album—1997’s Out Of My Way (a more collaborative affair featuring members of Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers, the Bangles and more)—it’s no surprise that while some of songs that make up Game Day are brand new, others have been floating around for a bit. And then, however, there’s “Commonplace,” the newest of the songs (it was written in the last few months) whose words address some decades-old concerns.
“The lyrics are a 40-years-late thank-you note to a girlfriend from college days who decided early on that I should stop frittering my time away with music when I could be doing something more purposeful and promising,” says Holsapple. “Early on, I believed her because love makes you do stupid things; later, I realized she was completely wrong when it became evident I had an affinity for songwriting. Many of the songs on the first couple of dB’s records were inspired by her attitude and actions, so I thought acknowledgment was finally in order.”
Well, better late than never, especially when the thank-you note is as good as “Commonplace,” which is anything but what its title might imply. We’re proud to premiere the track today on magnetmagazine.com. Check it out now, look for live dates in August and watch Game Day‘s trailer.