On Halloween, Lowell rock band the Ryne Experience released a new acoustic album called “Shopworn.” The album was recorded over 20 days this September at Ryne Clarke's “Upstairs, Man Studios” in the upstairs bedroom of his home downtown Lowell.
“Basically, it's just a little acoustic record, I didn't go full-out like I usually do,” said Clarke, who recorded, produced and played most of the instruments on the album.
“It was pretty much live takes with vocal and guitar,” Clarke said. “I would lay that down, then throw maybe a keyboard or banjo here or there. Kyle [Kuhn] did all the percussion in one day.”
The last Ryne Experience album, “Hokey,” featured instruments rarely featured in rock and roll, such as theremin, glockenspiel, cello, ukulele, bongos, banjo, stylophone and accordion, mostly played by Clarke himself. On “Shopworn,” Clarke is credited with vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, banjo, organ, keyboard, piano, chord organ, accordion, electric kazoo and harmonica. Kuhn's percussion included shaker, tambourine, bongos, water bottle, guiro and woodblock. Additionally, Mitchell Evink played cello on one song and Jerry Wenger played lead guitar on another.
The title “Shopworn” refers to how a few of the songs on the album had been sitting around for a little while until Clarke figured out the best way to record them. Another song on “Shopworn” was written and recorded within about an hour.
“There are some older songs, some new songs, some I'll come back to later, some maybe not,” Clarke said. “I've been messing around with them and I wanted to put them out there.”
One of the “Shopworn” tracks is called “Low Well,” which could lead one to believe it was about his hometown, but Clarke denies this charge.
“I just wanted to use that [title], I thought it would be cool,” Clarke said. “Make your own judgments, of course.”
Clarke said that “Shopworn” is supposed to function as a palate cleanser for the Ryne Experience's next full length band record, “Funky Town,” due out in January. He is working with a local filmmaker on a “music video movie” to go along with the new album, these two projects should premiere around the same time.
The Ryne Experience is scheduled to perform at Kava Kasa in Grand Rapids on Friday, Nov. 22 with When Particles Collide, a two-piece husband and wife band from Bangor, ME, at the "Troublehouse" in Grand Rapids on Saturday, Nov. 23, at Corner Record Shop in Grandville on "Black Friday," Nov. 29 and at LowellArts, 223 W. Main, on Friday, Jan. 10.
“Shopworn” is available on streaming services such as Spotify, Tidal and Bandcamp. For more information, follow the Ryne Experience on social media or visit ryneshyne.club.