The Englert Theatre has announced the release of the Iowa City Song Project. The exclusive collection of songs inspired by Iowa City will be released via Maximum Ames Records today, November 6.
Over the past year, The Englert Theatre, a 100-year-old performing arts venue in downtown Iowa City, commissioned 31 musicians and bands to write and record songs inspired by experiences or impressions of Iowa City. The songs -- the bulk of which were recorded locally -- were compiled into an album called the Iowa City Song Project. The album features a diverse collection of artists tapping into sounds that range from roots-rock traditions to the experimental and avant-garde. It all makes sense: Iowa City is the home to folk-rock legends Greg Brown and Bo Ramsey, and it is also home to Night-People Records, the LP and cassette label that has released music from Dirty Beaches, Peaking Lights, and its flagship band Wet Hair. Iowa City has always been a welcome stage for Americana of all types -- the folk sounds heard at The Englert Theatre and the 50-year old Mill, the rock ‘n roll at Gabe’s, and the new sounds heard at basement and house shows. This collection of songs, which could never claim to be the final word on a continually growing music community, is nonetheless a colorful snapshot of the scene that has been inspired by this small but vibrant town.
The album includes new music from Greg Brown, Bo Ramsey, William Elliott Whitmore, Pieta Brown, Rene Hell, Caroline Smith, The Poison Control Center, Wet Hair, and many more.
The Iowa City Song Project is The Englert Theatre's first commissioned work. The theater is celebrating its centennial this October.
The album will be available from Maximum Ames on 2xLP, CD, and digital formats starting today, November 6 at maximumamesrecords.com. The project is sponsored by Mission Creek Festival, Flat Black Studios, Periscope Audio Lab, and Shark Party Media.