VASHON ISLAND MUSICIAN Danny Newcomb, a veteran of the Seattle rock ’n’ roll world, has released a new record, with a different sound.
The CD, “Mackerel Sky,” is 10 songs that focus on Newcomb’s lyrics, voice and considerable acoustic guitar skills. It’s quieter than the three rocking records he made from 2015 to 2019 with his band, Danny Newcomb & The Sugarmakers. The record is available at Easy Street Records in West Seattle or on his new site, dannynewcombmusic.com. It’s available digitally in all the usual places.
Newcomb is a former guitarist and songwriter for the bands Shadow (with childhood friends Mike McCready of Pearl Jam and Rick and Chris Friel), Goodness and the Rockfords (McCready and the Friel brothers, plus Goodness singer Carrie Akre). After stepping away from the music business for a few years, he started his own band, taking on lead vocals for the first time. He wrote all the songs for the Sugarmakers’ three power pop records.
Newcomb will play his songs from “Mackerel Sky” on KEXP’s The Morning Show with John Richards at 9 a.m. Oct. 2. From Richards’ lawn, actually, with the KEXP studio closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Newcomb will be joined by another Vashon Island resident, Erin Rubin, who sang and played piano and acoustic guitar on the record. The only other musicians were Jeremy Lightfoot and Jeff Fielder, who shared bass guitar duties, and Alisa Newhall, who provided background vocals on one song. Longtime collaborator John Goodmanson produced (with Newcomb), engineered and mixed the record, which was recorded at Studio Litho in Seattle.
Newcomb has released a haunting video (“strangely lonely,” he says) for the record’s first single, “Chase the Dark,” which features no people — just intricate acoustic guitar playing, the usual smart lyrics by Newcomb and stunning black-and-white visuals of Seattle and the Northwest.
On Oct. 11, Vashon Live will stream Newcomb and other musicians playing most of the new record in a Facebook event.