An outpouring of support at a recent fundraiser has enabled the double-LP vinyl release of "Love Me When I'm Gone," a tribute album for Ross Harman of the Gaskets featuring covers of Gaskets tunes from White Laces, VCR, the Atkinsons, and a dozen others. Additional proceeds will be applied to the vinyl release of Harman's solo albums under his moniker Ballpoint Pens and a scholarship fund in Harman's name. Both "Calcutta" and the posthumous Ballpoint Pens release "Symphony" were curated by friend and bandmate Teddy Blanks. To make a donation and see what musical rewards are being offered, search for "Ross Harman" at kickstarter.com.
At long last, the missing Mermaid Skeletons album has been released digitally by Triple Stamp Records. The indie-folk ensemble began as a duo with Josh Hryciak and Michael Satterfield, who recorded the eight gorgeous songs on "The Handsome Cornucopia" before expanding to eight collaborators. Josh Hryciak has been writing vigorously since the group disbanded, and more recent material shines with synth-pop sensibilities. His solo debut is on the horizon. Until then, you can catch Hryciak performing live, including a CD release show for another ex-Mermaid Skeleton, Grant Hunnicutt, also of Ophelia and River City Band. The full-length "Grant Hunnicutt Sings Jonathan Vassar" includes covers, songs co-written by Vassar, and a handful of originals, backed by Vassar on accordion and harmonica, violinist Jessika Blanks of Zac Hryciak and the Jungle Beat, and mandolin player Jared Pool of the Whiskey Rebellion. David Shultz and Hope for Agoldensummer also are on the bill for the show Oct. 12 at the Firehouse Theatre.
The spread of "The Anthemic Pandemic" is about to be triggered. That's the title of the newest record from the hardest-working band in show biz, Murphy's Kids. Mixing rock, reggae and banging soul, the horn-heavy group will stir up a dance frenzy at the CD release party Nov. 5 at the Camel. A sneak peak of the first single, "Dusty Trail," featuring Eazy D from Virginia Beach ska punks Jackmove, and the accompanying video, are available at murphyskids.com.
Richmond native Myke Terry has shown his tough side in metal-core outfit Bury Your Dead, but now he's exploring more melodic territory as leader of the Silent Age. Also composed of members from the Animal Beat, Nobel and Moshe Dayan, this new alternative rock five-piece has been polishing tracks for its first EP, which can be previewed at thesilentageband.com.
2012 already looks promising, with two of Richmond biggest acts set to release new material. Tim Barry premiered a video for the new song "Amen" on his website, timbarryrva.com, which was recorded at Minimum Wage Studios. Engineer and percussionist Lance Koehler, guitarist Josh Small, singer and songwriter Julie Karr and harmonica player Andrew Alli all make appearances on Barry's new record, "40 Miler," from Chunksaah Records. Before leaving for a European tour, Barry also contributed guest vocals to the latest record from thrash titans Municipal Waste. You'll just have to hold your horses until early next year when the Waste delivers it through its new record label, Nuclear Blast. In the meantime you can follow drummer Dave Witte in his new extreme metal project, Argonauts, along with members of Burnt by the Sun and Dillinger Escape Plan.
Flying high on a pile of vintage pianos, synths and organs, the Air Circus is in town. Boasting members of LarJar, 11th House, Aquafuture, Southside Funk and Murphy's Kids, this quartet performs soulful stunts and funky feats, backed by booming beats. If their hooks don't wow you, their festival-worthy light show surely will.
Inside Track is compiled by Mike Rutz, the host of "Activate!" on 97.3-FM WRIR.