The Wild Honey Collective is very much a product of the events of 2020 – without any shows to play or go to and missing the spirit of an active band, GTG originators and Drinking Mercury bandmates Tommy McCord (Plural, etc) and Timmy Rodriguez (Sleeping, etc), joined with DanielleGyger (who had contributed harmony vocals to the last few Drinking Mercury releases) in June 2020 to play some acoustic music on a back porch in Ionia, MI. Dan O’Brien (multi-instrumentalist and a former bandmate of Timmy’s) joined the group a few weeks later and very quickly we began building an extensive catalog of music ranging from folk traditionals, original songs, and songs written by friends. An appreciation for classic country music and early country rock had been rising amongst the individual musicians for the last few years, and with Danielle’s lifelong association with the legendary Wheatland Music Festival came a catalog of traditional songs (both vocal and fiddle-led) that were made for these back porch sessions. This bridging of musical styles modern and traditional dramatically helped fill the void of a concert-less summer, played outdoors for only the crickets to hear (or possibly Tommy’s dad who developed a reputation as a conspicuous eavesdropper on these practices).
As the summer ended and COVID-19 cases began rising in Michigan again – and thus, no shows anywhere in sight – we shifted our focus to making an album through a series of socially distanced recordings and file sharing to capture the spirit and friendship of a musical collective. And it is a collective! In addition to the core band members the album features contributions from acclaimed pedal steel guitarist Drew Howard, drummer Dave Shilakes (Small Parks, Gumsmack), singer Alyson Rodriguez, pianist John Gyger, Tommy and Timmy’s Drinking Mercury bandmate Michael Boyes (who took the original photo featured on the cover and the band also does a rendition of one of his songs), Crooked Sound/ Calliope/ Sexy Murders songwriter Eric Merckling, and the rhythm section of The Plurals, drummer Hattie Danby and bassist Nicholas Richard. It’s a new year, but the pandemic isn’t over, and to help get this winter over with a bit sooner we’re releasing the album right now for everyone to listen to. Thanks for being along for the ride, and bring on 2021!
You didn’t think we’d let COVID take away GTG Fest did ya? The 13th annual GTG Fest will be coming to you SATURDAY OCTOBER 10, following you on your mobile devices, lurking in the corner of your home on your smart TV, somehow popping up on that confusingly not-discarded Windows 98 Gateway tower that hasn’t been connected to the internet since 2001… EVERYWHERE!
Did I make watching a livestream briefly sound a little exciting? Well, we’re gonna do our best to bring some of the magical GTG Fest chaos to the streams. This thing’ll be streaming live from 4-10 at the GTG facebook page AND on the GTGRecordsTV youtube channel for all you fellow facebook haters out there. The show must go on!
SATURDAY OCTOBER 10 4 PM-10 PM EST
SCHEDULE: Wild Honey / Drinking Mercury 4:00-4:30 The Soods 4:30-5:00 Raymond Strife 5:00-5:30 Narc Out the Reds 5:30-6:00 Jeremy Porter 6:00-6:30 Marsha 6:30-7:00 Honah Lee 7:00-7:30 Hunky Newcomers 7:30-8:00 Invisible Cartoons 8:00-8:30 The Stick Arounds 8:30-9:00 Erotic Novels 9:00-9:30 The Plurals 9:30-10:00
That’s a fest, eh? Well, it’s what we’ve got! Just like Joe Biden. Hey, I kept this apolitical until now, that’s good for 2020, right? Vote for Biden on November 3rd or else you’re part of the problem of social regression, racial injustice, natural destruction, and general being a fucking asshole.
The pandemic delayed the vinyl, cancelled the release show, and put our first printing option out of business, but at last, Drinking Mercury vinyl is shipping! Those who pre-ordered, thank you so much for your patience! And everyone else… you can get it now! This 12 song album is one of the most critically acclaimed GTG releases – Razorcake said “they do a good job of tugging at a wide range of emotions and memories, which made for an introspective listen,” Local Spins said listening to it was “like finding some hidden classic from decades past,” City Pulse declared it “superb, genre-bending, well-crafted pop with psychedelic meltdowns” and Stratton Setlist called it “soothing waves of vibrant folk-influenced dream pop” – plus it spent a few months in the Top 5 at WYCE in GR earlier this year (and it’s still getting play). So, needless to say, we’re happy to get it on to people’s turntables at last. One minor win for 2020!
Hey! A new thing! Looks like we’ve finally been in this pandemic long enough that some of our restless, old, show-playin’ GTG hearts are adapting to the times.
Best Friends Club is a live-streaming, live venue substitute curated by Tommy Plural, Raymond Strife, Jim Graz, & Tim Hoh.
You must join the group to join in the fun. In an effort to bring you “live music”, all performances will be streamed live and taken down within 24 hours of original broadcast. “Doors” will open 30 minutes before the music and we encourage you to engage, socialize, and support in the group and on the live-stream feeds.
These events will be free to all, but support is heavily suggested via tipping and online merch sales. We encourage you to share this group with friends and help us create a unique built-in-scene for performers and all friends of music.
This is not a space to advertise or share links. This is a space to enjoy and support “live music” in the era of no shows, and is intended to be treated like a live venue.
Our first show is this Thursday, July 1, hosted by GTG Records, featuring Nicholas Weltschmerz, Tim Hoh, and the official debut of The Wild Honey Collective, a new more folk-oriented project-kinda-sorta-Drinking-Mercury-offshoot from Tommy Plural, Timmy Rodriguez, and Danielle Gyger.
All inquiries should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, all righty where to begin? I’ll pretend that someone from the future is looking through the GTG archives, how about that? Classic narrative device!
In early 2020 a highly contagious flu called Coronavirus forced people all over the world to stay quarantined in their homes to not spread the virus so fast that it would collapse the health care system. It was a wild thing to live through, let me tell you. So what we did way back then to stay sane and try to make something positive creatively was release a series of videos every day on the GTG Records facebook page featuring solo/acoustic performances of GTG artists and friends. Most of these videos were filmed via phones or simple camera setups. It’s cool to look back on now from a safe and comfortable vantage point from the future, er, present. We called the video series “Staying At Home With GTG Records” and here’s the videos posted the first two weeks of containment in March 2020. Wow, check them out!
Michael Boyes (Drinking Mercury) – Delightfully Lonely
Timmy Rodriguez (Drinking Mercury) – A Nordhouse Night
Joseph “Dim” Wolstenholme (Alpha Rabbit/Honah Lee) – Red State Blues