released December 4, 2020
The Cupholders are a Ballard Ave musical super-in-their-own-minds group consisting of Bart Cameron (of The Foghorns), Casey Ruff (of Casey Ruff & The Mayors of Ballard) & Sam Russell (Sam Russell & The Harborrats).
"The Cupholders Christmas Shitshow Mixtape Vol.1" is a marathon 40-song compilation put together by Sam and made up of songs by The Cupholders and their individual bands as well as close friends and non-close friends alike from Ballard Avenue to raise money as part of Keep Music Live Washington, a fundraising campaign to save hometown, community-based music venues.
"The music chosen for the compilation is meant to reflect the wide array of performers and overlapping musical scenes that happen in just one of many Seattle neighborhoods with multiple music venues. This compilation is NOT meant to be a representation of said scene but just my way of summing the year up musically by using songs from myself and my fellow Cupholders and then throwing on a bunch of songs that greatly assisted me throughout self-quarantine during the pandemic.
This is DEFINITELY one of those compilations done by musicians where we put all their friends on and everyone plays in everyone else's band if you look at the individual credits closely.
There are some actual Christmas songs on this compilation but most are meant to reflect the dark-at-4:30 grey that hangs over Seattle in December...and for a long time after. Or they are meant to reflect upon this past year in either personal or political senses (or both). As I write this, the number of people infected and dying from Covid is breaking records on a daily basis while our on-the-way-out president refuses to concede the election or even attempt to lead this country trough the worst part of the pandemic.
And when I say "reflect" and "summing up" I mean I am using mostly other people songs to express my own emotions and feelings like I'm still making a mixtape in the 90s. Thank you to everyone who enthusiastically said yes to my requests to do so and trusted me not to surround their song with a bunch of #&$#! A few of these songs are actually new and unreleased before now, including those by Claire Tucker, Colin J. Nelson, Kate Noson, Sherri Jerome, Caleb and Walter, The Cupholders.....and me!
Almost all the artists on the compilation are performers who I discovered for the first time on Ballard Avenue whether it was at The Sunset, Hotel Albatross, The Tractor Tavern, Hattie's Hat or the Conor Byrne Pub. A few of these performers don't live in the area anymore and one guy I haven't heard about for 10 years. But that's how it works: you walk into a venue to find good music.....and quite often in Ballard, you do.
Keep Music Live Washington is helping my beloved Ballard venues and other venues all across Seattle and Washington remain open during the pandemic so they can be waiting to discover new music in over again. All proceeds from this comp go to help them helping all of us.
To the rest of my favorite local music and artists and friends I couldn't fit on here....I'm sorry! I could have easily gone to 100 but had to stop at 40! I'll getcha on next year.
Stay safe and we'll see y'all in person soon, I hope....".