Veteran songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Mike Coykendall has been amazingly prolific over the last three decades or so. Currently most well known for his duties as a sideman, producer, and recordist via his work with M Ward, Blitzen Trapper, She & Him, Annalisa Tornfelt, & Tin Hat Trio, to name a few, Coykendall has been making his own unique outsider records since the mid ’80s. Coykendall (pronounced “Kirk-in-doll) was raised near the dead center of the contiguous 48 states of America in rural Norwich, Kansas. In early high school he began playing drums and guitar and went on to perform in mid-western regional cover bands during the early 80’s. In the mid 80’s he started writing and recording his own songs on cassette 4-track and soon formed Wichita, Kansas based prarie-psych popsters Klyde Konnor. Klyde was a prolific and daring band that self-released approximately nine cassette albums between ’86 and ’91.
On July 17th Coykendall will release his 4th solo album (his 22nd if you count previous releases with The Old Joe Clarks and Klyde Konnor) on Fluff & Gravy Records, Half Present, Present Pending. On this record, Coykendall takes the listener closer to his live performances with what he affectionately calls “ the rig”, consisting of a tin can kick drum, an oversized Kay electric guitar, and a huge set of hi-hat cymbals, all awash in delay and distortion. The record is a mix of new compositions (check out “Hard Landing”), new recordings of favorite selections from his back catalogue (check out “East of Cheney” or “Spacebaker Blues”) mixed in with fresh interpretations of other classics (he covers Roger Miller, Syd Barrett, etc) . We’re excited to premiere one of the album’s standout tunes, Coykendall’s colorful take on the Roger Miller classic “In The Summertime”. To get a feel for what drove the artist to include this song on his new album, Coykendall shared his thoughts on the tune:
“My family didn’t have many albums around when I was a kid. They did have this one record, a country music compilation that (as I’ve now researched) would have been bought via mail order directly from CMA (Country Music Association) for $2 (shipping included!), in 1965. The funds from the mail order sales of these records was used to build the Country Music Hall of Fame.
When I was old enough to get my little fingers on the record player, this was the record I played and I loved it.
My favorites were:
‘I Walk the Line’
‘Six Days on the Road’
‘If You’ve Got the Money’
‘Singing the Blues’
‘I’m Moving On’
‘Walking the Floor Over You’
and this song… ‘In the Summertime’
This song was my earliest influence and I consider it now to be part of my DNA. So, it almost feels like it is mine even though I know I didn’t write it.
I’ve realized over the years that in order to fit 25 songs on one album…they had to edit the versions down. Cutting intros, solos, etc..
This might explain why I tend to keep my own tunes pretty short over the years.”
Give a listen to Mike Coykendall’s take on Roger Miller’s “In The Summertime”…
Mike Coykendall’s Half Present, Present Pending comes out on July 17. For more music and info check out mikecoykendall.com!
You can also check out a sneak peek promo video for the album here: