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Standout Track: No. 1, “Cool Clear Water,” a scrappy cover of the Sons of the Pioneers classic. On this one-off project, Child Ballads singer Stewart Lupton and artist Carole Greenwood slip on spurs for an EP’s worth of cowboy songs. Banjos are plucked and glockenspiels are tapped, but “Red River Valley” it ain’t. Lupton’s vocals imbue the tune with a sleazy swagger, making it a little more of a McCabe & Mrs. Miller–style affair.
Musical Motivation: According to Greenwood, the EP was partly inspired by the duo’s mutual affection for the Western-themed TV series Deadwood. “We were so impressed with the writing and the themes,” she says. “How people make order out of disorder and create their own sense of morality when it seemingly doesn’t exist.” Lupton’s explanation was a bit more involved—including talk of runaway teens in San Francisco, Lewis and Clark, and the West as a psychological state. But his reasons for choosing the tune aren’t all that complicated. “I’ve always liked the lyrics,” says Lupton.
Western Rates: The beatin’s EP isn’t for everybody, but not because the music is inacessible. There just aren’t that many copies to go around. The 12-inch record was pressed as an accessory to Greenwood’s recent gallery show at Civilian Arts Project. Only 300 copies were made, each including unique artwork and a handful of poems by Lupton. Also, some people might not be willing to fork over the cash. Local record stores are selling the record for $29.99.