Renaissance Soul was originally a Detroit hip-hop website started in 2001 by your host Kelly “K-Fresh” Frazier that first centered around the discography of legendary producer Jay Dee aka J. Dilla before it branched out to all Detroit hip-hop and music. In many cases, Renaissance Soul was the first place you heard many Detroit music artists that you love today. With it’s revival as a podcast, each episode will focus on specific topics (an album, an era, a legacy, etc) from Detroit music of all genres from the past and present from a historical perspective.
For this episode of Renaissance Soul, I’m joined by indie singer, songwriter, arranger, producer, and all around jack of all music trades, Fred Thomas, band leader of Saturday Looks Good To Me as we talk about their 2003 album All Your Summer Songs. Coming from the Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor area, Fred Thomas’ contributions to the Michigan music scene are just as prevalent in Detroit. With a couple local releases for Saturday Looks Good To Me in 2000, All Your Summer Songs was the first real album for this project of Thomas’ – released via Polyvinyl Record Company in 2003.
While many of us have a place in our hearts for this album, Thomas’ did face mixed feelings and confusion about what exactly this project is, which we talk about during this episode. The songs for this album were recorded between February 2000 and December 2002 mostly on four-track in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Livonia, and Detroit, Michigan; Louisville, Kentucky & The Grange Hall of Rhode Island. Along with diving into the origins of this project, we go track-by-track through the album with Thomas sharing stories about the writing/recording and the collaboration between all the players on this album (listed below). Around 20 years later, All Your Summer Songs is an important part of Michigan’s music history.
Acoustic Guitar – Ben Bracken
Cello – Anna Steinhoff
Double Bass – Zach Wallace
Drums, Piano, Organ – Brett Lyman
Electric Bass – Grace Thorson
Electric Piano – Aidan Dysart
Flute – Candi Wilson
Harp – Emily Linn
Lacquer Cut By – Golden
Mastered By – John Golden
Mellotron – Dave Shettler
Mixed By, Edited By, Piano, Bass – Warn DeFever
Photography – Doug Coombe
Saxophone – Matt Bauder
Saxophone, Autoharp, Organ – Elliot Bergman
Trombone – Sarah Weaver
Trumpet – Brian Lipson
Vibraphone, Organ – Nate Cavalieri
Violin – Ida Pearle, Jacob Danziger
Vocals – Cynthia Nelson, Daniel Littleton, Elizabeth Mitchell, Erika Hoffmann, Jessica Bailiff, Jodi VB, Karla Schickele, Kelly Jean Caldwell, Matthew Smith, Tara Jane O’Neil, Ted Leo
Vocals, Electric Guitar, Other [Etc.], Mixed By, Edited By, Written-By, Arranged By, Producer – Fred Thomas
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List of where Renaissance Soul streams: podlink.to/RenSoulPod or just search “Renaissance Soul”. Also available on IHeartRadio.