In the first month of release, FLATFOOT 56 managed to cement their position among the country’s most important artists with their Old Shoe Records debut, BLACK THORN. Met with critical acclaim to augment the swelling anticipation of its release, the band would emerge #2 on Billboard’s Heatseekers (new artists) Chart in addition to healthy positions on the Billboard Top 200, the Billboard Top Independent Current Albums Chart, Top Alternative Rock Chart, Top Rock Chart, Top Current Albums Chart and Top Internet Sales Charts, just to name a few.
A sincere tribute to the blue-collar backbone of America, the first single from BLACK THORN, “Courage,” embodies the band’s unwavering pride in their working class roots. Frontman Tobin Bawinkel explains the inspiration of the song: “This was written with a few faces in mind. We thought of all of the stories and life long testimonies of people who sacrificed all they had to make a good life for their kids and decided that they needed to be respected in a Flatfoot song. I guess we were tired of everyone around us idolizing people who have done nothing but spend their lives feeding their own pride. This is the reason for writing Courage. To give respect where respect is due.”
Helmed by director Kendal Miller and shot on location in Chicago, IL and Gary, IN, the video for “Courage” remains an ode to the lives and sacrifices of the men and women who championed the labor force. Set during the Industrial boom of the World War II era, Miller and FLATFOOT 56 genuinely capture the lives and stories of those who often go unnoticed, the working class. The “Courage” video will premieres today at www.flatfoot56.com.
To watch the video for “Courage” click here.
As 2010 marks the 10-year anniversary for FLATFOOT 56, the new album compacts the band’s celebrated history of eclectic and driving musical charge into thirteen tracks that highlight the pride of the working class and their Chicago roots. The release of BLACK THORN has sent a tidal wave of energy from FLATFOOT 56’s international mob following while being matched with critical praise:
ALTERNATIVE PRESS: “There are bagpipes and mandolin gilded to the hard-charging chassis, but these 10-year Chicago scene vets know how to play, and even better, pen suitably triumphant songs awash in resilient spirit.” (April 2010)
HM MAGAZINE: “Black Thorn jigs, pulses, sways, mesmerizes and kicks up the heels – sometimes all within the same song structure.” (March/April 2010)
PUNK ROCK REVIEW: “Black Thorn is filled to the rim with Celtic-influenced, high intensity gang vocal laden, heavy hitting song after song…Each intricate musical piece of this band is perfectly combined.” (March 2010)
DYING SCENE: “It is no wonder that FLATFOOT 56 has risen above the rest and gained the notoriety they so rightfully deserve.” 5 out of 5 stars! (April 2010)
ABSOLUTE PUNK.NET: “The Celtic punk rockers from Chicago are back, and while the recorded disc cannot possibly capture the euphoric atmosphere of a Flatfoot 56 live show, they’re getting closer than ever.” (April 2010)
To continue their onslaught throughout 2010, FLATFOOT 56 has announced a year full of tour dates, including the Vans Warped Tour and special festival appearances across the globe, including Cornerstone, Spirit West Coast, SoulFest, Irish 2000 Festival and a slew of others. The band has also confirmed a featured inclusion of their song “Smoke Blower” on this summer’s SideOne Dummy Vans Warped Tour Compilation CD, due out June 8, 2010
Black Thorn is in stores now from Old Shoe Records in the US, Stomp Records in Canada, I Hate People Records in Europe, and distributed by Big Mouth Japan in Japan.