Press Kit: Audubon Savant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joe Moran
Phone: ^30 250-8800
Email: jlmo3@sbcglobal.net

ITASCA, IL – Bio:
As a self employed mechanic, and while remodeling my house, I picked up my guitar after years of storage. I started playing covers and imitating vocals in an effort to calm my two young kids down. Surprisingly, they stopped crying for five minutes. Over the years, I started writing my own songs but never recorded them. Three years ago, I made a serious effort to pursue my passion in music and to write down and record all of my songs. Using a laptop, “Bird Herd” by Audubon Savant, my debut CD was born. I wrote, produced, arranged, played all instruments, and sang all vocals on this DIY project.
The title track contains field observations of blackburnian warblers, brown headed blackbirds, marsh wrens, and black necked stilts. Primarily, it features my observations of the propagated whooping crane population of Wisconsin’s Horicon Marsh program. Since 1992, I have seen the 13 bird flock grow to almost 400. I have seen them avert incoming aircraft at O’Hare airport and watched them regroup over my house after a storm. I have kept a 19+ year log of their movements. The song, Brid Herd”, is a documentary of a man in an ultralight aircraft, dressed up in a giant whooping crane costume to imprint the chicks. They succeeded in teaching migration to and from Wisconsin and Florida. My bird count increases every year, now almost 400.
The debut CD, “Bird Herd” by local artist Audubon Savant is available on itunes and most outlets. Order now on CDBaby and get the punk, pop song “Responsibility” for free. Also, order now and get the 11 song CD for $5, for a limited time on CDBaby.com.
My title track “Bird Herd is featured on the movie trailer for the upcoming documentary, “The Man Who Saves Cranes, a collaboration of the International Crane Foundation, Audubon Magazine and AMI Radio from Bradenton Beach, FL. It all started when the photo editor from Audubon, Lila Garnet, got off the phone with Casey Hoffman at AMI about a contest to select a whooping crane song to be in their documentary. As soon as she popped in “Bird Herd, which is largely about whooping crane migration, I instantly won the contest and rotation on AM, FM, and Internet radio.
I had a tarot card reading a while back (not that I believe in this stuff) that said I would be successful in music and would travel. With a career as a floor-machine mechanic, it seemed unlikely. Yet, two years later, I had won this Audubon contest and was asked to travel to the Int’l Crane event in Baraboo, WI. There I met a personal hero of mine, George Archibald, who is like the Jane Goodall of the bird world. Surprisingly, he asked me for my autograph, and I ended up signing CD’s for scientists from around the world. I was a celebrity for 4 hours and then went back home to work on floor cleaning machines.
My second album, “Poochman, continues my observations about various topics: avoiding neighborhood parties, ecoterrorists, poetry from my late sister and her amazing criminal activities, raising my kids, and marriage. The album includes a punk-country song about homelessness and the 99% Live Single, an Occupy Movement anthem, all which will be released through Oasis. I hope you find that it’s an interesting, diverse playlist.

International Music Critic: Pat Moran
Audubon Savant: Bird Herd
2012

On Audubon Savant’s debut LP “Bird Herd, one man band and sole savant Joe Moran delivers jaunty, guitar driven compositions that recall Brit-pop eccentrics like Martin Newell, The Bevis Frond and Gong’s Daevid Allen. This is heady, if slightly obscure company to keep for a Chicago-Irish native who wrote and plays everything on the disc except drums.

Although he developed his songs in relative isolation, Moran’s work mirrors the approach and concerns of NYC’s anti-folk scene, sharing a focus on social concerns and love of acoustic punk with artists like Paleface and Kimya Dawson. Like anti-folk, “Bird Herd finds inspiration in progressive politics, but it also has roots in Moran’s observations of the local whooping crane population. Indeed, Moran’s vocals swoop in an engagingly gawky manor that recalls the cranes that inspired him.

On “The Woman Behind the Man he effects the multiple voices (and personalities) of prime Robyn Hitchcock. But while Hitchcock can be willfully weird, Moran’s concerns are more heartfelt and homespun. Tin whistle highlights the jaunty but vulnerable “Naked, which playfully quotes “La Bamba over folk-punk backing that’s pitched midway between Billy Bragg and Wreckless Eric. Stand-out cuts also include the wistful musings of the Hunky-Dory-era-Bowie “Buddhist, and the poppy introspection of the John Lennon-esque “Blinking.

Overly repetitive drum patterns keep “Bird Herd from soaring as often as it should, but Moran has managed to craft a rollicking song cycle that is warm, idiosyncratic and engaging.

“Poochman or “An Audubon Savant in the Family Tree By: Pat Moran

When I hear the rollicking folk-punk of rabble rouser Audubon Savant, I recall the words of the great philosopher Cary Grant: “Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops.
Don’t get me wrong. Audubon Savant – in daily life, father, working stiff and one man band Joe Moran – is insane in a good way. His rocking, witty, heartfelt and hilarious songs are off-the-wall gems. As for family, Audubon Savant’s recurring theme of fatherhood, plus his concern about the world his kids will inherit, makes me think of my clan.
There’s also the fact that Joe is my big brother.
As toddlers, I’m told, we used to bust out of our shared playpen. I’d tear up the floorboards while Joe climbed the railing. That may be key to differences between our personalities. I tunneled. Joe went over the top.
On Audubon Savant’s debut LP “Bird Herd, Joe had his eyes to the skies. The title track, about a flock of whooping cranes that regularly pass over Joe’s house, was appropriated by the Audubon Society as an unofficial whooping crane anthem. On his new LP, “Poochman Joe’s focus is more earthbound, but the music is no less jaunty and uplifting.
Joe’s new guitar driven compositions lean more Celtic than the Brit-pop eccentricity of his previous LP. The tunes on “Poochman balance country rock shadings with garage band psychedelia. The songs also rock a lot harder. Lead off track “Antiabortionists combines melodic late 70s punk riffing witch righteous anger at conservative busybodies. Yet it’s a lot more fun than most protest songs, because Joe transforms his fury into a celebration of dissent and liberty.
Joe’s songs still focus on social concerns and his love of acoustic punk, but his voice is stronger, recalling “Heroes era David Bowie – if Bowie decided to lighten up a bit. Highlights on “Poochman include the rolling Waterboys-styled folk of “Lake Michigan Lament, the pensive Celtic lilt of “Irish Spring and the chiming country rock of “Poochman, a surreal romantic ballad that comes off like the love child of Robyn Hitchcock and REM.
Progressive politics are an ongoing preoccupation with Joe, and his populist views find their perfect voice in the rackety “99% Live Occupy Anthem. Whooping crowd noises usher in the most punked-out tune on the album. Joe’s incisive, dead-on lyrics collide as double tracked dueling vocals battle for control of the melody with no clear winner. This is tuneful, engaging punk on the high order of Stiff little Fingers or the Clash.
More varied than “Bird Herd, yet no less heartfelt and intense, Audubon Savant’s “Poochman is a rarity in the pop-punk field, a song cycle that touches the heart and awakens the brain. With guts, grace, guitars, tin whistles and good humor, my big brother continues to raise a ruckus against the exploiters, conservatives and prudes.

Pat Moran writes about music and the arts for Creative Loafing Charlotte and the website Something Else! Reviews.

My Suburban Life:
Audubon Savant of Itasca takes wing as musician behind ‘Bird Herd’ CD; whooping cranes part of inspiration
By Renee Tomell
October 26, 2011

Joe Moran waits each year to watch the migrating flock of whooping cranes flap directly over his house in Itasca. He’s been tallying their slow resurgence for 19 years, and now adds his voice to the celebration of their rebounding numbers. Adopting the stage name Audubon Savant, he recently released the CD he calls “Bird Herd, whose other song topics range from fatherhood to politics.
How do you characterize the sound?
Quirky, punk pop … with Celtic flute and semi-intellectual, fun lyrics. This album has been described as Gordon Lightfoot meets the Dead Kennedys.
What made you decide to record?
I started playing covers and imitating vocals in an effort to calm down my two young kids. Suprisingly, they stopped crying for five minutes. Over the years, I started writing my own songs, but never recorded them. Three years ago, I made a serious effort to pursue my passion. I wrote, produced, arranged, played all the instruments and sang all the vocals.
Talk about your bird song.
The title track contains field observations of blackburnian warblers, brown-headed cowbirds, marsh wrens and black-necked stilts. Primarily, it features my observations of the propagated whooping crane population of Wisconsin’s Horicon Marsh program. The song (is about) a man in an ultralight aircraft dressed up in a giant whooping crane costume to imprint the chicks. They succeeded in teaching migration to and from Wisconsin and Florida. I do my own whooping crane impersonation in the song. I don’t (know of) many people who do bird impersonations in their songs, but I thought I’d try it.
For how long are the nearly 5-foot-tall whooping cranes visible near your home?
They are always airborne here. They usually pass through within a matter of three hours. They’re real loud. You can hear them over the jet airplanes. They create a real racket. They fly lower than sandhill cranes. They’re pretty visible with black wing tips and all-white body, and their voice is lower than sandhill cranes and louder.
Talk about your songwriting process.
I don’t sit down and intend to write a song in one sitting. I just wait for little bits and pieces to come together. I don’t force it. … I always have a song in my head.
What are some of your instruments on the CD besides your Irish whistle?
I played on this project with seven different guitars — 12-string guitar, acoustic guitars, and I used four electric guitars. (One) has 25 effects built in. I’m using it on a song right now about the protests of those 99 percenters and the Occupy Wall Street movement. It’s going to be a departure for me — purely a punk song.
What happens after ‘Bird Herd’?
I’m not doing it for the money. I’m doing it for awareness. … If I break even, my wife will let me release my second album. I don’t do this for a living, but I’ve been doing it my whole life — making music.
http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/2011/10/26/audubon-savant-of-itasca-takes-wing-as-musician-behind-bird-herd-cd-whooping-cranes-part-of-inspiration/zuadij4/

Illinois Entertainer
Chicagoland’s Free Music Monthly Magazine – In Print And Online
October, 2011
Joe Moran never dreamed of a music career; he was a union mechanic who suddenly started playing guitar and writing songs for his newborn kids. Years later, his debut effort was birthed. Considering Moran played every instrument (except drums), and wrote and sang every note, Bird Herd represents a solid effort. Moran’s voice is subtle and honest, with hints of Dylan and Petty peeking through. While none of the 11 tracks are especially memorable, together they create a respectable collection of simple melodies and honest but not-too-deep lyrics. (audubonsavant.com)
– Carter Moss

Around Hear: April 2012

Artist Spotlight Questionnaire:

Describe your sound in one ramble on sentence
My sound is quirky, folk, punk pop with Celtic whistle, clean custom guitars, over the top vocals, brake-the-rules writing using out-bridges, out-choruses, and what I call appetizers, and semi-intellectual, fun lyrics.

What inspires you to make music?
Personally, it’s a sense of accomplishment. I did it, next one. Socially, it’s a way of sharing my thoughts and may create a sliver of change without becoming a politician or an activist with an arrest record. Knowing I can self release, it gives me satisfaction that someone somewhere may actually enjoy it.

What aspect of making music excites you the most right now?
I know artists who worked hard, landed label deals, quit their jobs and toured, only to have those labels inflate their costs under those contracts. Some had gold records and only made $40,000. Today, a DIY musician can make just as much selling 7,000 CD’s or mp3 albums, from the comfort of their man-cave studio.

What aspect of making music gets you the most discouraged?
I’m not discouraged at all. Yeah, I could use money, but being out there is crucial, and something I never thought possible. Now I am out there.

Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?
My song, The 99% Live Single is an Occupy movement anthem that addresses the attack on the middle class and is a call for action. It’s Sex Pistols on steroids and it’s a message that I believe in.

What’s one of your all-time favorite recordings?
The first time I played guitar and sang was my Bowie impersonation of “Panic in Detroit. It was a breakthrough, at 17, and my older sister ran upstairs and thought it was a live acoustic recording of the icon. “Panic in Detroit, déjà vu?

Name three people who have influenced your music, and tell us why- Living or dead.
The three people are David Byrne, David Bowie, and Tom Margarites. I spent years doing voice imitation covers of The Talking Heads, Bowie, The Cure, Wiretrain, and anyone in the genre. However, the most influential person was my friend Tom Margarites. I got my first guitar at 17 and Tom at 16. He showed me the basics which allowed me to make my own early “songs. Tom is one of the most accomplished guitarists in the world. He resides in Northbrook, IL and teaches guitar for a living. You can reach him on Reverbnation and Facebook at TM guitar teacher.

Do you have any recent or upcoming projects you’d like to share with us? Tell us about it.
The “Poochman is my 2nd album, soon to be released. The untitled 3rd album is forthcoming. Both will be released through Oasis.
I am working on an autobiographical book, age 7-14, tentatively called the “Snowing Tree. To protect the innocent and guilty, my 2nd book will be fictionalized. It will be about me and my sister’s young adult exploits and adventures.

What do you like the most about Radio Airplay?
Radio Airplay has given me tools to have access to a local and world audience, my choice. I get fans from Latin America and Slavic countries. It’s fascinating when someone from Mauritius, Seychelles, or Peru sends me their email and a message in a foreign language. It’s fun to translate, just to find that it’s slang for “awesome or “cool. It’s nice that I can contact and start a conversation with them. Also, I can use your statistics to monitor my tracks, view demographics and adjust my strategy. This is a fantastic experience. I never dreamed this could happen. Radio airplay has opened the door for craft driven hard work and quality to rise to the top, without middlemen, hyperbole, hucksters, filters, and corporate busybodies. I commend them for allowing me to convey the messages of planet stewardship and social equality.

Optional – Interesting story about the artist – Anything extra you would like to add?
My title track “Bird Herd is featured on the movie trailer for the upcoming documentary, “The Man Who Saves Cranes, a collaboration of the International Crane Foundation, Audubon Magazine and AMI Radio from Bradenton Beach, FL. It all started when the photo editor from Audubon, Lila Garnet, got off the phone with Casey Hoffman at AMI about a contest to select a whooping crane song to be in their documentary. As soon as she popped in “Bird Herd, which is largely about whooping crane migration, I instantly won the contest and rotation on AM, FM, and Internet radio.

Audubon Savant Grand Prize Winner of the “Grassroots Giveaway 2013 on Oasis Disc Manufacturers:

http://www.oasiscd.com/intro/testimonial-moran.asp

http://www.oasiscd.com/intro/testimonials.asp