A Season of Songs, day ten: St. Claire

A Season of Songs is a type of Fun-A-Day project that I plan to do throughout this spring.  I’ll hit shuffle on the ol’ iPod and see what comes up.  I’ll then write a bit about that song, the band, the record, whatever.  Enjoy!

Today we get a bit more obscure with our song – couldn’t find today’s song on the internet anywhere.  The song is “St. Claire” by The Skorts, a project featuring Rich Diem (from Twelve Hour Turn/Tubers) and a woman named Andy Blum.  I believe this was a pretty short lived project after Twelve Hour Turn broke up.  The only recorded output that I’m aware of is this 7-song demo CD-R that they self released in 2003.

We watched as the time went by
I hadn’t a reason to reply
Until I found out yours was short lived
Could’t afford the victory of flight a second time.

Twelve Hour Turn were always one of my favorite Gainesville bands.  Their records, especially their “Bend.Break.Spill” EP, continue to get regular rotation in my house.  My introduction to Twelve Hour Turn was a show at Joe Hammer Square that my old band Sparrow played.  The tour was Seein’Red and Palatka, and Twelve Hour Turn was tagging along on a handful of shows.  Their name refers back to the 12 hour shifts common in the mills and factories back in the day, prior to the 40-hour work week, unions, etc; so they were excited to be in Pittsburgh and to learn more about the labor history of the area.  They would be a band that I would keep an eye on over the years and would get to see them a couple more times.

After I had heard that Twelve Hour Turn were done, I got contacted by The Skorts about doing a show for them.  Despite Twelve Hour turn having a decent following, I wasn’t sure what type of turnout we would get for one of their member’s acoustic side project.  The show was probably also on like a Tuesday night.  So rather than do it at Roboto or some other “real” venue, we just did a nice house show at Big Dyce, the house I lived in from 2001-2004.  I don’t think we ended up having any opening act – just a nice potluck and a set by The Skorts.  I remember we had a pretty decent turnout, good food and The Skorts played a really beautiful set.

The Skorts music is a really bare bones folk.  Two voices and a guitar.  The guitar work is really light and just does enough work to carry the songs along. The real energy is in the intertwining of Rich and Andy’s vocals.  There is something about the way their two voices work together that is really powerful.  The lyrics are similar to Twelve Hour Turn’s in that they are personal but just obtuse enough to make them interesting.  This song actually even refers back to Twelve Hour Turn with the lyric about “the victory of flight”, which was the name of their first full-length album.

This 7-song demo is definitely a great listen.  I’d be glad to send the tracks to anyone who is interested in hearing them.

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2 thoughts on “A Season of Songs, day ten: St. Claire

  1. If your offer to send the tracks “to anyone who is interested in hearing them” still stands, I’d love to hear them. I don’t know the rest of the album, but I heard their song St. Claire a long time ago, and I thought it was great.

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