Veteran Cincinnati musician Chuck Cleaver of Wussy and The Ass Ponys has announced that his first solo album will be released on July 19 through local label Shake It Records (the record-releasing branch of the Northside record store gem of the same name).
Popular music website Stereogum recently premiered the song "Anything," the first music released from the forthcoming album, which is titled Send Aid. Check it out below.
Cleaver has been a constant presence locally for more than three decades now, first coming to prominence with The Ass Ponys (who were signed to A&M Records for a few stellar albums and enjoyed cult-hero status nationally) and then with Wussy, which is one of the most widely acclaimed bands to ever come out of Cincinnati.
The new solo album features material written during the lead-up to the last couple of Wussy albums, as well as new material. Send Aid was recorded with a revolving cast of local friends, including his Wussy bandmates and members of Lung, Vacation and Dawg Yawp. The late Dave Davis worked on the album's mastering, Cleaver's final work with
The album's cover is a photo by Cleaver's daughter, Anna Stockton, of a now-closed business in Cleaver's hometown of Clarksville, Ohio.
“It’s a former furniture store that just happened to be where I was waiting on the school bus one morning in the ’70s, when the owner asked if I could go up the street to check on the town barber," Cleaver says in the press materials. "I found him, but he was long dead and catfish-grey. It was not a pleasant memory.”
Cleaver will be promoting the album on the road with periodic spurts of tour dates this summer. Fellow Wussy members Lisa Walker and Mark Messerly will join him for what's described as "in-the-round style shows," during which they'll play some Wussy songs as well as music from their solo projects (Walker has recorded as The Magic Words and Messerly released his collaborative INERT album last year). The tour dates currently wrap up on Aug. 10 with a show at Cincinnati's MOTR Pub. Wussy is playing in early June in St. Louis with Superchunk, part of the city's Twangfest and the only full-band show on the group's schedule.
Send Aid is available for pre-order (on vinyl and CD) here.
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