DYS Records

Fred Gillen Jr.

Sights and Sounds

CD coverTurn Off The Lights (2020) "Covid e.p. #4" One of the most comforting activities for me during the Covid "stay home" time has been playing my first instrument, the bass guitar. Every day I put on a record and play along, like I did in high school when I was first learning. I wrote all of the songs on this e.p. on a 1966 Fender Jazz bass I recently wound up with. I had not written a song while holding a bass guitar since probably 1995. It kind of liberated me from thinking about chords, and made it more about rhythm and melody. I enlisted my friend John Banrock to play some synthesizer, piano, and organ and Laura Bowman to sing. I sent them songs and they sent me back their overdub tracks. There’s a weird magic in somebody being in the band and yet not seeing them in real life. The lyrics reflect my own experience of the Pandemic, the election, being with my partner almost all the time, and at 51 finally leaving the area around my home town. Right after I finished this e.p. I moved 80 miles north, and now I’m really in "the country." I suspect whatever I do next will be more acoustic and woodsy.

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CD coverBirds (2020) "Covid e.p. #3" One of my favorite albums of all time is Pink Floyd's "Animals." All of the songs on Animals are social commentary with domesticated animals as metaphors. I kind of did the same thing here with bird metaphors. This is e.p. # 3 during the Covid Pandemic, so I played all the instruments and did everything myself. Some new musical directions happen here, chord-wise and melody-wise. A spoken-word piece is included, and the instrumental on this e.p., "Nest Building Wrens," is a "fiddle tune," but the melody is played on a Banduria which was a gift from my friend Pat from the Philippines.

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CD coverSee The Light (2020) "Covid e.p. #2" This e.p. features the song "Going to the Supermarket," which many people seemed to really identify with. All three Covid e.p.'s include instrumentals, and the instrumental here, "Frogs," is fun! This is a much "lighter collection of songs than "Into the Darkness," but they do compliment each other.

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CD coverInto The Darkness (2020) "Covid e.p. #1" I wrote most of these songs during the first month of the "shelter in place" time during the Covid 19 Pandemic. ("Post Apocalyptic Love Song" I had written beforehand, but it needed a lot of revision.) I decided to just put this out there as soon as possible. Obviously I had to play all of the instruments but I really dug into the production and I'm very proud of it. There is a lot of social commentary here. Some of it isn't pretty. I assume that by now most people listening to this know that that is really what I do. There is a music video for the title song on YouTube, featuring footage and Jim Metzger's photographs from the Greenheart's tours in Nepal.

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CD coverIf I Woke Up This Morning and Died (2019) Eleventh Fred Gillen Jr album. Ten new songs with lyrics and two new instrumentals. Classic Fred Gillen Jr song topics such as mortality, tree-hugging, horrible Presidents of the United States, drug addiction, God, Buddha, Kathmandu, activism, and more! Very nice guest vocals by Laura Bowman, Sarah Browne, and Brigit Moynihan and the great Tony Jefferson and Paul J Magliari playing drums.

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CD coverAll In (2017) A bridge is built here of words, ideas and cultures. In the footsteps of Buddha, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Pete Seeger, and so many other leaders of spirit, mind, planet, and body, The Greenheart's mission is made plain in song and action: CREATE, COMMUNICATE, CELEBRATE. Performers: Fred Gillen Jr., Laura Bowman, Julie Corbalis, Andrew Mattina and james dean conklin.

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CD coverWhat She Said (2017) Full-length, solo, studio album #10, released on the 20th anniversary of album #1. 8 new Fred Gillen Jr original songs, and 4 co-writes with Abbie Gardner, Steve Kirkman, and Matt Turk. A blurring of the perceived lines between the political and personal. The first album to really highlight Gillen's electric guitar style.


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CD coverWage Love (2015) The ninth full-length, studio, Fred Gillen Jr album. Featuring Walking Down That Freedom Highway, Killing Machine, and nine other songs. "Reaching back to those first definitive union anthems, Wage Love bridges the generations and eras of our shared culture to find profound truths both new and old in the quietness of poverty — either fiscal or philosophical." -Rust Magazine.

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CD coverPete Seeger: Pete Remembers Woody (2012) Fred's version of Woody Guthrie's "I Ain't Got No Home" is included on this two CD set, a collection of Pete Seeger's spoken-word stories about Woody Guthrie, interspersed with various artists' versions of Woody's songs. This collection was produced by David Bernz, producer of "Pete at 89," and released to coincide with Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday.

CD coverSilence Of The Night (2012) The 8th full-length, studio Fred Gillen Jr album. A sprawling record which covers a lot of genre territory, from folk to rock to Americana to even a little bit of funk. Features This Old Car, which was heard on NPR's Car Talk, Silence of The Night, This Town Is Our Song (as a duet with Carolann Solebello,) one instrumental, one spoken-word piece, and eleven other songs.

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CD coverBackwoods Jupiter Presents Bob Dylan's Desire (2011) A group of 12 Hudson Valley musicians got together and formed this band really as a tribute to the Rolling Thunder Review. Fred sings Isis, Joey, and Mozambique and plays electric guitar, washboard, conga, and bass.

[out of print]

CD coverLive In The Heartland Of America (2011)
Recorded by Bryce Taylor at a house concert in Muncie, Indiana on Saturday, April 24, 2010 on Fred's first New Moon Midwest Tour with Catherine Miles. Features 8 Fred Gillen Jr songs, some funny stories, and covers of songs by Hope Machine, Abbie Gardner, Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, Elizabeth Cotten, and June Carter Cash. This CD really puts the listener in the room for an inspiring night in Bryce and Caroline's living room.

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CD coverMatch Against A New Moon (2010)
Nine new original songs, one re-write, and finally a version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. With drummer Eric Puente and guest singers Catherine Miles, Abbie Gardner, and Laurie MacAllister. "Like the phase of the lunar orb it references, Match Against A New Moon assures us that the day side we see sans light is temporary in the ongoing transit of our lives." -Catherine Michaels, WHUD 100.7FM, Hudson Valley, NY

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CD coverBig Green Hope Machine (2009)
The follow-up to "March." Featuring the audience favorites Sing Sing Sing and Folksinger. "Through the entire set of songs, a wide variety of folk styles is employed, making Big Green a smorgasbord of modes and delights. Hope Machine is going far to preserve the past while singing to the present?and hopefully the future." -Mark S. Tucker, Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange

out of print, Download at: Bandcamp

CD coverGillen & Turk "Backs To The Wall" (2008)
The debut from the duo Gillen & Turk. Features 3 new Gillen songs, one spoken-word piece, and some new versions of older songs, along with some Turk songs. "unvarnished social commentary with folkified hoot-and-holler melodies" -Sing Out! "Backs to the Wall is a strong, confident work of folkish-rootsy rock with political and social consciousness." -Mac MacDonald, Monterey County Herald

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CD coverConey Island (2008)
Produced by Koji Mabuchi Nine "audience favorite" songs, including Devil's Bluff, Witness, Elliott, and Censor The Wind, produced with drum loops, samples, beats, and sequencing.

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CD coverGone Gone Gone (2006)
First full-length CD since 2001. I actually recorded this CD, threw it out, and recorded it again. I hope to never take so long with a record again, but I'm glad I did...

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CD coverHope Machine "March" (2006)
After over two years of various forms of Hope Machine performing shows, first as a Woody Guthrie tribute, then as a loose, wide-open, in-the-moment happening, we finally recorded 10 songs. 10 songs for peace and justice... Fred Gillen Jr., Steve Kirkman, and Steve Chizmadia with special guests Laurie McAllister and Abbie Gardner from the band Red Molly.

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listen at MySpace

CD coverSteal This Compilation (Various Artists, 2005)
This is the second chicken coop compilation, featuring a new version of my song "Censor The Wind," which first appeared on the CD Grace in solo-acoustic form. I love this hip-hop, drum-loop version of "Censor The Wind." There are some new artists here, as well as some of the people from the "Standing Room" compilation.

CD coverWe The People (2004)
This is an e.p. I made quickly to release before the presidential election. It features "Killing Machine" and "We The People" plus three other social-‌commentary songs, one love song, and one spoken-word piece. I recorded some of it live-‌in-‌the-‌studio with my friend Chris Black playing guitar and singing, and some solo. I also had a great guitarist Mark Barden come in for one song, "Blue Collar."

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CD coverStanding Room (Various artists, 2004)
The first of two Chicken Coop Records Compilations I have songs on. My song "Coffee, Cocain, Bed" is on this, and I recorded Chris Black doing a song of his called "War Of The Worlds" for this at my studio. It features fourteen artists of various genres from northern Westchester. Koji Mabuchi, the producer of this calls my song CCB an "evil road song."

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CD coverTumbleweed Mile (2003)
I was in this band with Chris Merola from Rain Deputies in 2000 & 2001, and the 8 songs I played on were recorded in 2001, at my studio and Chris's apartment in Tarrytown. Chris sings lead on and wrote the 10 songs, and they pick up where the Rain Deputies left off...

to listen/ get a copy: Tumbleweed Mile

CD coverGrace (2001)
Ten songs, live-in-the-studio, solo-acoustic. The cover art by Linda Jean Fisher was criticized by many because the front cover doesn't even have my name on it, but I think it is beautiful... This CD received my favorite review I've ever gotten. Here's an excerpt: "The slow infiltration of evil in the world. Alcoholism and drug addiction. He holds everything up and exposes it to the light. It's a hard truth, but I just want to keep listening. There's a vulnerability in his voice and a refusal to step down in the face of fear. I keep thinking of Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie. After a while, I get the feeling of hope that always emerges when the ugly truth is stared down." -Jennifer Layton, Indie Music.com

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CD coverNervous Laughter (2000)
The third full-length CD... I played all of the instruments on this one myself. I had just read a book about the making of Sgt. Peppers and wanted to see if I could do everything myself on 8-tracks. Plus I was in a lonely time in my life... the CD has some happy moments anyway, and is kind of all over the map...which is understandable with 16 songs... Emotionally- charged singer/ songwriter material with deep resonating guitar. This meaty offering from Fred pokes at some raw soul sores, questions life and love, and screams in rage. 'Plane Shot Down In A War' is the high point." - Allan Foster, Songwriters' Monthly

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CD coverTales Of The Misplaced (1998)
Most of the songs on this one were written in a block after my first year on the road, and after reading "Bound For Glory" by Woody Guthrie. "New York singer/ songwriter Fred Gillen Jr. may have east coast origins, but his style and intensity reflect a down home sensibility. Gillen's current release, 'Tales Of The Misplaced,' offers passionate, issues-oriented selections, the type of material seldom heard on commercial radio; his guitar work mixes bluesy refrains and arresting licks." -- Ron Wynne, Nashville Scene

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CD coverIntentions As Big As The Sky remixed and remastered in 2017 for the 20th anniversary (1997)
The first solo CD release. Recorded by my friend Jake Hess in his grandmother's basement with a 20-bit, digital 8-track machine, so it was also lo-fi. "Don't expect the hands-off, antiseptic quality of a big, slick, 68-track studio album. This CD has an earthy, straw-like smell for your ears. It has the grazing touch of a brick wall against the back of your hand. It has very ball-point- pen-on-blue-lined- paper written lyrics. It's honest and quirky." -- Craig Gilbert, New Haven Advocate

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CD coverA Mind Is A Terrible Thing, Chris Black & The Dirty Folk Revolution (1997)
On about half of the songs on the record, and on the road, I was the band here for a while. Chris heard my CD "Intentions" and said "I want to do that." so I loaned him my four-track cassette recordedr and he laid some stuff down, but most of this CD ended up being recorded in my living room in my basement in Verplanck, and I toured with him some, playing trash percussion and guitar. Black's music is dark, angry, and brooding yet melodic and full of energy. His subject matter is manic-depression, alcoholism, God, love and missed or broken connections.

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CD coverBlame It On My Dead Brother (1995)
cassette only, out of print
My first full-length, solo recording. I sold this home-recorded tape at coffeehouse shows for a while. I made it with a 1/2 inch tape machine... "The recording isn't exactly high-tech, but it's good enough and Gillen's songs are memorable. Highlights are the oddball, rap-like 'Impermanence,' the haunting, folk- tinged title cut and the sparse ''A Million Holes' -Mick Skidmore, Relix Magazine

All mail-order prices include NYS sales tax and shipping & handling in the U.S.A. Please indicate what CD's you are ordering and how many, and include the address you'd like us to ship them to.

Please send orders to:
Fred Gillen Jr.
26 Union Street
Athens, NY 12015


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