The Chairman Dances' new album, The strength of your arm, was written by songwriter Eric Krewson while he served as an artist in residence in Washington state, in the remote Cascade mountains, during the fall of 2019. Three such artists, Krewson (the lone musician), a painter and a writer, lodged together and shared the occasional meal. The remainder of their time, they worked alone, Krewson in a cramped, six by six foot shack that contained only a desk and a small, failing space heater.
Perhaps surprisingly, the lyrics Krewson penned during this time of seclusion overflow with the warmth and tenderness of human connection. Many songs present us with domestic scenes: a parent or older sibling teaches a child; that child sits in awe. Elsewhere, friends, significant others bend their wills in empathy, attempt to make responsible choices in less-than-ideal circumstances. Of the collection, Krewson writes: "While I don’t believe the songs share characters, I do imagine all of the individual narrators assuming a similar posture or tone of voice to tell their stories. That shared stance or way of speaking is, for me, the crux of the record. It directs what is said or observed; it attends every action, every forbearance.”
released July 23, 2021
Arrangements by The Chairman Dances: Dan Comly, Dan Finn, Eric Krewson, Will Schwarz, Kevin Walker, and Luke Pigott
Album performed by The Chairman Dances with help from longtime collaborators, Ashley Hartman, Maria Mirenzi, and Jin-Huon Jou, and new friends, Samantha Wittchen and Jonathan Hodges
Live tracks recorded by Daniel Smith on September 5-6, 2020 at Familyre Studio / Additional recording by Eric at home, with contributions from Luke, Maria, Jin and Jonathan / Mixing by Daniel / Mastering by Dave Downham