All Spots To Black: the Guys Behind Your Favorite Bands Step Out Front
Talk to anybody in the music world about Philip Krohnengold and the first words out of their mouth will likely be, “the secret weapon.” Yes, partially because it sounds cool, but mainly because it’s true. The guy is a fixer. Need your album to sound better? Get Phil. Need your tour to sound bigger? Get Phil. Need to smooth things out with the law? Tough shit. That one’s on you, big guy.
Philip’s played on tours and/or albums with most of your favorite artists. To list them all would make someone sound like the most pretentious alt-country-cana name dropper ever or an American Songwriter editor with tourettes, “Jeff-frickin-Tweedy, Gary Loris shit!, f@ckin Ethan Johns damn!, G-d d*ck damn Gomez! Brian ass Wright?!?” And as you read this, Philip’s getting ready to walk on stage in Jakarta. So, yeah, he’s got the professional musician thing down pat.
When an artist who earns his living making great musicians sound even better puts out his own record, you sit down, shut up, and listen. Philip stole a handful of musicians from some of your other favorite bands, and put together All Spots to Black, who recently released The Water Tower.
In a lot of ways, descriptions of The Water Tower seem to contradict themselves: monstrous yet precise guitar riffs interlaced with intensely spacious Hammond and pedal steel. The songs are gentle and comforting, but also a gut wrenching, emotional kick in the crotch, soothingly reminiscent of some of the best pain from your past– tears nostalgically smiled upon. I told you it seemed contradictory. But when the sounds and stories are partnered the way All Spots to Black do, it all makes perfect sense.
The video for “Baby” below does a better job summing up All Spots to Black’s unique ability to make pain so palatable and harmonious. Whoever edited it deserves some serious credit for illustrating the band’s emotive power so well using old home movies from creative commons. Oh, and spoiler alert, the song goes f@cking nuts around the 4:30 mark.