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Hamell On Trial

Ed Hamell, who performs under the name Hamell on Trial, managed to build a steady following for his anti-folk, punk rock-influenced acoustic music. Alternating between brash and funny, his sound has more in common with rock than the gentle folksingers of yore. Hamell on Trial got his start in upstate New York, where Hamell split from the band he was playing with and embraced the notion of playing as a solo act. After recording his 1989 debut as Hamell on Trial, Conviction, for Syracuse's Blue Wave Records, he eventually decided that a journey south might be beneficial to his musical career and relocated to Austin, Texas.

Soon after arriving in Austin, he won a steady gig playing Friday nights at the Electric Lounge. His first shows alienated the audience with his fierce attack and sarcastic tone, but he soon built a fan base that appreciated his style, and his shows began to draw more than 500 people every week. He signed a recording contract with Austin's Doolittle Records in May 1994 and released his debut album, Big as Life, soon afterwards. His performance at the South by Southwest Music Conference won him a contract with Mercury Records, which re-released his debut, as well as subsequent albums including 1997's The Chord Is Mightier Than the Sword and 2000's Choochtown.

Hamell did his part to promote these releases with his relentless touring, playing up to 250 shows per year until May 2000 when he was seriously injured in a car accident. After recovering from head and spinal injuries, he released Ed's Not Dead: Hamell Comes Alive in 2001, and could often be found playing shows near his new home in Brooklyn, New York. A collection, Mercuroyale: The Best of the Mercury Years arrived the following year, and in 2003, he struck a deal with Righteous Babe Records, the indie label founded by Ani DiFranco. Hamell on Trial's first album for Righteous Babe was Tough Love, followed in 2006 by Songs for Parents Who Enjoy Drugs and in 2008 by The Terrorism of Everyday Life.

In 2012, Hamell turned to Kickstarter to crowdfund a few album featuring songs he'd written after giving himself an assignment to write a new tune each day. (Hamell ended up writing close to 400 songs, and posted performances of many of them on YouTube.) The campaign was successful enough that he raised $10,435, well over his $7,000 goal, and he recorded a digital EP that was expanded into a full-length album, produced in part by Phil Nicolo of the Butcher Brothers. The full-length, The Happiest Man in the World, was released by New West Records in February 2014. ~ Stacia Proefrock
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Happiest Man In The World

1. Artist In America

2. Happiest Man In The World

3. Bobby & The Russians

4. Global Tattoo

5. Together

6. Ain't That Love?

7. Lappa Oo Mau Mau

8. Richard's Got A Job

9. Whores

10. Gods At Odds

11. Jennifer's Strippin' Again

12. Mom's Hot

13. Blessed

x

Track List: The Terrorism Of Everyday Life

Disc 1

1. An Attitude

2. John Lennon

3. Folk Mass

4. When You're Young

5. Ashes/Pete

6. The Trough

7. Bands N Guitars

8. 7 Seas

9. Crack Bar

10. Chris And The Angels

11. Father's Kitchen/Racine/Ellicottville

12. Halfway

13. Terrors

14. P**sy

15. Parents

16. Fathers Advice

17. Vision/Full Circle

18. Inquiring Minds

19. Pledge

20. The Meeting

Disc 2
x

Track List: Songs For Parents Who Enjoy Drugs

1. Inquiring Minds

2. Heat

3. Wheels Pt. 1

4. Pretty Colors

5. Apartment #4

6. Hey Boss

7. Values

8. Maddy's Pt. 1

9. Jerkin'

10. Socializing

11. Maddy's Pt. 2

12. Coulter's Snatch

13. Civil Disobedience

14. Mommy's Not Talking Today

15. Father's Advice

16. Wheels Pt. 2

x

Track List: Tough Love

1. Don't Kill

2. Halfway

3. When Destiny Calls

4. Hail

5. 95 South

6. Downs

7. All That Was Said

8. A Little Concerned, Thats All

9. Everything And Nothing

10. Tough Love

11. Dear Pete

12. There Is A God

13. First Date

14. Worry Wart

15. Oughta Go Around

16. Detroit Lullaby

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Wish I had known about music like this my whole life!
Report as inappropriate
and then 6 years later I wrote a comment.
Report as inappropriate
lewisdebbie
I've listened to Ed for several years and am continuously amused by his music. He is incredibly insightful about the state of our country. Great stage performer too! Definately I must see and must hear artist!
Report as inappropriate
This dude is major awesome.

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