Ed Hale Dreams Big for New Orleans On Latest Music Video
Shooting wrapped up this weekend in New York City for the newest music video for singer/songwriter Ed Hale’s song “New Orleans Dreams” which is scheduled to be released as a single to commercial radio stations in the US, the UK, and seventeen countries in Europe on August 15th. This will be the third proper single from Hale’s latest album Ballad On Third Avenue, the most successful album to date of Hale’s solo career. The song follows in the footsteps of the album’s first hit single “Beautiful Losers (Ballad On Third Avenue)” which tore up college radio charts in late 2009, followed by “I Walk Alone” which broke the singer into a brand new radio format known as Triple A on over one-hundred stations nationwide throughout 2010.
Hale and crew were sure the next single from his new album was going to be the opening track “Scene in San Francisco”, an obvious choice and a standard throughout Hale’s tour dates over the last eighteen months. The band has not performed “New Orleans Dreams” live in concert even once so far. But that was before the BP Oil Spill and the spring floods that hit the South earlier this year; scenes that captivated America and broke hearts all over the world. It was then that the singer’s record label (Dying Van Gogh Records) decided to switch gears and release the poignant and politically-flirtatious ballad “New Orleans Dreams” instead. A clear stand-out on the album as a whole, “New Orleans Dreams” is an acoustic guitar and harmony driven ballad that calls to mind Simon and Garfunkel, Kings of Convenience, and Belle and Sebastian; the only problem being that the song clocks in at just over six minutes long — not exactly the made for radio airplay 3’30” that is expected in today’s highly structured attention deficit music market. One of the biggest radio promotions company in the US approached the singer’s label and offered to take the song to a yet another new radio format, Adult Contemporary, for the singer who has primarily been associated with the Alt Rock genre, if the label could provide a shorter radio remix that is. That task was handled by producer/engineer extraordinaire Zach Ziskin of Funny Monkey Enterprises, a longtime colleague of the Transcendence camp. Fans will soon be able to hear the new shorter polished and primped radio remix of the song on radio all over the US and Europe when it hits come August.
Next up was the need for a music video to accompany the single’s release, a near given in the YouTube era that now dominates the music business of today. Hale wanted to film the video in New Orleans in order to capture real time footage of the flooding that has again decimated the fragile coastal region. But he was already committed to spending the summer in New York City at Six AC Studios recording his followup album, the tentatively titled Born To Lose, where he and other Transcendence members have been for the last two months. Anim8ter Production’s film director Brian Johnson suggested that “if time did not permit Hale and his band to travel to New Orleans, why not bring New Orleans to them instead?” So Johnson and crew headed up the coast from Florida for a three-day jaunt to Louisiana and surrounding States to capture footage of the areas. What they ended up with is over 18 hours of heart breaking, jaw dropping, and sometimes shocking video footage of whole towns covered in water and debris; something that most of the rest of the country has almost completely forgotten about.
“By far the most important thing we can accomplish from “New Orleans Dreams”, I mean besides the obvious, you know like success for the song and the album and all that, would be to cast more light on what’s happening down there still to so many tens of thousands of people,” Hale commented over the weekend while on location in New York for the music video. “Right now everyone here is so caught up in this congressional debt ceiling crisis, and for good reason for sure, right? This is a frigging catastrophe in its own right… something we’ve never seen before. But we’re forgetting about all these people in a whole region of our country who have lost their homes and everything else they own. It’s freaking awful. Like we needed another disaster down there. It f*&king kills me. But with more money we can help them. And with more attention on the problem we can get more money.” Again, Ed Hale finds reason to mingle his music with social issues, and he speaks just as passionately about this one as he always has — with a tone that implies that he truly believes that what he and the small crews he has assembled around him are doing is going to make a big difference.
For two days this week Hale and fellow Transcendence members Roger Houdaille and Bill Sommer took a break from recording to work in a rented studio apartment in an urban area of downtown New York City as Flavia Molinari of FM Photos directed the New York portion of the upcoming music video. Molinari solved the problem of Hale and band not being able to make it to New Orleans by casting Hale as the narrator of the storyline that was so easily and simply illustrated by the video footage collected by Anim8ter. By projecting the New Orleans footage on and over Hale and the walls behind him using a video projector, Hale appears to be immersed in the scenes.
Subtlety has never played a major role in the theatrical adventures of “the Ambassador” and his public image, so one comes to expect the hyperbolic statements, schemes and larger than life dreams Hale expounds upon so openly and boisterously. But one also walks away with the notion that he truly believes in what he is doing, albeit a bit naively perhaps. The New York segments of the music video for “New Orleans Dreams” were forced to be shot at sunrise, between the hours of 6:00 and 11:00 AM, due to scheduling deadlines and the heatwave that has been gripping the Northeast all summer long. A lifelong night owl, Hale said he found it “excruciating and painful” to wake up that early. But he did it anyway. And so did the whole crew (including Hale’s new wife who he affectionately calls Princess Little Tree with straight face), implying that Hale might not be the only one who believes in his big dreams.
Expect the debut of the music video for “New Orleans Dreams” to begin airing on August 8th. In the meantime, a new music video for the song “Hello My Dove” is scheduled to be released this coming week.
Dying Van Gogh Records
New York, NY