January 6, 2016: Yeah, "Butts on Fire". As I began writing this butt-warming ballad – while sitting atop a newly-lit wood stove in a cold farmhouse – I don't remember thinking "Now this is going to get me on NPR's Fresh Air at last." And yet... here's the link!
The backstory is that my pals Jeffrey Lewis and Peter Stampfel, along with some other friends, were working on a four-decades-in-waiting follow-up to 1976's Have Moicy (an album that critic Robert Christgau called "the greatest folk album of the rock era"). I happened to be in the studio (that's another story) and Peter asked if I had something to contribute to the project. As I considered the other titles on the song list (including "Eat That Roadkill" and "Nonsense"), I figured "Butts on Fire" might be the vibe.
We then spent a few hours turning my one-verse wonder into an epic tale of an entire family that enjoys a nice wood-burning fire in the winter months. We recorded three takes with a band of about a dozen people, and an impartial listener chose the best version to release on the album, which came out in December as Have Moicy 2: The Hoodoo Bash. This caught the ear of rock critic Ken Tucker who reviewed the album on NPR's Fresh Air, choosing "Butts on Fire" as one of his featured audio clips.
You can also just skip straight to the song on Youtube here. Enjoy! Beware! – K