new album from john wesley harding includes live show – literally

I just received the most recent email newsletter from John Wesley Harding (also known by his real name, Wesley Stace). Among other news, it announces the digital release of his new album – Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead. This album marks his return to his gangster folk roots, the likes of which have not been heard since Adam’s Apple.

What excited me most about the email, aside from the release of the album itself (because I am, after all, a fan), is the marketing approach behind it. There’s nothing necessarily groundbreaking, in and of itself. But it is a good combination of some ideas that have been successfully executed.

There are five package options to purchase the new record. All options include a digital download of the new album, which is pretty much immediate gratification, plus a CD that will arrive before Christmas (the retail release is not until March of 2009, so there’s the incentive to buy now). You also get a bonus live CD from October 27 of this year. $16 for this package.

If you purchase the second option, you get all that plus a JWH t-shirt. $30 for this.

The third option includes a live DVD with seven songs from The Shrewbury Folk Festival. This comes in at $50.

For $100, you get all the aforementioned, plus framed album art signed by JWH.

But here’s what I thought was the best part. For $5,000, you get all that, plus he’ll come to your house and play a live show for you and all of your friends. If you’ve never had a chance to see him live, you’re missing a treat. It’s not a spectacle, by any means. But he is extremely engaging and is one of those artists who connects with his audience in a way that people remember for years afterward.

And, when you do the math, if you could find enough people, you could easily cut the cost. I’m going to suggest to the mailing list that we all get together to buy a package and have what will essentially be a fan club show. I’d be happy to host, too.

For a taste of what the house should would be like, here’s John Wesley Harding with Robert Lloyd on accordian and Chris Von Sneidern on guitar (who, by the way, is an excellent musician on his own, too). Check out “Spaced Cowgirl” at Drew Eckmann’s house…

And here’s the text of the email, in case you wanted to read it on your own…


Those of you who have already placed your orders for “Who was Changed and Who was Dead” should have gotten your digital download code and, if you ordered the Basic Package, the cd is on the way to you now.

If you ordered Basic Plus, your cds and t-shirts are being packaged tomorrow. Fancy should go later in the week and Super Fancy after that.

(Please note: some of you have asked to autographed cds. While efforts will be made to accommodate your requests, it may not always be possible as JWH is not always on hand when the orders are being processed.)

Once you’ve given the album a listen (or ten), visit the Message Board at http://www.johnwesleyharding.com/phpBB3/index.php to share your thoughts on “Who was Changed and Who was Dead”.

Just in case you haven’t yet ordered and would like more information on the new album, here’s a recap:

You can order “Who was Changed and Who was Dead,” the new album from John Wesley Harding. It won’t be in retail stores until March of ’09. But you can get yours, via digital download (code emailed to you within 48 hours) with a CD to follow shortly (and certainly by Christmas). You can also order some pretty spectacular add-ons (T-shirts, DVDs, Prints of the album art), all at http://www.johnwesleyharding.com. Just read below for the details:

BASIC: $15.98 (+ $2.50 postage & packing)

This BASIC package includes an immediate digital download of “Who was Changed and Who was Dead”. (The download is excellent quality 320 Bit MP3s; for CD quality will have to wait for the actual CD!) Each download also includes a PDF including the cover art and full lyrics. This is the only place that the lyrics will be printed. As usual, they will not be included on the album package. A download code will be emailed to you within 48 hours.

The BASIC package also includes a copy of the finished CD mailed directly to your home as soon as we get them in our hands, which means that you will receive them comfortably in time for Christmas.

Early purchase also ensures you get the bonus CD, an otherwise unavailable live album called “Don’t Look Back Now – John Wesley Harding live at Union Hall, Park Slope 10.27.08” that will accompany the first 5000 Copies of “Who was Changed and Who was Dead”.

We can now reveal the track listing here for this sixty minute disc:

1. Kiss Me Miss Liberty
2. The Person You Are
3. The People’s Drug
4. Still Photo
5. Top of the Bottom
6. Negative Love
7. Monkey and His Cat
8. Kill The Messenger
9. The Truth
10. Our Lady of the Highways (duet w Josh Ritter)
11. Window Seat
12. The Devil In Me

featuring John Wesley Harding, Chris von Sneidern, Robert Lloyd, Deni Bonet and Josh Ritter

BASIC PLUS: $29.98 (+ $5.00)

Includes the entire BASIC package PLUS:

The first official John Wesley Harding t-shirt since 1998!

Featuring the cover art front and central, with “John Wesley Harding – Who was Changed and Who was Dead” in the album font on the back of the shirt.

Available in the following colors and sizes: Mens “Army” (shown) or “Baby Blue” S, M, L, XL, XXL; Womens “Pink” or “Slate” S, M, L. (on the order page at http://www.johnwesleyharding.com, click on a color to see sample and keep in mind they are web colors so may not be perfectly accurate)


FANCY: $49.98 (+ $5.00)
DOWNLOAD plus CD with BONUS LIVE DISC, T-SHIRT and limited edition DVD!

Includes the entire BASIC PLUS package PLUS:

Haven’t You Ever Heard of Darwin?
A DVD of JWH live at The Shrewsbury Folk Festival

This is an otherwise unavailable DVD of John Wesley Harding’s set on the main stage at the Shrewsbury Folk Festival (24.08.08), accompanied by Chris von Sneidern and David Lewis. This 40 minute professionally filmed concert performance includes Darwin, Still Photo and Kiss Me, Miss Liberty. The DVD comes in a limited edition of 1000, with each package individually numbered.

NOTE: this DVD will only be available through this offer, and never for sale in stores or online.


SUPERFANCY: $99.98 (+$9.99)
DOWNLOAD plus CD with BONUS LIVE DISC, T-SHIRT, DVD and signed framed ARTWORK!

This is really special. Includes the entire FANCY package PLUS:

A print of the superb cover artwork of “Who was Changed and Who was Dead” in a beautiful, high quality wooden frame, with matte.
This is Abbey Stace’s print “Who was Changed and Who was Dead”, superbly printed on high quality paper, hand-signed by both JWH and the artist, and hand-numbered.
Charcoal on tinted paper
Image Size: 15.25″ x 19.25″
Frame size: 19.75″ x 27.5″.


DOWNLOAD, plus CD with BONUS LIVE DISC, T-SHIRT, DVD and signed framed ARTWORK plus READ ON!

Includes the entire SUPERFANCY package PLUS, and it’s a BIG PLUS:

John Wesley Harding will come and perform at your house, for you and your friends, on a mutually agreeable date. NO JOKE! If it’s near, he’ll even pay the transport; though if it’s far, you’ll have to pay. The price of this epic package, including your own personal John Wesley Harding concert, is $5,000, and at that price, we’re waiving the postage and packing. This is the only offer of its kind, and quite possibly the only offer of its kind ever.

If you are interested in this crazy, deluxe and personal package, rather than clicking on a link, please be in touch directly with Cathy Hendrix at wesnews@mindspring.com and she will put you in touch with JWH’s Booking Agent. Make no mistake… this is a very real offer and we’ve gotten inquiries. Don’t worry though, this is not a one-off. All legitimate offers will be considered and discussed.


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