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Sugarland’s Kristian Bush Takes ‘Day Off’ for New Record Club

Rick Diamond, Getty Images

He may not get much free time these days, but on a rare day off Sugarland‘s Kristian Bush knows exactly what he wants to do: listen to music. The musician recently started the Day Off Record Club, aimed at introducing older, more obscure albums to music fans who may not have been exposed to some of his favorite artists.

“[The Day Off Music Club] consists of me scouring through my collection of vinyl and discovering (or rediscovering) music in its complete album form,” explains the Tennessee native. “Scratches, record sleeve, liner notes, album cover front and back, side one, side two… all of it. I want to get lost again in music.”

The concept for the club came to him thanks to his inquisitive young son and daughter. “This idea started on Saturdays when I would show my kids what a vinyl album was and let them pick one to put on the record player,” he continues. “We would listen and they would dance or draw or color while I drank coffee. They started asking questions about the music and looking at the record covers. They got interested in what they could hold in their hand.”

Kristian plans to hand-pick each album, with the hopes of opening up a discussion among fellow participants. “I will choose a record, any record, from my stash or from the store — something that matters to me,” he explains. “I’ll listen to it, and write a blog post telling you why it matters. At the end of the post, I’ll write some questions or things to think about … and then leave it open to you.”

A fan of all styles of music, regardless of genre, the multi-instrumentalist cautions members to keep an open mind while listening to new tunes. “Important rule: During Day Off Record Club, we listen all the way through, no matter what — no skipping allowed — and let the music play and help teach us, remind us, or show us something new,” the songwriter admonishes. “You can go back later and wear out your favorite songs, but at least once, you must listen top to tail.

“If you don’t have the record we’re playing, go and buy it, or borrow, or download, or seek out these albums on the interwebs and join in. There truly are many many ways to find music now, so don’t be shy — and I’ll try and make links or tracks available when I can.”

Ultimately, his goal is to get everyone on the same musical page. “Once you’ve listened, use the comments or the Day Off Record Club Twitter feed (@DayOffRecords) to tell me what you liked or didn’t like. Discuss it like a book club. And maybe down the road we’ll find a way to all listen to the same record at the same time.”

He may be busy on his Incredible Machine tour with partner Jennifer Nettles, but he insists he will stay hands-on with the club. “Stay tuned. Every so often, when a day off happens, I will be here listening and writing and sharing with you,” he hints. “Who knows? You might end up finding something you never knew you loved.”

The Day Off Record Club begins tomorrow (June 18) with R.E.M‘s ‘Murmur.’ Each new selection will be posted on Sugarland’s website. The duo will play this weekend in Pennsylvania, followed by shows in Georgia and Mississippi. See their tour schedule here.

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