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Field Recordings from the Cook County Water Table

by Brokeback

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Sold out on vinyl for over thirteen years, this re-issue is pressed on high quality virgin vinyl and packaged with an artworked inner sleeve.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Field Recordings from the Cook County Water Table via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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      $17 USD or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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      $9 USD  or more


A Blueprint 03:09
Seiche 2 02:11


Brokeback is Douglas McCombs. Douglas may be familiar to many of you as the bassist for Eleventh Dream Day, Tortoise and Pullman. During the last two years Brokeback has released two singles and played numerous live dates throughout the U.S. and Europe. Through Brokeback, Douglas has sought to explore something not as densely structured as his other musical outings with a focus on rhythm and texture. The idea with Brokeback is to keep things simple and let the melodies hang in the air. By the nature of this decision the music is sparse, but not without sounding full and realized.

Field Recordings From The Cook County Water Table is the most actualized offering of the Brokeback experience to date, whether it be recorded or live. Field Recordings… features contributions from Noel Kupersmith (Chicago Underground Orchestra) and Josh Abrams (Sam Prekop Band/Town and Country), whose versatile bass playing helped Douglas achieve the textural depth for this debut and first in-depth documentation of Brokeback. Noel has been a frequent collaborator in Brokeback's live setting. Rob Mazurek (Chicago Underground Orchestra/Isotope 217) plays cornet on the opening track, "after the internationals" and Mary Hansen (Stereolab) lends her angelic voice to the song, "the great banks". Both John Herndon and John McEntire contributed their percussive talents, while McEntire handled the recording duties by himself. However at the heart of Brokeback lies the vision and playing of Doug McCombs.

In Douglas' own words: "Brokeback wouldn't exist without the Fender six-string bass. I consider myself a bass player, and though I have dabbled with slide instruments (lap steel and dobro) I was never really interested in moving into the higher register until I became aware of this instrument and its perfect blend of twang and low tone. I began planning this album years before I could even afford to purchase one. It may seem ridiculous to give so much credit to the instrument, but most of these melodies practically wrote themselves, and they were exactly what I wanted."


released July 20, 1999


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Brokeback Chicago, Illinois

Brokeback is the longstanding project of Douglas McCombs. McCombs is a member of Tortoise, Eleventh Dream Day, The Sea and Cake, and Pullman, and has worked with Tom Ze, Azita Youseffi, Will Oldham, Calexico & Yo La Tengo. The current Brokeback quartet lineup features McCombs joined by James Elkington (Tweedy, Steve Gunn), Pete Croke (Exit Verse, Tight Phantomz), & Areif Sless-Kitain(The Eternals) ... more

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