In May 2007, the current lineup of The Via Maris solidified with Shane Kennedy joining on drums, Dario Miranda on upright bass, Riser on pedal steel, Zachary Dodds on electric guitar, and Jen Goma on vocals and tambourine.

"There's an energy that comes from playing with the same people for months at a time, and I think that's the key difference between this new record and the last one," Sundin says.

Another difference is that the April 11 CD release will be a digital download only. ("Boo!" cry the clackety jewel case fans. All six of them.)

Kitsch hit: The Via Maris' music recalls happier days.
Bill Goodman
Kitsch hit: The Via Maris' music recalls happier days.

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The Via Maris, Nick Jaina, and David Williams are scheduled to perform on Friday, April 11.
St. Augustine's Episcopal Church in Tempe

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"I'm on the verge of either going completely digital with my music collection, or completely vinyl," Sundin says. "It's funny, because did you see how Elvis Costello is releasing his new record? MP3 and vinyl only.

"I think the digital music revolution has a good and a bad side," Sundin says. "The audio quality is worse — there's no arguing — but think about all the touch-points a fan has to a song: things like MySpace and YouTube, which is way better for fans than MTV ever was. I think there's always going to be a place for the tactile experience of hard copies of great records, but I'm not sure CDs in shrink-wrapped jewel cases provide anything better in that regard than a digital-only release. Especially since most people take one look at the insert and dump the audio into iTunes."

"But we'll fulfill some of what's missing on the tactile end by making available some custom, handmade CD-R packages to sell at shows, along with all sorts of 1976 Bicentennial-inspired kitsch."

A Peter Frampton talkbox, perhaps?

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