"When I realized I was in the salt year I was holding a broom handle like a baseball bat. I was staring down a man in a yellow striped racing jacket throwing a boulder through the plexi-glass of my house's front door. I had heard him knocking earlier, on the door of a house no one ever knocks on. The cops told me his blood alcohol level was five times the legal limit, and he was looking for his girlfriend.
The last day of the salt year I drove home through hundreds of overturned orange construction barrels on Michigan Ave. They were splayed across the street, toppled. A pack of wild dogs flashed in my headlights, and went haranguing through them like pin-balls snapping at each other." - Chris Bathgate, upon completion of his 4th full length album, Salt Year, December 1st 2010
Chris Bathgate is an American singer/songwriter based out of Pinckney, Michigan. A prominent figure in his own MIchigan folk scene, Bathgate has received national acclaim since being signed to Quite Scientific Records (Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Cotton Jones) in 2007, following years of self-releasing his own albums.
Salt Year, his third album on the label, was born out of a period of personal tumult Bathgate refers to as "The Salt Year." "These songs are the battle cry for that time," he explains, "and recording them was a painful and joyful experience."
Bathgate first began drawing attention in 2007, when he made an exceptional splash with critics and fans all over the globe with the release of his A Cork Tale Wake LP, and its breakout track Serpentine." He went on to tour the world several times over and found himself on the surreal brink of becoming a breakout act in a tumultuous time for those living as musicians.
Following such success though, were personal hurdles, failed relationships, and an intense period of self-criticism, all of which would lead Bathgate to scrap his next album multiple times, causing almost 4 years to lapse between his early demos and the completion of Salt Year.
After several years of struggle, Bathgate has reemerged on the other side with a more realized version of his signature country-tinged gothic folk. It is perhaps that very struggle that makes this latest album such a triumph.
Bathgate is currently on a US tour down to this years SXSW '11. Additional dates to be announced shortly.