The Commissionaires begin...
The Commissionaires are a new soulful roots outfit formed by indie singer-songwriter Jacob Moon and Newworldson's Joel Parisien. Their debut record, entitled Shelter Me (Dec '16), is an 8-song sonic journey with themes of justice and overtones of the soul's struggle for redemption. Crafted as a remedy for these turbulent times, Shelter Me features a combination of traditional gospel numbers and new arrangements of songs written by artists like Ben Harper, Stevie Wonder and Buddy Miller.
The idea for The Commissionaires came to Jacob Moon in the spring of 2016, when Moon and Parisien, two fiercely independent frontmen, sat down for coffee for the first time. In many ways this was a historic meeting, since their careers had run parallel for years, each his own man in full command of his direction. Over the course of a few hours, they traded stories about where they had been: Jacob having just completed a 20 year anniversary album and celebration tour, with Joel winding down with his band Newworldson. They compared notes about their influences, their experiences and their aspirations for the future and found plentiful common ground. And it was there in the place where their endings met this new beginning that the Commissionaires was formed.
The next phase was getting together and listening to songs that might form the basis for a set of 'new Standards' in the soul gospel genre. For this they went to Solomon Burke, Aretha Franklin, The Staples Singers and took it all they way up to modern purveyors of the style such as Jonny Lang and Buddy Miller. Eventually a group of songs came together, the demos were hastily recorded and the master recording date was set for the week after their first gig together with Newworldson bassist Rich Moore and famed session drummer Lyle Molzan rounding out the quartet. There would be guests too, like slide virtuoso Joey Landreth and gospel singers Chantal Williams and Quisah Wint. In a matter of 3 or 4 sessions the songs were recorded, and the mixing and mastering was done shortly after that. A successful crowdfunding campaign (120%) was completed in early December and the CDs were delivered a week later. A vinyl issue is due out in late January, which is also the month that songwriting is set to begin on the follow up record, a set of originals which Jacob and Joel are aiming to release in the fall of 2017.
Winter and spring will find them criss-crossing the country, playing duo and full band shows, creating exciting new video content and continuing to market the new release to radio, TV and film, while finding the audience for their music.
For a taste of The Commissionaires in action, see the videos below from their Fall Tour. Also included is the video they made for International Justice Mission, an anti-slavery relief organization that they are partnering with on this tour.