Haymaker Records Celebrates 10 Years

Kansas City-based record label Haymaker Records marks the anniversary of ten years of existence with a special concert at recordBar on Saturday, May 4 2024. Performing on the stage are three artists who have seen multiple releases on the label over its ten years. Mathy jazz-rock group Jorge Arana Trio, space rock supergroup Be/Non, and doom blues duo Freight Train Rabbit Killer are the featured performers on the night.

Haymaker Records was formed in January 2014. The label chose to focus on boundary-pushing artists and provide a home and promotional arm for music that might not find a home on traditional pop radio. Jorge Arana Trio became the first band the label worked with and by July 2014, a cassette and LP for the Oso EP had been released. Since that first release, the label has released a total of 24 recordings from 10 different artists including Be/Non, Freight Train Rabbit Killer, Schwervon!, Monta, HMPH!, and Sie Lieben Maschinen. 14 releases have made their way onto vinyl. Also included are two compilations featuring artists from the Kansas City area as well as national and international acts from Arkansas to Norway.

The concert at recordBar has doors opening at 7PM on May 4th with an entry of $15. Event information can be reviewed here. The Facebook event is available here. Haymaker Records will be located in the merchandise area with a collection of vinyl, cassettes, and other merchandise available for purchase from the ten-year history of the record label.

Haymaker Records 10-Year Anniversary Show
Haymaker Records 10-Year Anniversary Show

Freight Train Rabbit Killer Celebrate 10 Years with Concerts & New Album

Haymaker Records will help celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the doom blues group Freight Train Rabbit Killer with a series of concerts and the release of a new full-length album.

Freight Train Rabbit Killer is a duo made up of Kris Bruders (Freight Train) and Mark Smeltzer (Rabbit Killer). Described as a heavy doom blues American Roots opera, they have been performing for a period of ten years since the group formed around Halloween 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri. Since then, they have been able to play shows and festivals in more than twenty U.S. states, two tours of Europe, a residency with the Kansas City Art Institute, two fashion shows featuring their own hand-created clothing designs, the release of a comic book, and the completion of three full-length albums and four 7-Inch singles.

Freight Train Rabbit Killer - Common Thorns
Freight Train Rabbit Killer – Common Thorns

In celebration of the groups 10-year anniversary, Freight Train Rabbit Killer will be performing a set of three concerts over seven days in Kansas City. The first performance will be at Boulevard Brewing Beer Hall (2534 Madison Ave. KCMO) on Tuesday October 24 from 6-8PM. This is a free event and will feature a 10-year art retrospective with artist Hector Casanova and student works from the Kansas City Art Institute. The appearance by the duo will include an interview and performance broadcasted live over the KTBG 90.9FM airwaves. The second event happens at Stockyards Brewing Co. (1600 Genessee St. #100 KCMO) on Saturday October 28 from 7-10PM. The free event will feature a multimedia performance with video projections and props. The final event will be Halloween night Tuesday October 31 from 7-11PM at The Ship (1221 Union Ave. KCMO). The $10 cover will include a special Halloween blacklight performance featuring Freight Train Rabbit Killer, The Peculiar Pretzelmen, and The Black Mariah Theater and a blacklight costume contest with prizes for the top three costumes.

Freight Train Rabbit Killer - Mule to Plow
Freight Train Rabbit Killer – Mule to Plow

 The new album The Ten Year will be pressed to vinyl and released on digital media platforms in early 2024 through Kansas City’s Haymaker Records. The LP contains one side of four new songs and a second side of the 22-minute drone / ambient piece “A Forest of Whispers”. The songs “Commons Thorns” and “Mule to Plow”, will see an advance digital release on all digital media platforms on October 20 in celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the band. Pre-orders for the new album will be available at all three shows. Check back with Haymaker Records website for future information about pre-ordering the new album.

Freight Train Rabbit Killer – “The Scarlet Social” August 12 The Warwick Theater

Freight Train Rabbit Killer has an upcoming event on August 12 at The Warwick Theater in Kansas City, Missouri. The Scarlet Social, a fashion show is presented in a three-act story: “Blood Garments: A De-evolution of Industrial Work Clothes”, Atmosphere by local Mr. Marco’s V7, an atmospheric finale by Freight Train Rabbit Killer. 15+ Rabbit Killer Blood Garments (painted industrial bibs and aprons) will be modeled by Kansas City locals. Each family of garments will be paired with their rhythms, an animation of the garment’s life. All fashion with animation in the exhibit will be up for auction after the reveal. The event will be live-streamed on YouTube. The Scarlet Social is also a social event with each intermission providing time to socialize.

This is an all-ages event. General Admission – $20.00/$25.00 day of show. Students’ day of the show with valid school id – $5.00. Kids – Free
Ticket link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-scarlet-social-an-ftrk-fashion-show-tickets-666503579147

Pre-Order new Freight Train Rabbit Killer Album “Hammer of Judgment”

Good news. The new Freight Train Rabbit Killer album “Hammer of Judgment” is now available for pre-order. It is available in limited edition opaque blue vinyl [UPDATE: SOLD OUT] and standard black. Both include a two-sided color insert and digital download. MP3s of the album are also available for purchase at this time. If you live outside of the United States and are wanting to purchase this album, we’ll need to work out shipping first – send an email to brenton [at] haymakerrecords [dot] net.

Freight Train Rabbit Killer Release New Album “Hammer of Judgment”

Freight Train Rabbit Killer "Hammer of Judgment" 1600
Freight Train Rabbit Killer “Hammer of Judgment” 1600

Haymaker Records is pleased to announce that the new Freight Train Rabbit Killer album “Hammer of Judgment” is finally pressed and just about ready for its 2022 release. The album was recorded during the Hammer of Judgment Recording Sessions back in April 2019. Yes, it took 3 years for this album to be released. There were hurdles along the way, from pressing plant delays to global pandemics – but here we are and it’s totally worth the wait. The Hammer of Judgment recording session was a one-of-a-kind pseudo-live studio album, utilizing an interactive crowd of dedicated fans experiencing the recording process first-hand with all of the bells and whistles of a professional recording studio (isolated tracking, overdubs, post-production mixing, etc.). Thanks to GFM Modern Recording in Blue Springs, Missouri for the studio access and engineering work and Andrew Crowley of Organica Recording for the engineering, mixing, and mastering. The album will be released on black vinyl as well as a limited run of 200 copies on blue vinyl [UPDATE: SOLD OUT].

For those fans that are in Kansas City during late April, we will be hosting a very special release show on Saturday, April 30 at a private event space called The Fifth Floor (1106 Santa Fe Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64101). Advanced tickets can be purchased through the Eventbrite event. Advance copies of the album will be available for purchase at that time and the fantastic groups Drop a Grand and Teri Quinn will also be playing that night.

For everyone else, please stay tuned! We have a later date for a national release and hope to have pre-order information available on this website before long. The band hopes to tour for this album with full four-person band and has a comprehensive concert promotion package in tow. Anybody interested in booking a performance, please contact the band through https://freighttrainrabbitkiller.com

Addendum 05/17/22: The album is available for pre-order from this link…

Food People Soundtrack

Haymaker Records and our friends at Crush Media have just released the Food People Soundtrack, the audio compliment for the Food People animated series. Food People is an animated sitcom cooking show about what our foods are, where they come from, and how they can all work together to become part of a bigger recipe. Food People used an ambitious Kickstarter campaign to get the series off the ground and provide employment to underemployed voice actors during this COVID-19 pandemic. The show is funny, educational, and whimsical with an all-star voice acting cast and superb music provided by Brodie Rush of Be/Non. Brodie also functions as creator and animator with Cori Anne Weber as the writer and producer and a cast of other artists and voice actors. A few episodes are available online already at www.foodpeople.tv. The soundtrack features Brodie’s original score for the show, the cast of Food People with snippets jingles and voiceovers, and full songs from two Kansas City bands; space rock group Be/Non and jazz / jump blues specialists Grand Marquis. Check out the soundtrack at Food People Bandcamp.

New Be/Non Digital Release – “A Valley of No: The Alternate A Mountain of Yeses”

Be/Non have a new digital release today on Haymaker Records (HAY022-DD). A Valley of No: The Alternate A Mountain of Yeses is a journey into the sculpting process of creating Be/Non’s “A Mountain of Yeses” (2009). In contrast to the original release, this compilation contains alternate mixes, isolated tracks and demo versions. Be/Non presents a bizarro-like version of the AMOY album, showing an alternate universe what could have been if the creation of the album went on a divergent path. Behold the paradoxical serendipity of Be/Non’s unique take on constructing a space-themed story/album. A visual accompaniment to the album has been in production since 2008 and now has a 2021 release date. A Valley of No: The Alternate A Mountain of Yeses is a name-your-price download through bandcamp.

2020 is Here!

Hay everyone. Welcome to 2020. Quick update here. We’re readying the final details and arranging for the pressing of the new Freight Train Rabbit Killer Hammer of Judgment LP.
It sounds amazing and we can’t wait to share it with you. It’s looking like it will be closer to late March or April for a release date. Those that were part of the recording session for it and ordered advanced copies, you will be the first to receive your copies when they come in. Freight Train Rabbit Killer will be touring extensively in 2020 and we’re all looking forward to the continued spreading of the Freight Train gospel. Look for them in your city. A lot of festival dates are in the works.

HMPH‘s new album HMPH! is available for purchase now. Math Rock Times recently added it to their list of Best Math Rock Albums of 2019.

Stay tuned. 2020 has a lot more in store with Haymaker Records…

HMPH! release new album “HMPH!”



HMPH! is the three-piece math-rock outfit of Ryan Lee Toms (RLT), Jonathan Thatch, and Kitten Boggs. As an instrumental group with guitar, bass, drums, looping pedal and effects, the ingredients are simple but the result is not. Using staples of the math rock genre, such as technical patterned guitar riffs, odd time signatures, and herky-jerky start/stops, the songs greet your ears with a jarring wake up call. A unique sense of melody and structure cement a listening experience filled with unlikely anthems.

HMPH!’s second album, the self-titled “HMPH!” releases worldwide on November 15, 2019 and features their signature math-rock sound with a progressive rock and avant-jazz twist. The songs on HMPH! are more sprawling than on 2015’s Headrush, with lots of detours and left turns along the way. Recorded by the band in their home recording studio, the album had time to evolve, and the complicated arrangements materialized through this process. This album also features heavy basslines provided by Kitten Boggs, a significant addition since their first record. This album is a choose your own adventure of abrupt rhythm changes, dissident chords, or even about-face genre-hops into funk, punk, or samba. “HMPH!” is a different kind of album from a different kind of band.

The album features album artwork by Ryan Lee Toms and Kitten Boggs and was pressed on CD and translucent green vinyl with digital download included. The LP includes a bonus re-working of the track “Trudge Dredge” from the first album.

HMPH! Release Parties

HMPH! Release Parties

Preview the album!

Release parties are planned for Friday, November 1st at Farewell Transmission in Kansas City, Missouri (joined by Jorge Arana Trio, Shiny Jets, and DJ Dimesack) and Saturday, November 2nd at Replay Lounge in Lawrence, Kansas (joined by Pale Tongue and After Nations).

Outer Reaches 2019

Outer Reaches 2019

Outer Reaches 2019

Haymaker Records is once again a sponsor of the Outer Reaches music festival in Kansas City, Missouri. This year’s festival will be celebrated Saturday October 19 at recordBar (1520 Grand Blvd). The eighth annual lineup spans across two stages and features two touring acts including space rock band Lumerians (Oakland, CA) and pop duo Thunder Jackson (Oklahoma / Wales). Kansas City bands featured at the festival this year include cosmic jazz legends BCR (Black Crack Revue), experimental hip hop duo FACEFACE, experimental music / performance artist Unicorns in the Snow, as well as Haymaker Records’ synthesizer-based psychedelic rock band Monta at Odds, and art-rock duo Shiny Jets space rock band Be/Non [We regret that Be/Non have had to cancel due to an emergency]. Accompanying live video projections will be provided by XO Blackwater.

Tickets are $15 and available in advance at the recordBar venue and website and also online here. You can also check out the Facebook event for updates and view the official website at www.outerreachesfest.com.