Popular local songwriter and musician Rascal Martinez will release his fourth album Feb. 28.

A pre-album release party is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Prairie Arts Center. Rascal and other local musicians will perform. The new album is titled “Hard Love” and the songs are all originals written by Rascal.

“We have a new single that came out Feb. 7 and another one on Valentine’s Day,” Rascal said. “The singles are available on any music streaming site including Spotify and others.”

The album has nine songs and will be coming out on vinyl as well.

“The vinyl albums will be available sometime in April because it takes a while to press them,” Rascal said.

The album contains a number of newly written songs.

“I’ve been working on the album since the beginning of last year,” Rascal said. “There are a couple of songs I wrote a few years ago, but most of them are new and fresh.”

He said the stories behind the songs “are real, just about life and love and everything.”

“We’re really excited to release this,” Rascal said. “It’s probably the best I’ve done so far.”

Rascal has toured the American West, usually in the spring, but he is changing up his schedule a bit this year.

“We are going to be doing a run in Nashville, Tennessee, in March,” Rascal said. “We’ll do some Midwest tours throughout April and May and we have a pretty big run in May through Chicago and Iowa.”

He said he wants to stay close to home for a while.

“I’ve booked a lot of stuff for the summer around Nebraska,” Rascal said. “I’m going to see where the record kind of gets some attention and then I’ll base my tours off that. I love doing those tours, but I want to be a little more strategic with it.”

Rascal said he wants his touring to be worth the effort instead of driving thousands of miles where folks might not know of his music.

“It’s easy to lose a lot of money traveling if you’re not playing the right places and getting the right demographic or exposure,” Rascal said.

Last year Rascal signed with a small company, but has since disconnected with it.

“We were signed with a label, but I did drop that label because it just wasn’t working out for our side,” Rascal said. “We are totally independent now and I’m totally fine with that because I get to call my own shots.”

For more information on Rascal’s pre-release party, check out the details at facebook.com/events/2638426282945244.

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