Since R. Stevie can't make a decent living on his music, he's trying to accomplish the task in the Afterlife. This album is an upgrade from the lo-fi, damaged-equipment home recording process for which RSM has become legendary. With a career-long sweep, R. Stevie took some of his best home-recorded lo-fi songs and re-recorded them with full-studio sparkle. All recordings were made in the past 15 years, with tracks captured in five U.S. states. Some compositions date from the 1970s to the 1990s, and there's a few newer tunes. The album lacks one thing: filler. Lou Reed famously said about his final Velvet Underground album: "I gave them an album loaded with hits," then he walked away. Afterlife is R. Stevie's Loaded—an album full of hits. He's walking away with a cane, a bum knee, and cataracts.
Afterlife was compiled and produced by Irwin Chusid (who oversees the musical estates of Sun Ra, Raymond Scott, and others). Chusid, a WFMU DJ since 1975, has been a compatriot of RSM since they met in 1978 after R. Stevie relocated to New Jersey from his native Nashville (to which he returned in 2010). It's often been pointed out that RSM's daddy Bob played bass with Elvis. But we won't dwell on that here.