Bragging & Bios
Oh, man! i am SO psyched about this record!I cannot believe how well it turned out. I had these ideas and got some folks in to play their stuff and man, I DIG IT. Extremely rocking and quite grooving. And stomping.
I was determined to reveal who I am through this record, as much for my benefit as for anyone else’s. I’ve been focusing hard to not edit myself to please others – I let my instincts rule this record. Chord progressions, treatments, production values – MINE! :-) You see, this is a journey to discover who I am after all these years playing music. Some of the songs are southern soul, some straight up rock, some are bluegrass. This might result in a kind of uneven record – I can’t help it – that’s whats been written through me and I shan’t edit my selections based on genre. I made the decision to put a solid investment in my drummer, Dwayne Nitz. If you have good drums, then you really have something to build on. If you cheap out on your drummer, you might have recurring problems trying to deal with weak spots on the track.
I’ve put two soul tunes into the capable hands of Jon Carroll. He says they’re right over his plate! I brought in my pal Buddy Dunlap to race away on his flat top and fiddle for the more rootsy tunes – Lover’s Farewell, Old Coat, and Long Chain – and man, those songs really stomp! There’s a song I wrote years ago called “On Hold”. I have always loved the progression and drive of the tune but never could stick the chorus. So I finally put my head down and rewrote it and now its called “Walk Your Dog”. Much wilder, romping tune now, full of rock ‘n roll nonsense. But it feels good. I’ve redone the ballad of our family farm, Cold Saturday. Its a solid tune, but needs a gentle hand to bring it along. A little touch of Gary’s mandolin makes the magic!
I’ve been happy to get some solid air play for “Motel” on Americana stations across the planet. I don’t really have the know how or $ or whatever it takes to get to the next level, but I am glad to say that “Motel” is a solid record that easily stands with best of 2018.
The Guys on the Record
Dwayne Nitz: Drums When I decided to make this record, I knew the first thing I needed were some spectacular, solid rhythm tracks to build on. You can spend all kinds of hours in the studio messing with software, but nothing will hide a bad drum track. So I called Dwayne, who had played on the One Horse Town album. And on day one, Dwayne, Lynn on bass, and me on guitar laid down 13 rock solid tracks, we were so tuned into each other. So I knew this record was going to be great.
Lynn Kasdorf: Pedal steel, Bass, Backing vocals. It was an extraordinary bit of luck that this accomplished player wanted to marry me. Without him, this record would not be half of what it is. Current bands: Arty Hill & the Long Gone Daddies, Hula Monsters, Human Country Juke Box
Gary Ferguson: Flat top, Mandolin, Telecaster For breadth of style and subtlety of playing, you cannot beat Gary. Anything he plays you know he’s going to bring all his vast experience and catalog to it. Bands: Hula Monsters, East of Monroe
Buddy Dunlap: Flat top, backing vocals The minute I first heard Buddy play, I knew that I wanted him on my record. He plays a bluegrass style, but its a new, driving, pentatonic kind of flat-picking that I noticed and absolutely required for my dreams to come true. Bands: Buddy’s Bluegrass Collective.
Mike Ault: Telecaster This man has always been my go-to rock ‘n roll guy. I don’t know how he does it, but he just breathes coolness through his tele. Wouldn’t want to make a record without him. Bands: Mary Ann Redmond, PRS Demo Band, Tremault Band
Jon Carroll: Keyboards, backing vox, percussion You know how King Midas would touch things and then turn to gold? When Jon Carroll lays his hand down, he turns everything into music. Astounding and astonishing, this man is grooving all the time, even if he appears to be sitting still. Bands: Mary Chapin Carpenter, Starland Vocal Band
Les Thompson: Engineer at Cabin Studios, Leesburg VA Les has a solid musical past as the bass player for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. I was looking for someone who could record a good acoustic guitar and that was Les! Then his touring schedule with John McCutcheon got too busy and his son, Dustin, had to step in.
Dustin Delage: Engineer, producer at Cabin Studios, Leesburg, VA. Americana music isn’t Dustin’s first musical choice, but another lesson I learned in the studio is that for a good producer, that doesn’t matter. Even though his head’s in hip-hop, Dustin did a beautiful job stepping me and helping me through the dizzying mixing process. Night after night, it was Dustin and me in the studio, making momentous and heart-stopping decisions, finding our way together to the end of this unbelievably solid, wonderful record.