Pheeeeewh! My third album is official. Tracks can be streamed on Pandora, Prime, iTunes, and Spotify.
I started recording this album way back in June 2020 at the miraculous Deep River Studio in Sanford, NC. I helped design this studio with the great Wes Lachot. It was our first project together. Very fortunate at that time to befriend owner John Davenport who has recorded industry titans such as Bruce Springsteen, John Lennon and Yoko, and the Stones. Earlier that spring, John rang me up and said his good friend Ira Dean was going to be visiting, and that I should come down and record my new material with him. I had recorded my second album at Deep River in 2015. Ira is a fantastic guitarist/bassist session player and performer from Nashville. Over the course of three days, we recorded the rhythm guitar, vocals, and bass tracks for all 12 songs on this album. Ira was simply amazing. Two months later, I was back at Deep River with mentor and former guitar teacher Philip Pennington who performed all the piano, synth, and organ parts on the record. From there it was off to Overdub Lane studio in Durham to track drums on 5 of the songs with the fine Rob Ladd. Five more of the drum tracks were recorded Christmas Eve in Asheville at the awesome Echo Mtn. Studio. Michael Rhodes was at the kit for those ones. Also thanks to John Davenport, he got his friend Rick Marotta to play on the remaining two songs. I suggest you Google Rick and see the incredible list of all-time greats he’s recorded with in his career (here’s a taste: Steely Dan and JT). With the drums finally completed, all that was left to do was cello, sax, mandolin, harmonies, and lead guitar. Five of the songs received cello parts. The arrangements were composed by Philip and performed by Leah Gibson who also played on my second record. We recorded her in the sanctuary at the Christ United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill. That day was a real highlight of the recording process, and I’m truly grateful to Philip and Leah for that memory. Lastly, through a mutual friend, I was fortunate to get Will McFarlane, Bonnie Raitt’s longtime lead guitarist and now Muscle Shoals session player, to do guitar overdubs on 11 of the 12 tracks. He’s a complete master, and his playing really tied everything together.
Speaking of gratitude, I just want to express my thanks to John and Philip for their help on this album. They believed in me. They believed in my music. They championed my cause. Their positive spirits helped carry these songs through to completion. I will always appreciate them for this. Let me also recognize Pablo Vega, Chris Stamey, and John Agnello for their instrumental contributions during the course of recording these tracks.
So why did this take so long? Well, Covid, and then of course, Covid. It seemed like every step that should have taken two weeks took four months. We’d be ready to go record, had the studio and engineers lined up, and then someone would have to quarantine. It was hard to get and sustain any momentum. Also, I learned a ton producing this record myself, but I won’t do it again. I could have used a partner in crime! But I’m very excited to have album number three out in the world. After all, there’s a reason it’s called a “perfect” triangle, there’s a reason we have The Holy Trinity, the three act play, the trilogy, three-headed monsters, tripartite government, three legs to make a functional stool; 3 truly is a magic number.