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Fj Ventre needs no introduction. Here is Fj Ventre 

Here is the insanely talented FJ Ventre's game face. 

This whole day is a blur to me, but as I recall, FJ is pictured here at the very end of a ten hour session, wherein he laid down muscular, melodic, grooving bass on ten (10!) of my songs. 

Fj and I play together pretty often, but a couple of these songs had morphed a bit in the studio. The man zigged right along with the new arrangements and made them whole. 

He grinned through every take, until time to listen back. Then he looked like this.

Holy moly. Thank you Fj.



River Guerguerian nails The Quiet Part with the loud part  

Early December 2017: Three days to go before the album sessions and I hadn’t settled on an arrangement for “The Quiet Part”. I knew the song had to start off, um, quiet and build and drop a couple times, but in my head it sounded both soft and top heavy. 

I fired up Spotify to listen to something/anything else for a minute, and up came Otis Redding’s “Try a Little Tenderness”. Thockemthockemthockemthockem… 

Hey, what if we did that

I should have figured River Guerguerian would know exactly what I was after: “You want side stick on this?” 

“Maybe? Let’s hear it.” 

And he played “The Quiet Part” just like Al Jackson, Jr.

Please keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times 

David Brenner used to joke about working at the fair and how every time he dropped the bar to lock someone into the roller coaster they would look at each other and say, "well, here we go." Every time.

Well, here we go.

Tomorrow morning I take three guitars (my Martin Dread, my Takoma Parlor, and Danny Gotham's Guild 12-string - thank you DANNY!) and a bunch of songs into Chris Rosser's Hollow Reed Arts Studio in Asheville. We'll be recording over three weekends and I hope to have a finished record in hand by April 2018.

I'm predictably nervous, but I'm stupid proud of how the last record (One Layer Down) came out, and I seem to recall Chris talking me off the ledge several times back then, so that's probably just how that's gonna go. I remember laughing a lot too. And coffee, lots and lots of coffee.

I'll post updates as the recording comes along. In the meantime, here's the kitchen table demo of "The Quiet Part".

Last for now, but certainly not least, this record is happening NOW instead of way later thanks to a generous grant from the North Carolina Arts Council.

Talk to you soon. Tomorrow, probably.




This project was supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.