Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's done!

check out and order your cassette soon!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Rainbow Bridge's "Gospel Ship"

Adam and Bridget, known as Rainbow Bridge, were the first band I asked to record for this project, and they were the last ones for me to record. They do a little rewrite of "Gospel Ship," made up some new verses and made it all their own, in the spirit of folk music. They're a duo from Olympia and Portland, and I had been trying to get us all together at the same time for months... this is what they delivered when I came over to record their song last week. I recorded it on tape, but my friend Andrew Ebright also shot this beautiful video of the performance. enjoy!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Fruits of California

After being on tour with LAKE for almost two months, I got out of the van a day early in Arcata, CA and decided to get my misplaced hat mailed to me so I could hang it there for a couple of weeks. I spent the entire month of December in California, the latter half of which was spent on tour with my singing group Lazer Zeppelin. I ran into a lot of musicians on this trip and managed to get a few of them on tape. Here's a few of them.

The first morning I was there, Karl Blau was working on a last-minute arrangement of "Angel Band" for the project. We were at the Green House, a home-venue there, and Karl was using their old home entertainment organ. He brought bandmates Adam Oelsner and Eli Moore in to do backing vocals with us during the last 5 minutes of our stay.

I met a lady named Gracie from Eugene, OR while I had been in San Francisco, and she called me up to let me know that she was in Arcata as well, in fact right down the street from where I was staying. She put together a band called the Slippery Slopes at a friends' house, and called me up to come record their rendition of
"Sinking in The Lonesome Sea."
I really liked the kazoo intro, and the way they sing "two hunderd dollars" in the third verse...

I asked my friends Lani and Tommi, who call their band Leviticus, if I could record them while I was in town. They told me no, that they did not perform in front of anybody, and while they almost exclusively played Carter tunes, no recording session would be arranged. Somewhat heartbroken, I respected their policy, and the very next day they handed me a tape they recorded especially for the project, with versions of "Chewing Gum" and "The Poor Orphan Child." I was overjoyed.

The next person I recorded in California was Maggie Morris. I was in San Francisco en route to my mother's place and stopped by her apartment to record her version of "I Shall Never Marry." She played it in her kitchen while I played with her cat on the floor.

More to come...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dennis Driscoll sings "Bury Me Beneath the Weeping Willow"

Dennis Driscoll: Bury Me Beneath the Weeping Willow

After I had been working on this project for a few weeks, I ran into Seattleite Dennis Driscoll in Olympia at a now-defunct house-cum-live venue called "the Finger Complex." I mentioned the project to him, and he immediately had this song in mind. I had my tape recorder, so he just sang it unaccompanied right then and there. You can listen in and hear the automobiles driving by, and at the very end you can hear the band inside the house start playing. Dennis' singing voice is a lil' bit sped up on this song, due to the batteries dying. There's a few numbers that work out that way, it's just a part of the process. This situation was destiny if there ever was, and I'm pleased as punch with the recording!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

LAKE sings "Lonesome Valley"

LAKE: Lonesome Valley

While on tour this past fall, we (LAKE- Andrew Dorsett, Ashley Eriksson, Eli Moore, Markly Morrison, Adam Oelsner, Lindsay Schief) stayed in our friend Pat's new house. Pat hasn't moved in yet, but his dad Bill McHale was there doing some handy work. This house is more of a museum. It's filled with relics from about a century ago, from creepy porcelain dolls to rusty machinery, down to a nice old upright piano and a pump organ. About 15 minutes after we woke up, we got together and sang this song. We added a few verses, and took turns on soloing the first line of the tune. Bill sings all the choruses with us and Karl Blau. The session starts outside in the rain and slowly moves into the museum.

Golden Boots: Untitled

Golden Boots "What Would You Give (In Exchange For Your Soul)"

These boys are one of my favorite country singing groups out there today, and when I knew that I would be in Tuscon for a couple of days, I made a mission to track them down. Band members Dimitri Manos & Ryen Eggleston met me in a little wooden shed in the back of this airplane hangar, and I sat with them. First time we ever hung out, it was real nice. Loved that little homemade speaker mounted onto the electric guitar, and dig those harmonies! Singing the gospel with conviction. Thanks, Golden Boots!

Peter Stampfel: "The Titanic"

Peter Stampfel "The Titanic"

This particular session was a real treat for me.  A veteran of 60's psych folk groups the Holy Modal Rounders and the Fugs, Peter Stampfel was a prime candidate to translate a Carter tune.  This one, called "The Titanic," was originally recorded by the Carter Family in 1950.  Peter related to me that he had heard it on the radio around 1960, and had been wanting to play it ever since.  I went to his brooklyn apartment to record this song on the evening October 29th, which was coincidentally Peter's birthday!  He plays mandolin on this recording, and is joined here by friend Eli Smith on autoharp, daughter Zoe Stampfel on percussion, with backing harmonies by his birds Snapdragon, Gus and I.O.  This may not be the take used on the finished album, as there were several others recorded.
For the introduction, Peter relates a story about how the Carter family got personally one-up'ed by the Hiroshima attacks.  Enjoy!