The new album is getting very close to finished. It’s late June and I’m getting incredibly excited to share the new music with you. Tentatively the release will be mid-August. Why so long if we’re so close? Well, we still have some background vocal tracks to record, and then final mixing of the last two songs. Then we have to order CDs for some of the packages and that takes a couple of weeks.
And, well, I’m moving. And I have to relocate my studio to a new space and get it set up and ready to go for the launch. And I am headed to Oregon for a few days. Life. Things. The music will be all ready to go when I get back and we will go full speed ahead and that point and get it right into your ears.
This is my first News post on the new website, so let me recap a little info about this album. The line-up of musicians and production is just incredible. This is going to sound like the biggest name dropping segment in history, but I’m just amazed and honored to work with these musicians and want to give them their due and thank them for being a part of this thing. First and foremost is the guy who is making it all happen: Alan Deremo. Alan is amazing. Alan is usually touring the world or producing albums at his studio or playing on recording sessions for other artists. Alan has toured and recorded with such luminaries as John Denver, Glenn Frey, Dave Alvin, Colin Hay and Men at Work, Belinda Carlisle, Jimmy Buffet, Vince Gill, LeeAnn Womack, and many more. He just produced a stellar album for singer/songwriter Sean Della Croce that you should check out. And now he graciously agreed to produce these five songs, as well as play bass and guitar and keyboards and sing background vocals and whatever else the album needed. He really can do it all. And his ears are impeccable. I’m incredibly lucky to have him steering this ship.
Once we got the basic vocals and acoustic guitar recorded, Alan said he had just talked to a great drummer who would be happy to play on the album. His name was Steve DiStanislao and we needed to get up to his studio to put the drum tracks down soon because he was headed out on tour with Don Felder from the Eagles and then on to a month with David Crosby. Steve is also known as David Gilmour’s touring drummer, and if you’ve seen any of the amazing Gilmour live concert movies from recent years, you’ve seen Steve drumming. And he’s toured with Crosby, Stills and Nash and Kenny Loggins. Just to name a few. We put down tracks for four of the songs in one day. Fantastic job and such a nice guy. So indebted to Steve for getting us on the right track.
Next Alan texted me and asked if it was okay if Scott Monahan, the keyboard player from the legendary band Spirit, put a few things on the album. He just happened to be at the studio and Alan hit him up to contribute. Scott absolutely nailed the Wurlitzer part on Odessa Left Town and added quite a few other flavors to the album. Killed it. Then Tim Godwin happened by the studio for a visit and added some guitar parts that came out fantastic. Tim has toured the world with America and back in the ‘80s with pop singer Laura Branigan. He has also been signed to his own record deal and now is known as the A&R guy at Taylor Guitars. He’s the man to know. Tim also contributed some lap steel to the previous Murderers of Love album….you can hear it on Empty Sky, one of the favorite tracks on that album. Technically that makes Tim the only returning member of the Murderers of Love.
I wanted some accordion on a couple of songs. Early on in our one and only production meeting prior to starting the recording, I had mentioned that my dream accordion player would be to get Michael Ramos, former member of John Mellencamp’s band, as well as my favorite band ever, The BoDeans. Michael has also toured and recorded with some guy you may have heard of: Robert Plant. Oh, and Paul Simon. And Patty Griffin. And Jimmy Buffet. I attempted to contact Michael with no luck. Amazingly we got Steve Wood to play accordion on one of the songs, My Love Rose and it was perfect. Steve served as Kenny Loggins’ keyboardist, musical director and vocalist for over a decade. Yes, that’s him singing background vocals on “Footloose!” Then, as we moved on to the song “Motel,” I got an email from Michael Ramos. He had just seen my email and would love to record something. So we sent the tracks to Michael to record with at his studio in Austin, Brown Recluse Studios. A few days later he sent back and amazing track that was absolutely spot on. So, somehow I ended up with two amazing accordion players on one album. Not many people can say that.
We got to the end of recording and started adding background vocals. I did some. Alan did some. But we needed a female voice. For over 17 years I have worked for skateboarding legend Tony Hawk. What many people don’t know is that Tony’s sister, Pat Hawk, is his manager and runs the day to day business of Tony Hawk, Inc. She has been my boss, along with Tony, all of these years. What you also might not know about Pat is that she is a legendary back-up singer, or as she calls it, “chick singers.” She toured the world with Michael Bolton at the peak of his career for many years, as well as working with Bill Medley, the Righteous Brothers, John Denver, the Pet Shop Boys, and many others. You don’t know it, but if you’ve listened to the radio in the last twenty years, you’ve heard Pat singing. Pat just so happens to be married to Alan Deremo. Needless to say, we have pulled Pat into the project to add the final vocal tracks to finish off the record. And that’s where we are today. We’re that close. Background vocals, mixing, mastering. Done.
So, to wrap up this first report, we’ll be done with recording in a week. We’ll be getting product ordered, song files uploaded to all the streaming services, and retail outlets. I’ve been getting a lot of cool items together for some special packages and we’ll have those ready to go soon too. Stay tuned for the official release date soon. Thanks for your interest. To say I am excited about this project is a massive understatement.