This week has been charmed to say the least. I came back to Nashville to finish what I'd started in 2012 with the lads known as Cosmic Thug, Adam Landry and Justin Collins. The work that began before I relocated from Nashville back to LA, broke my hand and was slammed with a strange writer's block in 2013. We not only finished what we started but exceeded my every expectation, writing and recording another album's worth of new songs. I'm listening to the final mixes of what will be my first ever solo record right now and realizing that somehow, together, we made the record that I've dreamed of making since I was a teenager staring out the window in math class, drawing pictures on and scribbling lyric on my jeans distractedly. In the process I've become a believer in the Neil Young method of recording I'll tell you. Record only around a full moon. And as they tell me this one is a "Blood Moon". Whatever that means. But something truly happened this week in a small studio in Nashville, Tennessee. I'm grateful that I was able to be there to be a part of it.
Like I said, this will be the first album that will come out under my own name, probably sometime later this year. I guess that makes it a solo album in name, but I could not have done it without Adam Landry, Justin Collins, Rob Crowell, Cindy Wasserman & Matt Lynott and the contributions of the Nashville string quartet, Zach Casebolt, Larissa Maestro, Emily Kohavi, Eleonore Denig. This was a true collaboration, switching instruments, tossing out ideas, laughing, writing on the fly, the whole nine yards. Possibly the most enjoyable collaboration I've ever had the pleasure of being a part of, and if you know me, you know that I live to collaborate. The joy of writing and recording a new song, having Robbie go off to write an string arrangement for it the night before the quartet was due and then to sit between the Viola and the Cello the next day hearing his work for the first time as it is laid down to tape will be an unforgettable memory as long as I live. I was giddy like a schoolboy meeting Pele for the first time (wait a minute I did that.). That lad Rob is sick talented! For a Canadian he's got soul coming outta his every pore. Deer Tick and Diamond Rugs are very blessed to have his talent on board.
It's been a long 5 year journey of life upheavals and changes that have shaken me to the core and forced a "review and rebuild" of self and action but well worth the personal growth to become ready to be part of unearthing this gem of a record. This crew that I find myself in have challenged and drawn something more out of me as a songwriter and I'm already thinking about the next record. There will be another with these guys. Adam and Justin make records that will stand the test of time and I am proud to now be a part of their already illustrious canon. Who knows what will happen in the years to come, but this is one record that as an old man I will pour myself two fingers of tequila, drop needle on and kick back with great memories and pride in the collaboration that made this one happen. For that I am grateful to whatever powers that be and to the friends and my sweet patient love, Cindy, who have all helped me realize this dream.
I look forward to sharing it with you.
(Photos by Stacie Huckeba)