Hometown Blues Download
Hometown Blues is a project inspired by place. I got the idea for the title song years ago while considering a job in a place I didn’t want to live. I was thinking about the things I would be leaving behind if I took the position. I decided it was better for me to stay where I was than pursue something I knew would take me away from things I loved.
Like so many of my projects, the concept took a long time to mature and over that period as other song ideas came to me I realized in one way or another, they were all about place. Places I have been as well as places I have emotional and historical connections to.
Every song has been dramatically influenced by the talents and skills of Bill Lestock and to be perfectly honest, this album would not exist without Bill. He not only recorded and produced the record, but he also encouraged me and believed in each songs. They were all recorded in his home studio. Bill played every instrument that you hear besides my guitar and Mark Olitsky’s banjo. This includes: electric, acoustic, and slide guitar, mandolin, violin (or fiddle if you please), organ, drums, and bass guitar. Bill also added backing vocals on several tracks.
Bill’s contributions to these compositions go far beyond simply adding a part, they became part of the song.
He is not only a brilliant musician but he is also a dedicated recording engineer. Throughout the recording process, he was constantly working to find and align the best analog components suited for each song, and he created dozens of mixes for me to review.
Bills’ work is supported by his two boys, Charlie and Jack and his wife Tera, who endured hearing these tunes over and over, and over again.
He also suggested individuals for backing vocals for specific songs: Alex Bevan for “Gifts”, and Robin Stratton for “The Best That You Got”. I asked Robin to also sing on “To See Your Face Again”. Both Robin and Alex were so extremely supportive of me and this project. I am so honored to have them recorded on this project.
No-one approaches harmony like my long-time musical partner Caroline Quine. She is singing with me on One Thing At A Time. Her enthusiasm and support has always been so dear to me.
The previously mentioned Mark Olitsky added a wonderful “old time” banjo track to the “New Little Willie Blues” and we had the best time recording the song live. I had envisioned this song as traditional song and had a hard time getting my head around Bill’s idea of adding an organ part. He had salvaged an old Hammond from the end of someone’s driveway and I am glad he did.
My brother Jeff has always been such and inspiration and he is such a great talent as a musician and an audio engineer. He reviewed the songs, offered honest critiques and helpful many helpful suggestions.
My old friend Michael Pummel from “Audio Associates” offered a critical assessment of the masters and song order
The final masters were made by Martin Stansbury Audio, Cacophony Cottage Studio. Martin also provided support and assistance with post production.
The front cover art is from a Fayrene Hinkle-Ballard oil painting.
The graphic layout and design was Lady Di at ADI Advertising
A fishing/conservation theme explored with both humor and introspection flows through my first recording. I wrote the title song with intentions of selling it to the National Parks Service Rivers and Trails Assistance Planning program. On a whim, I entered it into a songwriting contest sponsored by VH1 and was selected as one of the top four folk songs of the month. What a hoot! Several of the songs on this have been favorably reviewed outside of fishing camps. Honest.