I like to paint, well, I like to spill paint on a canvas. I like watching the colours bleed into one another and become something more, colours and shades that couldn't exist on their own until brought together. SeaGreenNumber5 is a painting I did a few years ago and we recorded almost all of this album right in front of it in my living room, everyone adding their own colour, shade and texture to the music.
In the past few years I've done a lot of house concerts and there's something special about performing in a small room with a handful of people connecting that is a really different experience. No big amplifiers or wall of sound, just songs, stories and people. I wanted to make an album that sounded like me singing in your living room, like I'm part of your family.
Matt brought over his stripped down drum kit with his homemade cajon snare and one cymbal and played to the songs like he always does, simply and tastefully. My wonderful wife Tracy is always nearby with her bass, a harmony and a clever thought about how to change a single word or phrase to improve the whole and she's always right. Then I called Jeremy to add his pedal steel playing to Queen, December and Somewhere Else and there was an immediate classic country-ness that he brought out in those songs. Geo showed up with a bottle of wine, some chocolate and added her violin and viola and the songs gained a depth and melancholy that wasn't there before. Jen and Tawny lent their beautiful voices to a few songs and brought yet another layer to it. Thank you all.
In California I play shows with The Fallen Stars which is Matt and Tracy (and sometimes Matt & Geo). When I'm in New England, Gary Young and Dave Ballou back me up and call themselves Two-Fifths. In Germany Sam Barnard, Niklas Herzog and Mona Li are Die Gefalenen Sterne and Roman Sonnleitner performs with me in Austria. When Ben Riddle is around he, Tracy and I morph into Riddle & The Stars. In music, you're very lucky if you can get a couple of people to learn your songs and perform and play with you. I am exceptionally lucky to have these talented folks with me and I do not take it or them for granted. Thank you all.
My songwriting friends Chuck Roberts, Ben Riddle, Kalai King, Morgan Keating and of course Tracy have been sharing their talents with me for years and I love the music we make together. Jason Day told me he was going to challenge me to sing differently and we'd make a great album together, he was right. Thank you all.
I am so grateful for my fans. Whether we are all singing APB, sharing a fluffernutter at a festival, chatting on a radio show, eating late night falafel konig or toast or drinking wine together, it is humbling and amazing that we have found each other and connected. Thank you all.