Monday, September 14, 2009

September, 2009/"The Deep End" On The Horizon

Summer in the Beehive was whirlwind....I traveled the country, from Detroit and Chicago to Atlanta, Charlotte and Nashville, performing and conducting master classes for young musicians. Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez kept up a schedule of festival dates that helped us connect with fans far and wide in support of 2008's career retrospective disc Re-Hive, and in advance of the release of our latest work, The Deep End. Mixing and mastering completed, we are awaiting its arrival, with digital availability expected on iTunes and all outlets by November 1. The record will be available at live performances after October 1 and released widely on or about January 1.

What a journey of the heart this record has been. Support and artistry was contributed by so many great friends, from the duet partners (Ian Hunter, Dion, and Marshall Crenshaw), to the musicians (Levon Helm, Eric "Roscoe" Ambel, Big Al Anderson, G.E.Smith, Shawn Pelton, Catherine Russell, The Asbury Juke Horns--Chris Anderson and Neal Pawley--with Mark Rivera, Paul Ossola, Jeff Kazee, Mitch Chakour, Vic Steffens), the production team (my co-producer Andy York, whose musicianship shines on every track, along with Vic Steffens' overseeing and mixing and Jimmy Chapdelaine's mastering), a true photography ace (my dear friend Ric Kallaher) and, of course, the flash cats of Rebel Montez--Cliff Goodwin, Michael Colbath, and Larry Donahue, with a special guest appearance by our late guitarist, Eric Fletcher.

I wrote about love--the falling into it, the newness of it, the loss of it, the sadness that can come from it, the glory of it, the wonder and kick of it. It's my favorite topic, and never have I felt so deeply and been so deeply affected by it. Many of you know that I've suffered loss in these past years, both of a long-time mate and of a close musical collaborator. It's been a long and winding road, and in many respects I felt this was a journey I truly had to make by myself. That I've had so many great artists with me along the way has been a dream, and a gift.

I look forward to the release of these songs and to hearing from listeners what they think of them. That communication feeds all of our souls, and is the lifeblood that makes musical expression precious, always.