7/11/11 – Current news dispatch from the north shore of the island of Kauai @ 22 degrees north by 159 degrees west:
Synchronicity is everything. Another couple of my musical dreams came true this month. To begin with, both David Crosby and Graham Nash ended up singing some of the coolest otherworldly backing vocals on my Andy Irons tribute song formally called ‘Rip In Peace’, and now titled ‘The Longest Ride’. I received what Barncard calls a “Crosby Nash sandwich”! The boys – I call them the hardest working men in show biz – took time out from their much deserved vacation on Kauai, to do me the great honor of laying down some of that CN vocal magic on this track. My feet have had the toughest time touching back down to solid earth since then, and that was about a week ago. The best part, besides watching the masters at work, was rehearsing the chorus parts with all three of us in close harmony. Myself on the melody in the middle, the Croz a third below, and Nash a third above my voice. That was the dream part; Crosby Thomas and Nash – finally!!!
The session took place way up in the highlands above Kapaa, at Fat Tuesday Studios, by a cool-headed, owl-eared, speedy-fingered Ron Pendragon. http://fattuesdayrecords.com/ The studio happened to be booked for two weeks by a group of wonderful Italian musicians called Quartetto Desueto. http://www.quartettodesueto.com/ But being the generous and kind brothers in music they are, they allowed Graham, David and myself, to break into their session for the two hours it took to on-the-spot arrange, rehearse and record the backing vocal parts. Wouldn’t you know it, the Italians were also huge CSNY fans, and had even sung-channeled some CSN-like harmonies on the album they were in the midst of recording. Everybody was stoked after the session, especially yours truly, who could hardly believe his beyond-amazing good fortune, or whatever you want to call it. When I asked David and Graham how could I ever repay them – besides my first born – they suggested paying it forward to someone else someday… Big mahalo to James Raymond for asking Mr. Crosby if he would be interested in singing on this track, and the same to the Croz for suggesting Nash sing the high part.
As if it couldn’t get any better; old friend and LA based jazz-fusion guitarist Jeff Richman, helped set in motion the second dream becoming reality by introducing me to one of my all-time favorite drummers – William Kennedy, of the jazz quartet The Yellowjackets. Will wound up playing on the last four songs of the ‘Deep Water CD’, including ‘The Longest Ride’. I can’t begin to describe how cool his playing sounds on these songs, needless to say, I’m one very moved and satisfied songwriter to have the wizard of rhythm himself onboard. Wanna shout out to Paul Tavenner of Big City Recording Studios in LA, for doing such a splendid job recording Mr. Kennedy. http://www.bigcityrecording.com/Home.html
So after two years plus, I do believe this record is ready for mixing, and that brings us to this: The AT team, featuring Mike Shipley and his main right-hand-man Brian Wohlgemuth, are on the cusp of mixing the album in Los Angeles. This is my third record mixed by Mr. Shipley, and if the sparkle & shine on our past projects are any indication of whats ahead, get ready to don some powerful sunglasses!!