Greetings from Kalihiwai @ 21 degrees North by 159 degrees West.
**First of all we would like to thank to Optima Strings for endorsing Allan Thomas. We’ve been employing the strings on our latest sessions and are very pleased with the results. http://optima-strings.com
**There’s been a surge of momentum here at the home of Black Bamboo Studios with the production of Allan Thomas’ 6th studio album. At this date seven vocal and seven instrumental songs are in various stages of production on this five-year journey.
Long time pal and music collaborator Bryan Kessler was seen – more than once – jumping on a plane from Oahu to Kauai then whisked away to a recording studio on the north shore. There, it is reported, he wasted no time in laying down electric and acoustic guitar parts on a vast number of Allan Thomas tracks including one altered tuning instrumental they’d written together back in 2002.
We are ever-so happy to report bass ace Jimmy Johnson has added his signature sound on 9 tracks thus far with more to follow. Mr Johnson has been traveling the world holding down the bottom in the James Taylor band for many years, and we felt extremely lucky that he could find the time between gigs to add his groove mastery, presence and tone to the project. This is the 3rd CD collaboration for JJ and AT.
Back in the drum chair for the new AT record are Joel Taylor, and William Kennedy of the Yellowjackets, both of whom played on the Deep Water CD. There remains persistent rumors of yet another deep-groove drummer from one of AT’s all-time favorite bands joining the fray. Stay tuned for more..
We had the good luck and great fortune of having world-class backup singers Kate Markowitz (James Taylor Band) and Karen Blake add their sweet and soulful harmonies to two tracks on the new record.
Another Allan Thomas band stalwart, the electrifying Kauai north shore guitarist Kirk Smart, has been laying down tracks for the new record, adding his unique blend of jazz, blues and rock to the mix.
Recording keyboards on said new CD are long time music collaborator Michael Ruff, displaying his wizardry on nine tracks thus far. Also on keyboards is Crosby Stills Nash band member James Raymond. Reprising his role playing the EWI (electronic wind instrument) is Judd Miller, who also recorded tracks for us on The Island CD in 1988. And once agin we had the pleasure of having tenor player Sylvain Carton join us on two tracks.
Much thanks to all the players for bringing the dream closer to fruition.
Also in the news:
Long-time buddy and AT champion Stephen Barncard was back on Kauai to film seven music videos, all from the new album in progress. Some of these videos will be used as teasers for our 2017 Kickstarter campaign.
Digging back in the archives we found a rare gem of a live performance at Casanovas on Maui in 2008. The show the first stop on the AT ‘Making Up For Lost Time’ CD world tour, and was a fundraiser for Maui community radio station Mana’o radio 91.7. The recording features scorching performances on vocals and nylon string electric guitar by AT, and longtime music partner Bryan Kessler on acoustic guitar. As a result of this serendipitous discovery Stephen Barncard is now mixing the first Allan Thomas live album. The record will feature12 songs with the working title Allan Thomas and Bryan Kessler Live at Casanovas. For now we plan on releasing it as a download only on the great Bandcamp website. Stay tuned for release date.