Summer Soon and new up-date!

Thought I'd add a little news that I'd forgot to mention when I'd posted this latest up-date.  
It's a rare opportunity for people who are not in the recording industry to actually witness the making of a record... in the studio with musicians.  I'm participating in a wonderful session and it will be open to a dozen people.  It's not just any old session, it is Duane Eddy, with steel guitar great Dan Dugmore, the brilliant Spooner Oldham and myself. We'll be recording two songs as part of an album with the proceeds of the completed record going to the Country Music Hall of Fame. The entire thing has been put together by my friend, producer and steel guitarist Steve Fishell.  You can find out all the details here: http://www.musicpi.com/Duanedan.html

Thanks for checking in to this end of spring up-date.  Summer's just around the corner and spring in Nashville, like the rest of the country, has set records for the hottest in history.  However, the last couple of weeks have been absolutely perfect.  The temps have come down to normal and even below with some evenings down in the 40s and several days in the low 70s.  It's cloudy and cool as I peck this out.

I've recently heard the final mixes of the album we did with Mark Knopfler last year and I feel like it's the best record we've all made together...stem to stern, from the songs, playing and singing to the recording and sound of it.  Most probably know already that it's to be called Privateering and released in September. A generous helping of 20 songs and one to savour for many years to come.

It's been my good fortune to have begun a brand new album with Sheryl Crow last month.  We've recorded 8 or 9 songs so far with more sessions planned for July.  Sheryl's been living in Nashville for the last seven years but this was the first time meeting her.  She is certainly one of the most unaffected folks I've ever come across and incredibly talented and focused.  Great songs and what a singer.

The Phil Lee album is nearly finished, we're taking the rest of this month off as Phil is touring but will begin mix downs in July.  Also, I've put a few new tunes on tape to include for my own album.  I'll just keep stock piling them until I feel it is complete.  

Iris DeMent's record, Sing The Delta, will be out this October.  It is mixed, mastered and being manufactured as of this writing.  My good friend Bo Ramsey and I produced the album together and it's one that we're both very proud of.  A collection of gothic southern songs if ever there was one.

Finally, my long time pal Dennis St. John bid adieu several days ago after a harrowing 4 year battle with esophageal cancer.  I've been lucky to have had several mentors in my life and Dennis was one of them. He saw something in me that I didn't see in myself and opened a multitude of doors, not the least of which was the one in to Neil Diamond's band.  Dennis was a fabulous drummer, nobody played better time or feel than he did.  Nobody.  He played on many hit records for people like The Classics IV, Roy Orbison, Joe South, Linda Ronstadt, The Bellamy Brothers, Jim Stafford, Dean Martin and more...not to mention so many Neil Diamond records.  He treated everyone like they were the most important people in the world and helped untold numbers of folks get started or further their dreams. He was my best man at my wedding and he was one of the best guys to have walked the planet.  I'll be missing him forever, for sure.

My brother did an extended interview with Dennis a few years ago that appeared in Classic Drummer magazine with photos as well.  Click here to read it.

Hope everyone has a good segue to summer.

Richard