The home stretch
It's Thanksgiving day as I peck this out in Nashville, Tennessee. The trees are nearly bare, leaves all over the ground, sky's grey and through the window it looks as though it should be 30 degrees. Very strangely, it is 72. It's been an incredibly mild autumn this year and the prediction for winter is the same, dry and warmer than usual.
I'm in the middle of a nice little run of work that I really am enjoying. I recorded an album last week with Greg Brown and Bo Ramsey in Memphis at Ardent Studios, a place I always enjoy working. When I was doing a lot of record producing, I often would bring the projects there for John Hampton, one of Ardent's staff engineers, to mix. Hampton's a guy who knows what to do with mics, transformers and a 16-track tape machine and it was great being with him again. Bo Ramsey and I became friends earlier this year when he and Pieta Brown opened all of the shows we did in the States on Mark Knopfler's tour. Bo and I talked about possibly doing something together and this seemed perfect as he and Greg were coming to Memphis which is just 200 miles from my back door. Greg Brown is a great, bluesy, soulful singer/songwriter who's been making music for a good long stretch. We had loads of fun, very simple, bass, drums, Greg singing and playing acoustic guitar, Bo and I playing electric, recorded live on the floor. When everyone had a good take at the same time, it was finished. I got to spend some time as well with my daughter and her beau who live in Memphis, that combined with some brilliant food made it grand trip all around.
This past week I've been in Vince Gill's studio recording an album for our friend Big Al Anderson. Al played genius guitar for many years with NRBQ and has been a very successful and highly covered songwriter for the last couple of decades. This time he was making music for himself, an all acoustic album with Al, Vince and I holding down the acoustic guitar chairs, Glenn Worf on string bass, Chad Cromwell drums and dobro demon Jerry Douglas. Another case of live recording with great friends.
Next week I'll begin a record with a young folk-pop singer and songwriter named Rayland Baxter. I've been a fan of Rayland's music for a couple of years when it was brought to my attention by my son Nick who played on his first recordings. For this outing Nick will be joining us in the studio so I'm looking forward to playing with him, Rayland, bass player Byron House and drummer Marco Giovino. The latter two are on Robert Plant's new album and touring with him as well. With such great players and songs, which I've already heard, it should be some terrific sessions.
Finally, I've begun a new album for myself and will do more in December, slowly chipping away until it's done. I'll keep you posted.
I have much to be thankful for and I hope this finds you all well.