A New Supergroup Is Born
Now, I don’t blog all that often, but when I do, you know it’s worth waiting for, right? Well, eyes down and hold the frontpage: a new ‘supergroup’ is born. The as yet unnamed project has been beavering away in an old barn outside the northern Italian town of Pavia, and features the collective talents of former Green On Red man Chris Cacavas, Edward Abbiati of Italian roots-rockers Lowlands, Bob Dylan, Giant Sand and Warren Zevon drummer Winston Watson and Marah and Jason Molina alumnus Mike ‘Slo Mo’ Brenner.
Three of the four have known each other for a while, Cacavas and Brenner both guesting on Lowlands’ 2008 debut The Last Call. Keeping in touch, Cacavas and Abbiati had long talked about a joint project between the two of them and the seeds were finally sown last year when Cacavas accepted an invitation from his Italian friend to travel down from his home in Germany to write songs around a kitchen table in Pavia.
Philly slide guru Brenner was a shoo-in, being practically an honorary member of Lowlands, while Watson was recruited to the drumstool by Cacavas. Following a period of economic and logistical headscratching, the quartet (plus recording engineer Rainer Lolk) finally convened in Italy in August to begin work. Two days later they already had ten tracks in varying degrees of readiness. Another two days and they were ready to mix.
“We wrote the songs in two short two day sessions,” explains Abbiati. “A blank page and no preconceptions. The songs seemed to flow out of us very quickly, adjusting chord changes and lyrics till we got the song to where we were both happy with them, we’d record a quick demo on the phone and move on to the next one.”
“The ‘Studio In A Barn’ was something I had never experienced before,” adds Cacavas. “In spite of the cluttered, dusty and at times very hot room, the band played the hell out of the songs and the session moved along effortlessly. I knew Ed and I had ‘stacked the deck’ with Winston and Mike, but in the end I was blown away by their incredible playing and unexpected musical ideas. That we achieved so much with so little effort is a gift.”
With substantial label interest but nothing as yet signed and sealed, it’s too early to talk about release dates, but a Spring birth is hoped for. Around that time, hectic schedules permitting, UK and European dates – including some festivals – are on the cards. Watch this space!
Photo credits: Renato Cifarelli