Ghost Bikes – new CD
I have just finished my 21st recording. That’s right – 21 of them! And I still call them records because that’s what they are. Anyway, this one is by far my favorite to date. I had wanted to do a live recording but was put off by the problems inherent in the process, especially if you use ensemble players. If there’s a train wreck the take is gone and then it gets real expensive. So I decided to get a live audience into the studio and do it like a combination session/gig. It was great! I had the greatest Northwest players with me, all pros at ease with their craft, good gear and a great engineer. This is how it went:
The studio was Jack Straw Productions in Seattle, WA. They have a big room that would accommodate 30 people as an audience. We sent out invitations and gathered commitments. The engineer was Tom Stiles. Tom and I have known each other for years and he has often mixed me in live settings at local festivals. The musicians were Grant Dermody on harmonica – he tours a lot with Eric Bibb. Michael Gray of Peal Django on fiddle. Erin Corday a great singer from Bellingham. And percussionist Joel Litwin, also from Bellingham. Joel played shoe box, brief case, and uncooked pasta shells.
There was magic in the music and it all flowed with spectacular ease. Only a couple of songs had to be redone – but with the setting as it was we could do that with minimum hassle. It was all finished in 14 hours – including recording, mixing and mastering. And it has an ease and a groove to it that you couldn’t get by layering. I’m totally pleased with this.
The title song, “Ghost Bikes,” is about those white bicycles you see chained to a post near the spot where a bicyclist was killed by a car. (Here’s more info: http://www.ghostbikes.org/) Other songs include “Yang Ru-Men” (the Rice Bomber), “Lightnin’ Hopkins,” “Hole in the Air,” “Tent City,” and “Song For Leonard Peltier.” There are 12 tracks all together. You ca get it from CDBaby – http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/JimPage11
So that’s all for now. More soon…