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May 9, 2003

Hi, We’re back in NY now and its great to be home. The new CD is all done now and due out the first week of August. I just wanted to give you a little info on it to know what to expect.
Its called "Soul Sessions” because to me, that's what the recording sessions were all about.

We did a few covers but for the most part I wrote (or at least co-wrote) most of the songs. We recorded the music the way that I find the most enjoyable,with as many of the musicians as possible playing in the same room, at the same time (as opposed to a common technique of modern recording where each musician does his part individually.This can make for a very precise recording because you can scrutinize every note, but it can also make for a sterile performance because of the lack of interplay. When given a choice between soul and precision, I’ll take soul everytime!).

A lot of the usual suspects are involved here. I produced the CD along with Bud Harner and Steve Sykes engineered and mixed it. Most of the record was cut in LA with Steve Ferrone on drums, Mitchel Forman on keys, Ricky Peterson On Hammond B3, Luis Conte on Percussion and quite a few bass players, Nathan East, Andre Berry, Alex Al and Dave Carpenter. For the first time I collaborated with Jeff Lorber on 2 songs which he then played keys on and was of course great!

We did do 2 tracks in NY because I wanted to record with some of the guys that I play around town with on these impromptu gigs. On these sessions were Kenny White and Chris Palmaro on Keys, Shawn Pelton on drums andLincoln Goines on acoustic bass . We were also lucky enough to have Marc Cohn come down to the studio and sing a song with us.

We did a cover of a Jesse Winchester song called”Isn’t that So”.This was a song that he dropped in and sang with us one night at a little club that we use to jam at called the Dark Star Lounge. We cut it in that same off the cuff live manner in the studio. Marc is such a great singer and can really interact with the band so I wanted to be sure to cut this all live.

The LA sessions turned into a real party. We were camped out at the same studio for a number of days and a lot of friends would stop by just to hang out. Quite a few days there were more people just hanging around partying in the control room than in the studio playing. This made it all the more fun for all of us and also made for some unexpected guests.Rick Braun lives just up the road from the studio so he would stop by all the time and ended up playing in the horn section along with Nick Lane on trombone and Dave Woodford on sax. This was really cool because they used to play together a lot as a section before Rick’s career took off like it did so it was kind of a reunion thing for them. They really play tight together.Also Mindi Abair would stop by with much appreciated offerings of red wine and cookies and ended up singing on a cover of No Doubt’s “Underneath it All”. Sue Ann Carwell did some vocals on a version of the Ohio Players song “Skin Tight” and I believe this is a first, all four of the artists from the 2003 “Guitars and Saxes” tour recorded on the same track together ( Richard Elliot, Steve Cole and Peter White). An original song called “Pass it On”.

One really cool thing that happened as a result of this atmosphere of friends coming in and out is that one day Steve Perry stopped in to say hi to his friend Steve Ferrone ( one of the perks of having a “Drummer to the Stars” playing with you). We all thought it was pretty cool just to have the singer from “Journey” at the studio. We were recording a ballad that I had written and during a play back Steve says to me”Man, I could really here this vocal line going along with your guitar”. Of course I had the engineer set up a microphone immediately and the next thing you know, I’ve got STEVE PERRY singing on my record!!!
How cool is that!!!!!

Anyway I love the way the CD turned out and I can’t wait for you to hear it.
All the best,

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