I'm making a record. For real.
I’ll be making you positively tired of hearing about this in the next several months. My apologies in advance. But guys, I am making a solo album. I’ve been writing songs for a long while. I’ve got a bunch ready and I’ve got some super cool covers in mind, too. Recording started a couple days ago.
Solo? Yes. Alone? No. While it’s my record, I’ve got some special guest musicians lined up to play and sing with me. My pop, Mark Sahlgren? Guitar and fretless banjo? Yes, please. Captain Midnight, himself, Drew Howard? Beautiful pedal steel? Yup. Lily Werbin and her crazy beautiful angel voice that I didn’t even know existed until, like, a year ago? On it. Grace Gheen, my great friend and amazing harmonizer (I’d rather never sing “If I Needed You” without her again)? She will be there, too. Jordan Hamilton, cello player extraordinaire? I asked and he said yes. Woo hoo! Rick Slachta on stand-up bass? Yes, my dudes. Yes, indeed. Sarah Fuerst? Singing with me on a Muppet song? Heck, yeah! Jon Shain and his super tasty guitar-ing? Uh huh! I am lucky as lucky can be.
So, who’s steering the ship for this adventure? Well, let me tell you. My ridiculously talented friend, Mr. Joe Newberry, will be on board producing this record. That Joe Newberry? Yes, that Joe Newberry. His list of accomplishments is long. Among the ways you may know this guy? He was a frequent guest on “Prairie Home Companion”. The Gibson Brothers’ version of his song “Singing As We Rise,” featuring guest vocalist Ricky Skaggs, won the 2012 IBMA “Gospel Recorded Performance” award. In 2013, Joe shared co-writing honors with Eric Gibson for the IBMA Song of the Year, “They Called It Music.” He plays with Mike Compton, April Verch, Jon Shain and is one of the most magnetic solo performers I’ve ever seen. He also plays in the group Craver, Hicks, Watson & Newberry. He is a mensch and I can’t believe how lucky I am that he’s coming here to produce my record.
Engineering this project will be the great Martin Klemm. Martin, aside from his duties with the Kalamazoo Recording Co, serves as engineer and resident eye candy for the radio show I co-host with my pop. Show’s called Grassroots. If you haven’t, check it out. Martin has, as they say in the biz, “great ears”. We share many sensibilities and he is the reason the radio show sounds so polished. My dad and I would be lost without him. I am honored to have him along for this ride.
So, there’s that. Whew. I’m excited. I hope you are, too.