WHAT THE HELL THIS THING IS:
Mitchell Froom and I put this track together in the midst of the NY lock down this Spring. I wrote the song with Byron Isaacs, recorded it on my iPhone (voice and acoustic guitar) and sent it to Mitchell who then blew it up with this great arrangement.
Now Mitchell and I have this thing, no guitar solos in general, but I loved this track that Mitchell put together and was dying to hear what someone would do over it. We decided to throw it out to some friends and see what happened if they did their thing over an extended outro. I sent it initially to Nels Cline, David Hidalgo and Marc Ribot. They all sent back tracks cut from home rigs or whatever they could muster at the time.
Now we have about 15 or so versions from other great players we respect which we’ll post. It just kind of turned into something. Maybe we’re crazy, I don’t know, but…Don’t Get Me Started…
Guitar explorer Nels Cline is best known these days as the lead guitarist in the band Wilco. His recording and performing career — spanning jazz, rock, punk and experimental — is well into its fourth decade, with over 200 recordings, including at least 30 for which he is leader. Cline has received many accolades including Rolling Stone anointing him as both one of 20 “new guitar gods” and one of the top 100 guitarists of all time.
Marc Ribot (pronounced REE-bow) was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1954. As a teen, he played guitar in various garage bands while studying with his mentor, Haitian classical guitarist and composer Frantz Casseus. After moving to New York City in 1978, Ribot was a member of the soul/punk Realtones, and from 1984 – 1989, of John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards. Between 1979 and 1985, Ribot also worked as a side musician with Brother Jack McDuff, Wilson Pickett, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Chuck Berry, and many others.
Valentine “Val” McCallum is an English-Scottish guitarist and singer-songwriter. McCallum has toured with, and served as a studio musician for many well-known musicians. He toured with Jackson Browne and McCallum’s musical resume includes stints with Sheryl Crow, Lucinda Williams, The Wallflowers, Bonnie Raitt and Lorretta Lynn among others. McCallum released his first solo record, entitled At the End of the Day. In addition to his solo album and extensive work in touring and session bands, McCallum is also a member of the comic-country band, Jackshit. The band originated as Vonda Shepard’s backing band on the hit series Ally McBeal.
Gerry Leonard is an Irish lead guitarist and solo artist, known for his harmonic and ambient guitar style and for his work with David Bowie. He has lived and worked in Dublin, Copenhagen, and Manhattan.
When not touring or recording with these international artists, Gerry heads up his own project, Spooky Ghost. Under the name Spooky Ghost, Gerry has recorded two solo albums. The first recording simply called “Spooky Ghost” was primarily an ambient guitar record, made in his New York apartment in 1998. His second, “The Light Machine” (2002) has been described by David Bowie as “Quite the most beautiful and moving pieces of work I have possessed in a long time.”
David Hidalgo is an American singer-songwriter, best known for his work with the band Los Lobos. Hidalgo frequently plays musical instruments such as accordian, violin, 6-string banjo, cello, requinto jarocho, percussion, drums and guitar as a session musician on other artists’ releases. He is also a member of the supergroup Los Super Seven and of the Latin Playboys, a side project made up of some of the members of Los Lobos. With Mike Halby of Canned Heat, he formed another band, Houndog, as a side project.
Hidalgo’s songs have been covered by the Jerry Garcia Band, Waylon Jennings, Bonnie Raitt and others. He has performed in Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival since its inception in 2004, including a performance with Los Lobos in April 2013 at Madison Square Garden.
The Mastersons are singer-songwriters/multi-instrumentalists Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore. When they’re not touring the world as valued longtime members of Steve Earle’s band the Dukes, the musical and marital twosome make inspired albums of their own emotionally vivid, deeply humanistic songs. The duo’s fourth set of original compositions is the appropriately titled No Time for Love Songs.
Byron Isaacs records and tours with The Lumineers, contributing bass and vocals to their platinum-selling Cleopatra and their current album III. His band with guitarist Peter Cole, Lost Leaders, released a third album, Promises Promises, in March 2019. The band enjoys radio play and performs in the New York City area.
Isaacs was one of the six founders of Ollabelle, played bass for Levon Helm’s famous Midnight Rambles and played on both of Helm’s Grammy-winning albums (writing the song “Calvary” on Dirt Farmer). Isaacs played and toured with Amy Helm, producing her first solo album Didn’t It Rain. In June 2018, Isaacs released his debut solo album, Disappearing Man, to rave reviews. In addition, Isaacs has recorded and/or performed with Willie Nelson, Joan Baez, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Scialfa, Roseanne Cash, Jackson Browne, Nina Nastasia, Ryan Adams, Chris Smither, Richard Shindell, Mary Fahl, The Weight Band, and Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams.
Mitchell Froom is an American musician and record producer. Froom began his career as a keyboard player in Sonoma County, California. The band Crossfire featured two keyboard players; Mitchell on one side of the stage and brother David on the other with Gary Pihl on guitar. He also played keyboards on the Ronnie Montrose-led group Gamma‘s third album Gamma 3 as well as both late 1970s albums by David LaFlamme, It’s a Beautiful Day and LaFlamme’s solo album Inside Out.
He produced the first three Crowded House albums, which led to more production jobs with Richard Thompson, Los Lobos, American Music Club, Suzanne Vega and Paul McCartney. One early notable work, Key of Cool, later became the soundtrack for the adult film, Café Flesh.
Between 1992 and 2002 Froom formed a full-time partnership with engineer Tchad Blake. Production credits include albums from American Music Club, Stevie Ann, Tasmin Archer, The Bangles, Peter Case, The Corrs, Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, Crowded House, The Ditty Bops, Tim Finn, Missy Higgins, Indigo Girls, Los Lobos, Robin Gibb, Maria McKee, Pat McLaughlin, Randy Newman, Nerina Pallot, Pearl Jam, Phantom Planet, Bonnie Pink, Daniel Powter, Bonnie Raitt, Ron Sexsmith, The Del Fuegos, Richard Thompson, and Suzanne Vega. Froom and Blake joined with David Hidalgo and Louie Perez of Los Lobos to form the experimental roots collaboration Latin Playboys.
Froom has produced over 60 albums and has composed and produced music for numerous films. He has been nominated for several Grammys including for Record of the Year for La Bamba by Los Lobos (1988) and Producer of the Year in 1993 for both Kiko by Los Lobos and 99.9F° by Suzanne Vega. He was also nominated for the 1998 Golden Globe Award and the 1999 Grammy for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media for co-writing with Sheryl Crow the James Bond movie title song “Tomorrow Never Dies”.
Through his operas, his symphonies, his compositions for his own ensemble, and his wide-ranging collaborations with artists ranging from Twyla Tharp to Allen Ginsberg, Woody Allen to David Bowie, Philip Glass has had an extraordinary and unprecedented impact upon the musical and intellectual life of his times.
The operas – “Einstein on the Beach,” “Satyagraha,” “Akhnaten,” and “The Voyage,” among many others – play throughout the world’s leading houses, and rarely to an empty seat. Glass has written music for experimental theater and for Academy Award-winning motion pictures such as “The Hours” and Martin Scorsese’s “Kundun,” while “Koyaanisqatsi,” his initial filmic landscape with Godfrey Reggio and the Philip Glass Ensemble, may be the most radical and influential mating of sound and vision since “Fantasia.” His associations, personal and professional, with leading rock, pop and world music artists date back to the 1960s, including the beginning of his collaborative relationship with artist Robert Wilson. Indeed, Glass is the first composer to win a wide, multi-generational audience in the opera house, the concert hall, the dance world, in film and in popular music – simultaneously.
Steven M. Berlin is an American saxophonist, keyboardist and record producer, best known as a member of the rock group Los Lobos and, before that, Top Jimmy & the Rhythm Pigs, the Blasters, and the Flesh Eaters. Berlin is married and lives with his wife and children in Portland, Oregon. Berlin joined the band Tuatara as a side project in 1998 on their second album, Trading with the Enemy.
As either a session musician or producer, Berlin has worked with the Crash Test Dummies, Backyard Tire Fire, The Beat Farmers, John Lee Hooker, the Paladins, Faith No More, Dave Alvin, R.E.M., the Go-Go’s, the Smithereens, the Replacements, Leo Kottke, Sheryl Crow, the Act, Los Super Seven, Rickie Lee Jones, String Cheese Incident, Alec Ounsworth (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah), Raul Malo, Rick Trevino, Jackie Greene, the Tragically Hip, Great Big Sea, the Bridge, Nathan Wiley, the Dandy Warhols, Making Movies, No Te Va Gustar, Brownout and Deer Tick.
Rich Hinman is an American musician and songwriter. He plays the guitar and the pedal steel. He has toured and/or recorded with kd lang, Sara Bareilles, Rosanne Cash, Ben Kweller, Marc Cohn, Rhett Miller, Anais Mitchell, Cyndi Lauper, and many others. His solo record, Glacier, was released in 2014. Additionally, he released a collaborative LP with Adam Levy in 2019 titled VS and debuted a self-titled EP in 2020.
Chris Bruce is an American bassist and guitarist. At the age of 14, he started recording at studios in Chicago, and later in Detroit, with his older brother and various George Clinton affiliates. His professional career began with Wendy & Lisa in 1989. Since then, he has worked with Seal, Tom Waits, Sheryl Crow, Liz Wright, Meshell Ndegeocello, Trevor Horn, Doyle Bramhall, Jill Jones and Chris Connelly, among others.
Photo: Tore Sætre / Wikimedia
Tony Scherr is an American jazz and folk rock bassist, guitarist, singer-songwriter, and record producer.
Scherr played with Woody Herman as a teenager, and moved to New York City in the late-1980s, where he became a prolific session musician, working with artists such as Bill Frisell, John Scofield, Norah Jones, and Ana Egge. He has been a member of a number of bands, such as The Lounge Lizards, Sex Mob, Jesse Harris and the Ferdinandos, and Chris Brown and the Citizen Band. Scherr owns a recording studio and has worked as record producer for many of the artists he performs with.
In 2002, Tony Scherr released his first solo album, Come Around, on Smells Like Records. His song “Sacramento” was later covered by Leslie Feist on her album Let It Die, with alternate lyrics and a new title, “Lonely Lonely”.
Tony Scherr’s second album, Twist in the Wind, was released March 17, 2008.
Photo: Nomo michael hoefner / http://www.zwo5.de
Scott Metzger is an American guitarist. His collaborations with other artists include Phil Lesh, John Scofield, Joe Russo, John Mayer, and Oteil Burbridge. Metzger has been a full-time member of Joe Russo’s Almost Dead since its inception in 2013, and has been performing with Circles Around the Sun as of December 2019.
Photo: Mandy Pichler
Over the years, Billy Harvey has been playing his own brand of Post Modern Pop, working not only as an artist but also as a musician (Patty Griffin, Forest Rangers, The Courtyard Hounds), or a producer (Luke Wade, Charlie Mars, Bob Schneider, Slaid Cleaves, Steve Poltz).
As an artist he has been the recipient of the International Songwriters Award for Best Rock Song “Frozen Through,” and broke into the Top 100 on the CMJ charts with his hauntingly soulful release “Bearsick.” Harvey‘s other releases include the More Happy Than Sad EP and eight full-length albums, including 2018’s The Arsonist, 2017’s Elephants in the Room, and 2015’s Dear Danger.
Teddy Kumpel is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. In 1988, he moved to New York City to settle into being a professional musician. In 1989, he interned at a studio on 45th St. in Manhattan where he learned how to cut tape, run midi from a computer in sync with tape and work a mixing console.
Teddy has always had a passion for making his own music. He put out his first record, NOME SANE? in 1994. His band did a European tour and recorded another record called “The Lost” in Montreal at Studio Piccolo. Teddy started writing songs with developing artists and helped catapult two record deals on Warner Brothers in the late 90’s. This earned him a publishing deal with EMI Music Publishing. He continues this activity with NYC artists to this day. After successes with songwriting, Teddy decided to try his hand at writing songs for a rock band he would then front. He called it “Teddy But” and put out two records.
In 2008 Teddy was creating a funk band with two guitar players, but couldn’t find another guitar player who was happy just playing rhythm guitar. Around this time, the first multi-track looping pedal came out and Teddy spent a couple of years figuring out how to loop with a live trio. This created, LOOPestra which played over 300 gigs at a Monday at midnight residence at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC between 2011 and 2018. LOOPesta live performances became a NYC institution and community building experience.
Teddy toured with Joe Jackson between 2015 – 2019. After that tour, Teddy decided to resurrect ‘NOME SANE?’ with the original drummer, Matt Miller and amazing musician, Bob Stander.
Photo: Bob Adamek
Jeff Beal is an American composer of music for film, media, and the concert hall. With musical beginnings as a jazz trumpeter and recording artist, his works are infused with an understanding of rhythm and spontaneity. Steven Schneider for the New York Times wrote of “the richness of Beal’s musical thinking…his compositions often capture the liveliness and unpredictability of the best improvisation.” Beal’s seven solo CDs, including Three Graces, Contemplations (Triloka) Red Shift (Koch Jazz), and Liberation (Island Records) established him as a respected recording artist and composer.
Beal’s eclectic music has been singled out with critical acclaim and recognition. His score and theme for Netflix drama, House of Cards, has received five prime time Emmy Award nominations & two statues. Regarding his compelling score for the documentary, Blackfish, the late film critic Roger Ebert wrote of Beal’s ability to “invoke many genres; thriller, mystery, melodrama.” Another lauded documentary, The Queen of Versailles, opened the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune wrote that, “scored wittily by composer Jeff Beal, the film glides along on Beal’s waltz theme, a theme full of elegance and class and a discordant hint of storm clouds.”
Scoring Ed Harris’ beautifully balletic painting scenes in Pollock was an exceptional opportunity for Beal. Film critic for the Los Angeles Times, Kenneth Turan wrote “To watch Lisa Rinzler’s expressive shots of Harris as Pollock create his paintings, especially the famously acrobatic drip canvases, to Jeff Beal’s Aaron Copland-influenced music is little short of thrilling.”
He has received nineteen prime time Emmy nominations for his music, and has won five statues. Other scores of note include his dramatic music for HBO’s acclaimed series Carnivale and Rome, as well as his comedic score and theme for the detective series, Monk. Beal composes, orchestrates, conducts, records and mixes his own scores, which gives his music a very personal, distinctive touch.
Beal’s commissioned works have been performed by many leading orchestras and conductors, including the St. Louis (Marin Alsop), Rochester, Pacific (Carl St. Clair), Frankfurt, Munich, and Detroit (Neeme Jaarvi) symphony orchestras. Kent Nagano commissioned and premiered two works, Alternate Route for trumpet and orchestra with Beal as soloist, and Interchange for string quartet and orchestra. Other commissions include the ballet Oasis for Smuin Ballet, Light Falls for the World Science Festival, The Metropole Orchestra, Ying String Quartet, Debussy Trio, Henry Mancini Institute, Chamber Music Festival of Lexington & grammy winning guitarist Jason Vieaux. His score for Philip Haas’ art installation Butchers, Dragons, Gods & Skeletons, was showcased at the Kimball Art Museum and the 2011 Venice Biennale. His first choral commission, entitled The Salvage Men, is written for the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Current commissions include new works for The Brooklyn Youth Chorus, a concerto for flutist Sharon Bezaly, song cycles for Cantus, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.