I am creating my dream album. The musicians on this album are not only the best around, many of them are friends and Islanders. I am thrilled to have them be a part of this; it's magical when you create music with others.
Jacob Bain has been a catalytic force behind this album. He has been through several kickstarter campaigns himself, and was able to offer me sage advice on how it works. He helped review my kickstarter narrative before the project launched and has been a constant source of support and encouragement. Jacob sings on the song Monster as the voice of my brother. This is an immensely emotional song for me and he was able to come into the recording studio with the utmost sensitivity and empathy in being a part of it. He also brought in a Weisenberger guitar and added haunting texture to the backdrop that blew us away. I'm incredibly grateful to Jacob for being a part of this.
Todd Zimberg plays all the drums and percussion on the album. I have been playing with Todd for five years and he's always there to help out when I need a full band sound. He has been incredibly supportive in the studio and in live performances. I'm grateful to have Todd be a part of this.
Keith Lowe plays all the bass guitar on the album. I've known Keith for ten years and have taken music lessons from him. I'm drawn to his positive energy both in the studio and in performances. Keith and Todd were the first people I asked to be a part of this project. I knew that they would help me lay down a solid foundation for the songs. These two gentlemen were instrumental in launching this project and I would not be this far in this project without them.
Joe Panzetta has been a constant source of encouragement and support and I'm fortunate to have him perform live with me as well. When we first performed together for a Vashon Events benefit, I fell in love with the way our voices sounded together. He's a skilled guitarist too and adds incredible lead guitar to the songs. Joe is a singer-songwriter on the Island and having someone to talk to about writing and performing my original songs has been invaluable.
Sarah Christine is a singer-songwriter on the Island who has always been supportive and encouraging. She is one of those musicians who is always happy to help others with their music, just as she does in all aspects of her life. I'm so happy to have her sing on two of the songs on the album. She has an beautiful voice and wonderful energy. She sings on the song I wrote about my children, Raspberry Kisses, and on the title track, Break My Heart.
Jason Staczek is a world-class composer and organist who happens to live on the Island. I had originally wanted to record my album in his studio, but it didn't work out. Jason was incredibly kind to play organ on the title track of the album, Break My Heart. I'm very honored to have him on this song.
Richard Lipke is one of - if not the - best electric guitar players on the Island. He plays a mean solo on the song Jimmy that is just perfect for the song. I'm thrilled to have him on the album.
Paul Colwell is a globally renowned singer-songwriter and mandolin player. He is a mentor on this Island to musicians and particularly encouraged me to start this recording process. I'm very grateful to have him play mandolin on Raspberry Kisses and Hard to Please.
Dave Harmonson was able to come into the studio on short notice and play pedal-steel guitar. When he started playing, I practically wept - he's that good. "Country Dave" plays pedal-steel on five of the songs on the album. Lonesome Mike Nichols is a trusted friend and has been incredibly supportive and encouraging in this project. When I started this project, I knew I had to ask him to play harmonica on Jimmy and Let You Go. And of course, he came into the studio and wailed on his harmonica as only he can do. The result is the most beautifully dirty harmonica solos I have ever heard.
Andrew Jocelyn is a world-class violist that we were lucky to be able to bring in for the song Monster. He also was kind enough to perform with me at Strawberry Festival in-between jetting around the world to perform with Macklemore. How amazing is that?
Daniel Walker plays piano and organ on five of the songs on the album. When he came into the studio, we immediately fell in love with his playing. The piano and organ parts he adds to the songs is first-rate and I'm elated to have him on the album.
Bill Jones plays my favorite horn - the trumpet. When one of the songs was calling for a muted trumpet to add that final touch to the instrumental sections, he was the first person we called having remembered his tight horn solos with Publish The Quest. Bill plays on trumpet on Break My Heart.
All of these musicians have helped make this album possible, not only by playing the songs, but by adding their support, encouragement, and positive energy to the process. They not only play the notes, but they add their personality and stories to the songs. In this way, the songs have changed and grown through the process of recording them. They have taken on a life of their own and when I listen to the rough tracks along the way, I fall in love with the songs all over again each time a new part is added.
When I think about the songs and the recordings, I just keep thinking that I can't wait for everyone to hear them. I hope that when you get your CD or your downloads that you sit down with a pair of headphones and take a close listen. The magic that happens when you make music with others is there for you to listen to. Each of the songs has a particular meaning for me, but as soon as you hear them, they become a part of your own story. They are whatever they mean to you - in your own life journey. That's the gift and the power of music.
Thank you Jacob, Todd, Keith, Joe, Sarah, Jason, Richard, Paul, Dave, Andrew, Lonesome, Daniel, and Bill.
And thank you so much to Don Farwell at Earwig Studio who weaves it all together. Don is a genius and a confidant in this process. He is amazingly supportive and tireless. Don was born and raised on Vashon and I'm incredibly fortunate to have found Earwig Studio.