This album is a departure from anything I ever thought I’d release. It is kind of a “patchwork quilt” of sounds and styles ~ an aural echo of where I’ve been, and now that all of these 'vaulted' cuts have finally been released, perhaps a springboard to where I’m going next. Two of the most soulful players that appear on this record (Jeff Hodges and A.D. Mannion, drummers both) have since passed away. I am so grateful for having known them as dear friends as well as wonderful musicians and it was truly important to me to include the songs I recorded with them on this album. The quality of musicianship on this CD is outstanding, and I consider myself very fortuneate to have had the opportunity to record with and learn from every single player on here without exception. A few of the musicians of note ~ James Polk, who played piano for James Brown, Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Double Trouble”, Chris Duarte, Barry “Frosty” Smith who played drums for Bill Withers, Larry Fulcher, who plays bass for Taj Mahal, Tommy Taylor who plays drums for Eric Johnson.... the list goes on! Expect a few twists and turns, as musical genres change with practically every song ~ I put them all on here to “Get them all out there!”
“Loving and Longing” and * “Love is a Temporary Condition” were recorded at ‘Bee Creek Studios’ in Spicewood Texas, in December of 1991. On both songs; Tracy Conover, vocals and acoustic guitar. Tommy Shannon, bass. Chris Layton, drums. Floyd Domino, piano. Mitch Watkins, acoustic guitar on “Loving and Longing” and electric guitar on “Love is a Temporary Condition”. Engineered by Spencer Starnes. I had just moved to Austin in October of 1991, and you can imagine how excited I was to get to record with my heroes Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon!
“I Shoulda Left You” was recorded at ‘Ben Blank Audio’ in Austin Texas in 1994. Tracy on vocals and guitar. The late, great Jeff “Little Calvin” Hodges plays drums on this track, he is loved and missed everyday by those of us who were fortuneate enough to know him. The amazing Lou de la Noval plays bass.
engineered by Ben Blank.
“I Wanna be an Angel” was recorded at ‘The Hit Shack’ in Austin Tx. in 1995. Tracy on vocals and acoustic guitar. Riley Osborne on B3 organ. Leland Parks on bass. Tommy Taylor on drums. Jay Hudson, engineer.
“Garden of Color” and “My Big Rocker” were recorded at Arlyn Studios in Austin in 2000. Tracy on vocals and guitars. Chris Layton, drums. Tommy Shannon, bass. Gray Gregson, B3 organ. Stewart Sullivan and Larry Greenhill, engineers.
“Carelessly” and was recorded at Arlyn Studios in 1999. Tracy on vocals and guitar. James Polk on piano. Kevin Smith on upright bass. A.D.“Buff” Mannion on drums.
“Help Me Thru the Day” was recorded circa 2000 also at Arlyn. Tracy on vocals and guitars. Barry “Frosty” Smith on drums. Larry Fulcher, bass. James Polk, B3 organ. Studio engineer, Stewart Sullivan.
“Loverman” was recorded at Arlyn studios in 1999. Tracy Conover, vocals. Mark “Kaz” Kazanoff, saxophone. A.D. Mannion is mesmerizing on drums. James Polk, piano. Kevin Smith, upright bass. Studio engineer Larry Greenhill.
“Escape” was recorded at Sugarhill Studios in Houston Texas in 2004. Tracy Conover, vocals and lead guitar. Chris Duarte, rhythm guitar. John Jordan, bass. Ed miles on drums. Engineered by Steve Christiansen.
“There for Me” ~ same session, same personnel as above. Chris Duarte plays the beautiful guitar fills.
“Bye Bye Baby” same session and players, though this one was recorded live in one take with nothing overdubbed except the vocals. Tracy and Chris Duarte take turns playing lead and rhythm guitars, while John Jordan and Ed Miles rock out on bass and drums, respectively.
“Tell Me” was recorded in Houston at ‘Bong Island Sound’ in 2004. Tracy on vocals and lead guitar, Roger Tausz plays bass, rhythm guitar, drums and synth. Engineered by Roger Tausz.
“Ladykiller” and “Ironhorse” were recorded at Arlyn Studios in 1996, with Tracy Conover on vocals, Barry “Frosty” Smith on drums and Larry Fulcher on bass. Great session, however, I ran out of money before I finished recording the guitar tracks! I thought these two tracks were so cool though, that I dug them up out of the vaults, booked some studio time at ‘Wire’ Studios in Austin, and laid down the guitar tracks six years later in January of 2006. Stewart Sullivan engineered the original session at Arlyn in 1996, and (by no accident!) also engineered the session that brought this project to completion at his own ‘Wire’ Studios ten years later!
This entire Album project was mastered by Jerry Tubb at Terra Nova Digital Audio in Austin, Texas.
Cover and back photos by Mathew Sturtevant. CD Artwork by Bill Narum.