Produced by Denis Farley for Pouring Rain Music.
Recorded at the TuneCastle, Goodlettesville, TN., May 23, 2001.
Randall Merryman - engineer, production.
Dave Powelson - guitars, production.
Ronnie Godfrey - Keyboard and bass on Islemorada Desperado,
and Ronnie’s friend played drums on Islemorada Desperado.
Back in the beautifully cold, sometimes white, and mostly gorgeous New Mexico winter of 2001 I received a stray email from one, Randall Merryman, proclaiming his talents as a producer/engineer. It went something like this, although maybe a few artists have been added since we worked together in the spring of '01:
Hello, my name is Randall Merryman. I am a Recording Engineer/Producer from Nashville, TN. I've been in the Recording Business for over 22 years. Some of the artists I have recorded include: The Marshall Tucker Band; Elvis' original band featuring Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana along with The Jordanaires; Neil Diamond; BTO fame Randy Bachman; Jim Capaldi (Traffic); Billy Burnette (Fleetwood Mac & Rock and Roll Trio); The Artimus Pyle Band (Lynyrd Skynyrd); Brenda Lee; Billy Dean; Hank Thompson; Kitty Wells; Tonya Tucker; David Ball; K.T. Oslan; Eddie Rabbit; Hal Ketchum; Jim Ed Brown; Jeannie Sealy; St. Louis piano greats Johnny Johnson, Clayton Love and Jimmy Vaughn; New Orleans' legend Tommy Ridgley; Jo-El Sonnier; The Blue Runners; Mark Naftalin, keyboardist for Paul Butterfield Blues Band; Kansas City's own Little Hatch and The House Rockers; Jonny Lang; Keb Mo; The Alabama Blues Project featuring Debbie Bond, W.C. Handy Award nominee Willie King, Little Jimmy Reed, Big Bo and Billy Earl McClellend; Godfather of the Delta Blues Willie Foster; Cristy Lane; Paul Rennhack (Red-Hawk), The Blue Ridge Quartet and The New Hinsons. I've mastered for CD release the following projects: The Stanley Brothers Box Set for King-Starday Records; The Blues Masters Series for Rhino Records; the entire Modern Blues Recordings catalog; The Scepter-Wand Box Set for Capricorn Records and assisted on the Phil Spector Box Set. I've mastered for CD release such artists as Grandpa Jones, George Jones, Patsy Cline, Red Sovine, Hank Thompson, Kitty Wells, B.J. Thomas, The Shirelles, Gene Pitney, Cowboy Copas, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Freddie King, Albert King, James Brown, Little Willie John, Hank Ballard & The Midnighters, The Dominoes, Dr. John, Brenda Lee and Debbie Davies.
These days you can find Randall at Red Hawk Productions
Since I hadn't recorded anything in a few years and had a few songs that needed to get down in the firmament, and I was headed that way anyway come the Spring for a few gigs with old pal Fuzz in Ohio . . . I reckoned, "sure, Randall, lets do it."
So up the old Santa Fe Trail I drove Northeast out of Santa Fe, through Liberal, KS (Liberal is also home to The Land of Oz exhibit, a recreation of Dorothy's house and the famed Yellow Brick Road, featuring donated bricks bearing the names of such luminaries as Senator Bob Dole, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, and Liza Minnelli), then on to Dodge City (I'm sure there was a replica of the 'Long Branch Saloon' there or several references to the long running TV show featuring Marshall Matt Dillon, Kitty, Doc and Chester, then Fester but certainly it was ever present in my imagination, TV having taken over the controlling shares in my Dodge City mythology), then, I'm still on the road right? . . . driving northeast out of Dodge City and on to the old protected prairie north of Wichita, KS and on in to Topeka . . . Judy Garland as one of the Harvey Girls still fresh in my mind singing 'the Atcheson Topeka and Santa Fe.' You know here in San Francisco, last night I saw her singing it again, a bio of Judy.
Ok, back to Kansas City now (just got a great version of the song by Fats Domino on iTunes!!), and on across the Mississippi River at St. Louis and the long expanse of corn fields to Findlay, OH for a few gigs with the Fuzz man, then on to New York, (I'm still driving here!) taking some nostalgia photos of my old haunts in the Village, Hy Shore, my attorney and label partner's old office on 12th Street with former Attorney General under LBJ, Ramsey Clark. Then more photos of Hy's apartment on MacDougal Street and some of the restaurants we'd hang out at drinking wine and "having a bite," as Hy liked to say, The Cedar Bar, an old Kerouac haunt and then Hy's favorite place, Le Pescadou, on King Street where his memorial was held.
On the way back home to Ojo Caliente, NM I met Randall outside of Nashville in Goodlettsville, TN at the home studio of Dave Powelson, The Tune Castle. Dave was an impressive musician and just the man I needed for my style of quick one or two take recordings. Dave played guitar on all five recordings, adding electric guitar to Islemorada Desperado, both rhythm and lead.
Here's some notes on Dave:
Tune Castle Studio - http://www.tunecastle.com/
Dave Powelson is a songwriter, producer, guitarist and recording engineer with 30 years experience in the music business. He played guitar and sang background vocals for Crystal Gayle and Barbara Mandrell. Dave appeared on many television shows with Barbara Mandrell including a Bob Hope Special, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Also during this time Dave wrote a song that Barbara Mandrell recorded called "Not Tonight, I've Got A Heartache". This was Dave's first song to be recorded by a major recording artist. It was also during this time that Dave signed a publishing deal with Acuff-Rose, one of the biggest and most successful publishers in the music industry. This company represented songs by the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, Mickey Newbury and Hank Williams.
In 1985 Dave got the opportunity to join the legendary Brenda Lee. Being with Brenda has afforded Dave the opportunity to work with one of the most successful, influential and respected singers of all time. Dave has been playing guitar for Brenda now almost 20 years. As such he's traveled to Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, England, Scotland Switzerland, Puerto Rico and Canada.
Brenda and Dave have also collaborated as a songwriting team and with other writers as well. They teamed up with Michael McDonald to write "The Kind Of Fool Love Makes" for Wynona Judd on her album "The Other Side". That was a Gold record.
Kenny Rogers also recorded the song on his album "She Rides Wild Horses" which achieved Platinum status. Tanya Tucker, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash have also recorded Dave's songs. Brenda recorded a song she and Dave co-wrote called "Teach Me To Pray" for a new Brenda Lee Gospel album. Dave also co-produced the album.
So I felt I was in good hands with Randall and Dave. I did my best, as it was in May of '01. When I got home, Val listened and liked what I was trying to do . . . and Val, no mean music critic, could be tough. Enjoy!