I love a beach. For me, a beach is the place to be alone with my thoughts, to gaze at the water, or to lie down and let the sounds of the waves, the wind, and the birds bring me to that moment when the noise of life is muted and imagination blossoms. That's when I hear music.
Growing up on the Lake Michigan shore, I frittered away a significant amount of my youth roaming the water's edge. Those beaches have inspired some of the compositions on this recording, particularly "Sand Dancing." Others came from experiences at beaches on the Gulf Coast, and Southern California. "Shaw's Cove" was written for a great place to splash in the Pacific surf at Laguna Beach. "Coral Blue" and "Moonlight Key" were inspired by the endless shades of sky and water all along Florida's Emerald Coast. "Samba For Mr. B." has more to do with the great guitarist Charlie Byrd than with any particular stretch of sand. Charlie loved the water and often sailed his own boat around the beautiful Chesapeake Bay
Of course, it really doesn't matter what beach you're on. That feeling of peace and of being a part of the natural world can be found almost anywhere the land ends with a ribbon of golden sand and the water begins. I'll see you there.
This CD was recorded by Bud Brown at Higher Ground Studio, Bessemer, Alabama, with additional recording and mixing by yours truly at Lost Jim's Recording Marina and Bait Shop in Bluff Park, AL. The beautiful gut string guitar I played on this recording (the one shown on the cover) was custom built for me by made Kirk Sand, in Laguna Beach, California. For those of you who play guitar, I use Fred Kelly thumbpicks exclusively, and the yellow Slick Pick is my favorite.
The incredible Birmingham, AL musicians who perform with me on this record are:
Gary Wheat, tenor & alto saxophones
Michael Glaser, drums & percussion
Roy Yarbrough, upright bass
Matthew Devine, piano
Very special thanks goes out to Roy Yarbrough for writing the lead sheets, Bud Brown for his engineering expertise and friendship, Clyde Kendrick for his unwavering support of my music, Peter Huttlinger, Tommy Emmanuel, and Chet Atkins for showing me (and so many of us) how the guitar should be played. - Jim O