This new album is a combination of songs by yours truly and by writers whose work influenced me. All of the non-original or cover songs were written by mentors of mine and/or were pivotal to my choice to become the musician I am today. Ten years into my career as a full time touring artist and songwriter, I wanted to pay musical respects to these fine crafters of song. This is my way of saying thanks for the gifts their music gave to me. The theme Links In A Chain seemed the obvious album title. Then the muse struck and I wrote the title track. It was a happy moment of serendipity to be sure.
I first worked with Jon Carroll as he wove his wonderfully emotive musicianship into my last record, The Candle & The Flame. Candle featured my friend Pat Wictor as the primary musical partner, and it was left to Jon to dance in and around Pat’s signature guitar work. On this album I wanted to begin with Jon and myself as the core team, and then add in Pat’s signature sounds. Over the course of the last few years I have performed numerous live shows with Jon and Pat, respectively, and a few with all three of us together. It has always been a joyous experience. All I needed was some low end to round out the sound. In addition to being lead recording engineer for both projects, Jim Robeson was the deft bass-man on Candle, and an obvious choice for this recording.
In the spirit of my favorite jazz records, I envisioned a live studio project where the arrangements remained in the realm of what could be created in a live concert. Links In A Chain contains full, yet realistic arrangements with a focus on the songwriting, storytelling, and musicianship. All of my parts were recorded live at BIAS Studios, tracking voice and guitar simultaneously to capture that “live” vibe. The songs blossomed as Jon, Pat, and Jim added their magic.
We recorded, mixed, and mastered this project in an ambitious nine days, spanning two weeks, three states, and four studios. The musicians and engineers labored with marvelous diligence. None of this would have been possible, however, without the steadfast and heroic mixing and mastering efforts of Charlie Pilzer (Airshow), assisted by Mike Monseur. Charlie was nearly single-handedly responsible for the magnificent sounds of my last two records, and I knew I wanted his tremendous ears, heart, and soul on this project as well. I want to thank these gentlemen one and all for a tremendous record. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed creating it!
– Joe Jencks 5-1-09