Speaking from a technical stand-point and with my recording engineer/producer hat on, documenting this song cycle was no small effort. But what a joy to have found my voice flying home to a place in the high elevation peaks and basins of the west, where stories and passions abound! Who cannot drive the old pathways through canyons and bison dotted plateaus without breaking down in tears for what this country was and is, and how it came to be so?
After a journey to northern Montana in 2010 to finish work on a collaborative album with pianist and producer Philip Aaberg, in 2011 I was invited to "hole up" on a composer's retreat at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, and go deeper into the creative mind of my western experience. Eight of the 12 tracks on this album were written and initially recorded there. Driving back home across the country in late autumn, my vision for the album was focused and alive, and as soon as my schedule allowed, I rolled up my sleeves, dove back in and called on a few friends.
The folks on my team understood what I needed, because they also make their own recordings and appreciate the craft of creating music projects from the ground up. I want to thank each and everyone of them for their enthusiastic participation in my project. Hats off to fellow Vermont DIY musicians, including compadres Jeff Berlin, Patrick Ross, Bow Thayer, Brian Clark, Chas Eller and Mark Spencer, who brought their musicality into the mix with great panache.