About the tracks:
1. Just Got Time to Catch that Train
Started in a dream, finished on a train.
Organ: George Keys Izquierdo, Backing vocals: nfd, Grace B. Wright
2. Hey Tony (I Want My Life Back, Too)
This one sprang forth whole after hearing Tony Hayward's whine during the Deepwater Horizon spill, easily the single stupidest utterance of last year.
Bass, piano: John Autin, Pedal Steel: Moon Melancon, Accordion: Bart Ramsey, Percussion: Rosie Rosato
3. They Want It All
I loved doing this one. Haven't written--let alone sung--a song long like this in years. The video was shot clandestinely in about 4 hours along Veterans Blvd.
Saxophones: Derek Huston
4. The Ring on Your Finger
Sometimes, ya just gotta write a little Hank.
Drums: Bob Rice, Pedal Steel: Moon Melancon, Fiddle: Gina Forsyth
5. The Monster
If you've ever really been hungry, there's no need to explain this one.
If you haven't, there's no way to. Just please donate--today--to your local food bank or Second Harvest.
Slide guitar: Dayna Kurtz
6. Nate Champion's Diary (The Missing Pages)
Bart calls it an "epic," which I think means "Damn, that's a long song."
It tells the story of the Johnson County War, a decade-long struggle between homesteaders and small stock owners in Wyoming and a few huge cattle interests--mostly foreign and Eastern --who claimed the state as their private grazing range. One cowboy, Nate Champion, was a particular
thorn in the stockmen's saddle blanket, so they did what powerful monopolists often do to small competitors: they eliminated the competition.
Fiddle: Gina Forsyth, Accordion, backing vocals: Bart Ramsey
7. Don't It Feel Like Rain
A song about people who care so much, but can't seem to say so.
Pedal steel: Moon Melancon, Fiddle: Gina Forsyth, Drums: Tyler Clements
8. In Manzanar
How could such a wrong, wrong place have such a beautiful name?
Accordion: Bart Ramsey, Fiddle: Gina Forsyth, Percussion: Rosie Rosato
9, Christmas at the Hospital (Louie Ludwig/Clark Vreeland)
I was sitting around thinking, "What would the most depressing Christmas song ever be?" A few ideas--Christmas in jail, I just want a cigarette for Christmas--seemed surely done before. Then this one hit. Clark showed me where the bridge had to go, for which I can't thank him enough.
Another clandestine video, this one shot at Touro Infirmary in an afternoon.
10. Nichevo (How it b)
"I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race [is] not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all."
'At's how it be.
Slide guitar, celeste: Clark Vreeland, Percussion: Rosie Rosato, Keys: George Keys Izquierdo
About the musicians:
John Autin is a pianist and producer who has played with some of New Orleans' biggest names. He divides his time largely between his house gig in the French Quarter's Monteleone Hotel and running Rabadash Records, the label he founded in 1981.
Tyler Clements is a remarkable young drummer who, at only 17, has played with many acts, including Jimmy Robinson, Dave Malone, Spencer Bohren, Johnny Vidacovich, Jonno Frishberg, Donald Ramsey and Al "Carnival Time" Johnson. Definitely keep your eye on Tyler.
Gina Forsyth is a brilliant singer, songwriter, guitarist and violinist who has played with Louisiana acts such as Mamou and Bruce Daigrepont. She has won numerous awards for his solo records. Her latest project is The Malvinas, a collaboration with Beth Cahill and Lisa Markley. They have just released their second album, "Love, Hope + Transportation."
Derek Huston was a founding member of seminal New Orleans Latino-rock band The Iguanas. Since leaving the group, he has toured with the Imagination Movers and worked with Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello.
George 'Keys' Izquierdo is a New Orleans pianist/keyboard player/producer known around the world for his power and finesse. His most recent album is Right at Home in New Orleans.
Dayna Kurtz is a New York-based singer, songwriter and guitarist renowned for her rich vocal style and deft songwriting. Her latest record is "American Standard."
Moon Melancon is the brilliant guitarist and songwriter for the roots rock band The Americanos.
Bart Ramsey is the pianist/vocalist/accordionist behind the New Orleans gypsy jazz phenomenon VaVaVoom, one of his many collaborations with violinist Neti Vaan. His latest band is Zazou City. You can check out Bart's music can be heard here and purchased here. You'll like it.
Bob Rice is the drummer for Atlanta's mold-breaking blues combo Spanky and the Love Handles.
Rosie Rosato has played percussion with such artists as Henry Butler, George Porter, Jr. and Leo Nocentelli. He currently performs with the Mardi Gras Indian Orchestra.
Clark Vreeland is a legend of New Orleans rhythm and blues, a founding member of the Rhapsodizers, which evolved into the Radiators, and Room Service. His current band is Spanky and the Love Handles.