Next To You
The day after my very first gig I talked to Dion Parson—amazing musician, great friend, and not coincidentally producer of this record—and asked him a favor. I wanted to start working with a guitarist and needed a recommendation. He said I needed someone who was lyrical, had a great sense of time, and was a real listener. And of course—he had just the cat. So began my relationship with Tom Dempsey, which led to our first duo performance in November 2003.
Since that time, Tom and I have done a multitude of gigs together in different arrangements. But throughout the trios, quartets, quintets, and beyond, we have always continued to work as a duet. Duo work to me can be both humbling and liberating—it feels like hard work that’s fun to do. Recently, however, it seemed the work was really paying off. People in the audience were coming up after sets to tell us how it felt like we were having so much fun playing together, or how we seemed very comfortable with each other and could anticipate where the other was going, or how fun it was to watch two people work together that seem to genuinely like each other. So this project seemed like a natural next step.
This record is my attempt to catch the essence of what people experience when they see us perform. While the songs span the gambit from classic to current, all of the selections are tunes we love to play together regularly.
This is still an early step in my career, so I consider myself lucky to be supported by such a great musician and even better friend.
I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it.