Meant for the Stage: My Solo Album Release Party

On the last day of my freshman year at Lee High School in Midland,TX, my theater teacher Mr. Bustilloz told me that I was meant for the stage, and whatever I ended up doing in my life as a career, he hoped that I would find time to be up there in some way. Well, Mr. B, I’m giving it my best shot. This one’s for you:

poster by Jason McElweenie

My new album, Film Noir marks my debut as a solo performer, and I’m proud of it, not just the finished product, but the journey. It involved working two jobs for six months to finance the album correctly, scouting musicians for violin, mandolin, banjo, pedal steel, upright bass, percussion and cello, 14+ sessions at SugarHill Studios and Essential Sound with recording, mixing and mastering, and a little of help from my friends. A lot of help, actually.

One of my friends is bassist Justus Brake, a huge bearded guy I met in college up in Cleveland, OH. He brought me to my first open mic night. He’s flying down here from Cleveland to play bass at the show, and he’s really good.

Another great friend of mine is Monica Danna.  She’s seen me play more times than anyone, and we even hijacked her mom’s new SUV to trek 65 hours round trip for Runaway Sun’s NYC shows, and we’re STILL friends!

I’ve wrapped my mind around the conundrum that is the music industry with JR Cohen more times than anyone, and not once has he told me to put a sock in it.  Cheers, Bubba! #SLGT

photo by Erin Nies

Chris Longwood (my right), Sound Engineer at the best recording studio around,  SugarHill. Many years and many records to come, Chris! Marshall West, funniest guy I know and drummer on the album and for Runaway Sun.  Brian del Castillo, bassist for Runaway Sun and the guy with me in the booking trenches.  Photo by Everett Taasevigen, the rad dude who shot my album cover!  Bravo Everett!

A big thanks to Gina Miller at SugarHill for making this record happen, and for helping me become GRAMMY eligible!

photo by Bob MacCready

Last but not least, Maggie McDonald, who bought an eight hour block of recording time at SugarHill in a charity auction and gave it to me as a birthday present.  No kidding, she’s that nice:

photo by Gwen Bell

There are more people to thank, and I will do my best to thank everyone at the release party.  Join me with a cast of top notch musicians that includes:

Dominika Dancewicz – violin

Justus Brake, Zero Anataman – upright bass

Val Young – cello

Marshall West – drums

Bart Maloney – pedal steel

We will perform the entire solo album, Runaway Sun will cap off the evening, and you’ll walk away with a copy of Film Noir.  What could be better than that?



photo by Paul Galland


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