THE NEW RELEASE
This Time Story- The story of this record is much like a river. It took me through rapids, over water falls and into the flow. I met Bob Delage, Brody Kucera, and Jake Johnson one night when I went to see some old friends, Don and Doug Bratland-The Bratlanders- playing with their longtime friend and musical partner Matt Arthur at the 331 Bar in northeast Minneapolis. There where a couple young guys playing with them that I just couldn’t believe how good they where for their age. The same age as my son! After the show I asked if they where looking for any more work and they excitedly said yes! What luck, if this worked out it would be the second time I stumbled into a group of players who where already a unit (Woodzen) that where interested in playing my stuff. Visitor 42 made up of Dan Sauter, Dan “Buck” Johnson and Kurt Knudsen became Deer Crossing in my first band. I knew right away I wanted to get a recording going to get something started in Minneapolis. We rehearsed for a few months and I booked some time at The Terrarium Recording Studio in northeast Minneapolis. The sessions went great. We had Scottie Miller join us on the Hammond organ on Jason Orris’s (owner/engineer at The Terrarium) recommendation. “He’s Magical” said Orris of Scottie’s playing. And he was right! I didn’t have any new material at the time but I had the urge to rerecord some of my older songs that for one reason or another I wasn’t happy with the versions previously recorded. The Dirt Road album was my first DIY recording. I got a TASCAM 1/2 tape machine and 1 decent mic and dove in. The performances and arrangements where great but the recording quality was terrible. On the Deer Crossing record, Analog Truck, I insisted on mixing it and it turns out I didn’t really know what I was doing! Shocker! So I picked what I think are my best songs and we got them down in a stellar studio with great performances and I left the mixing to Orris. To add something new I picked Mt. Zion Road by Donna Jean Foster, my partner in Dirt Road and Tennessee from Gillian Welch which we tried once in rehearsal and just fell in love with! Once we had all the main tracks and overdubs complete I decided I wanted some of my old friends to sing and play on the record so I put together a small traveling recording rig and went to California where I had old friends from the Bay Area scene Brent Lewellen and Rick DiDia add some harmony vocals. Then I drove down to LA where my friend Adam Austin added harmony vocals, and acoustic guitar on Morning Comes. I returned home. Filled the truck with gas and headed to visit my dear old friend and Deer Crossing and Dirt Road partner Donna Jean. DJ and her family live in the southern Pennsylvania countryside that Mt. Zion Road winds through. DJ grew up there immersed in all the imagery of the civil war and quaker mysticism that are so thick in the air. I stayed in her parents stone summer house and we recorded harmony vocals and the Wurlitzer electric piano on Little Lila there. I called up Kevin Miller, bass player for Deer Crossing, and asked if he could pull out his hurdy gurdy and add it to River Song. He’s living in Santa Fe and said he thought it was somewhere in the basement of his violin shop, The Violin Shop of Santa Fe, and he would see if it still played. It did and he sent the track up and we plugged it in. My friend of 45 years, Don Bratland did the artwork for the album and “This Time” was complete! Old and new friends together.