* Album Facts & Descriptions
(Albums on the Listen / Buy Music page have complete track listings and credits on their corresponding CD Baby links)
©2015 Eras End Productions - Songwriter, Producer, Engineer, Nylon & Steel String Acoustic Guitars, Electric Guitars, Keyboards, Moog Taurus Bass Pedals, Percussion & Hand Percussion
* This song turned into a very big production when all was said & done. I thought I’d try another new path this time, and as the name depicts, there’s definite Latin inspirations happening here, combined with rock and elements of blues and jazz. I wanted to create a guitar piece that was very melodic, dynamic and had a variety of solos throughout the long middle section. It took a long time, was a hell of a lot of work, but also a lot of fun putting it all together. Writing a lengthy epic is one thing, but then recording, arranging, editing (tons of editing) and mixing all of the instruments and parts together is quite another. It requires wearing different hats - from creating the music to producing it and also engineering it.
Being able to go from one musical style to another within a song is a blast. Along with the electric guitars, it felt good to include the nylon string classical guitar once again. Actually, there are two classicals featured on this track. For the main melodies at the beginning & end of the tune, I played an Alvarez Master Series. It has a beautiful tone, and it’s the same guitar I used to record ‘Roraima’ with on my album Worlds Within. It’s also the guitar pictured on the Pink Flamenco cover. For the solo, I broke out my first classical guitar that I got as a teenager back in 1979. It’s a Di Giorgio from Brazil and not in the best shape anymore, plus it’s a bitch to play now, but it still sounds great. You can also hear me playing it during the fast Spanish style solo on the Wishbone Ash song ‘Another Time’.
As far as electric guitars go, I used my Fender The Strat, my Gibson Les Paul Classic and Gibson ES-345 for different solos. I usually set up a bunch of different classic amps when I record (Vox, Fender, Marshall), so a new first for me was that the ONLY amp I used for ALL of the electric parts on this track was a Bugera V22 (1x12) combo. It’s a surprisingly great sounding little amp that’s an inexpensive rival to many pricey boutique and reissue amps out there.
Typically, my M.O. for writing songs is to map them out by making a good demo first. I write the bass and drum parts (with a drum machine), but usually I’ll have other musician’s play those parts for the final recording. I only ask that they keep certain melodies or rhythms that work well in the tracks, but I also want them to add their own thing, so the songs have a live band feel and synergy to it.
To my surprise, I had the unexpected good fortune of reuniting with my good friend (and bass extraordinaire) Peter Bennett recently, so of course I asked him to play on this track. From the start of my solo band in 2007, Pete was there. His amazing bass work plays a big part in the sound of my instrumental music. He’s played on my albums and performed those songs with me live, along with Ed Lange on drums. Dan Pacuk played keyboards & rhythm guitar with us live. A lot has changed for Pete personally over the past couple of years, including moving out of state, and I didn’t think he’d be available to record, so I was thrilled to learn that, in fact, he could!
All I needed now was for Señor Edwardo Lange to record the drums and some percussion. Aside from us being fishing buddies, Ed too, was there from the very start of my solo band and is also a major contributor to the vibe of the music. He’s a great guy, great drummer, and probably the most laid back dude you could ever meet. Pete & Ed have always played well together and they make a solid rhythm section with a lot of feel and chops added in the right places. It’s been a few years since the three of us have recorded together and five years since our last performance, so it was nice to have my friends back on board for this project, and as always…they “knocked it outta the park”.
As I was writing this song, I wanted to include the word Flamenco in the title somehow. One day, while my wife & I were listening to a demo of it, we actually said the name Pink Flamingo at the exact same time. Then I changed Flamingo to Flamenco…and there it was! As an experiment for the cover, I bought a set of neon pink guitar strings that ended up looking pretty cool in the picture. My friend Gail Corrow did a fantastic job with the cover photo - you can check out more of her beautiful photography on her website: www.gailcorrowphotography.com/ . Also, my friend Gary Fulton at Sonic House Post did an amazing job with the mastering. This wasn’t an easy song to master, as it’s really more like three or four tunes in one, so it required a lot of careful attention to detail. Visit Gary's website to hear more of his work: www.sonichousepost.com/. During these final processes, I was ping-ponging ideas back & forth with both Gail and Gary until we got everything right where it needed to be, which we ultimately did.
So, that’s all for now – I hope you like it!
©2008 Eras End Productions - Songwriter, Producer, Engineer, Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Lap Steel Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion
* My first instrumental album and the most successful solo work so far. This was the first time I had complete freedom to try out different musical styles. It was also the start of my music being chosen for commercial sound tracks. Making an album is always a lot of work, but everything lined up just right for this one. Ed Lange (Drums) and Pete Bennett (Bass) did a great job and contributed a lot to the overall sound of the album. It was an added bonus to receive recognition and acclaim from international guitar magazines and websites for my efforts. I’m honored to be compared to many of the greatest legendary guitarists who made a real difference in music.
A lot of people have asked me if all the guitars on the cover are mine, and the answer is no. About half were mine, but I also borrowed a bunch, mainly for different colors. My brother Jim lent me 6 or 7, and a couple more from friends of mine.
My friend Kristi Conte was the photographer, and she did an amazing job with the cover pic, as well as many live shots of me & the band. I had a definite idea in mind and needed a cool looking stairway or steps to pull it off. While we were driving around, scoping out different locations, she said we should check out the back courtyard of the Keeler Tavern in Ridgefield, CT., and once I saw those rounded steps I knew that was it! We did the photo shoot on a cold November morning. I had to rent a U-Haul truck to fit all the guitars and stands into. Out of over 100 pics taken, we ended up choosing the very first one for the cover – ain’t that always the way. You can check out more of Kristie's incredible photography on her website: http://kcontephoto.com/html_gallery.cfm?menu_itemID=721026&load=html&parentID=719081#!/page/72761/home
©2010 Eras End Productions - Songwriter, Producer, Engineer, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Tubular Bells, Chimes
* A mellow, easy listening melodic tune – nice change of pace.
The Epic Singles
©2011 Eras End Productions - Songwriter, Producer, Engineer, Guitars, Keyboards, Moog Taurus Bass Pedals, Percussion
* A couple of progressive rock epics, White Rush-In and Life By Time, that were originally recorded for my album Worlds Within. I actually wrote the opening riff in Life By Time when I was a teenager and first used it as part of a song bearing the same name with an original prog-rock band called "Y" during my California days. Many moons later, the same riff was brought back to life in this revamped instrumental version. There's some crazy riffage going on in this one at times, but it was a lot of fun taking it there!
So as to not have the Worlds Within album go too far in any one particular direction stylistically, I decided to leave these tracks off and then released them a few years later.
©2012 Eras End Productions – Songwriter, Producer, Engineer, Guitars, Keyboards, Moog Taurus Bass Pedals, Percussion
* Yet two more instrumental releases I recorded with my solo band. Some cool psychadelic sounds happening on Jimi’s Page - the title being the combined names of Jimi Hendrix & Jimmy Page. Red Strat Shuffle is an ode to my trusty battle-axe, The Strat.
©2012 Eras End Productions - Compilation & Arrangement
* In 2012 I had the idea to put out a collection of my progressive rock instrumentals together with some of the more “proggy” Wishbone Ash tunes I had written for Illuminations. In the studio I experimented with editing out the vocals from those songs and then rearranged the music tracks to make them fit the instrumental format, and it worked out great. I ran the idea by Andy Powell and after he heard it, he loved it - done deal!
©2013 Eras End Productions - Songwriter, Producer, Engineer, Acoustic Guitar(s)
* Those of you who follow what I do know that I play many different styles of music and this little acoustic number is another example of that rule. It’s a nod to 1940’s jazz with its melodic swing and Andrew Sister’s-type harmonies during the chord blocks, which are mostly stretched out triads in intervals of 2nds.
Live In Geneva
©1995 Hengest Records - Guitar, Lap Steel Guitar, Vocals
* This live album was recorded during our first week of touring as a new band in 1994 in Geneva, Switzerland with Andy Powell (guitar, vocal), Tony Kishman (bass, lead vocal), Mike Sturgis (drums) and Me (guitar, lap steel guitar, vocal) playing a set of early-day WA material, including a medley that I had arranged as part of our show. Unbeknownst to us until that very night, was that a Hi-Def video of the concert was to be filmed at the same time the show was being recorded – just a little nerve racking! The band pulled off a very good performance that night, especially under the circumstances, and the recording & video quality came out great.
Unfortunately, the German based company that recorded & filmed the concert released a bootleg version of the album called Live AT Geneva, which had a picture of the four original members on the cover. The bootleg showed up in stores all throughout Europe, beating out the official release by several months. So, by the time the owner of the English record label released Live IN Geneva in 1995, it had no steam. To make matters worse, he also decided to keep the video locked away for nearly twenty years before trying his luck at a badly mistimed release.
In lieu of all that, this band of pros did its job well and delivered a damn good live album.
The following link was sent to me about a classic Gretsch lap steel guitar. The article was published shortly after the release of the Live In Geneva album in 1995. Various lap steel players are mentioned including; Me, Ted Turner, David Gilmore, Steve Howe, David Lindley, etc. http://www.in2guitar.com/gretsch.html
©1996 HTD Records (Europe), Renaissance Records (USA) - Songwriter, Co-Producer, Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Lap Steel Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Keyboards
* Touring – writing – touring – recording – touring - that was our life for several years, and Illuminations was the result of mostly my material, and Andy Powell & I collaborating extensively on the album. Many great memories of putting it all together in bizarre, but creative conditions – very rock & roll! There’s some really good songs and musical ideas there, and some not so good, but a solid record overall that was well received by fans. The album had a fresh sound to it, along with a top shelf recording and big production that still sounds great today.
Andy & I brought an arsenal of different guitars & amps into the studio for this album. I remember the horrified look on the studio owners face when we kept wheeling in the big Marshall amps (lol!) - which I used to record on both guitar and bass tracks.
It’s not easy to step into an existing band, especially a legendary one, and keep their tradition going while trying to carve out your own niche along the way. But, that’s exactly what I did and I’m very proud of that. However, after an intense few years of dedication and hard work on my part, circumstances within and around the band just kept getting worse. Eventually, and unfortunately, I got so disappointed with the whole thing that I decided to leave the band at the end of our final tour in December 1997.
All in all, it was truly an invaluable experience filled with extreme highs, rock-bottom lows and everything in between. To this day, Andy & I remain good friends and we see each other occasionally. Despite the many changes and incarnations Wishbone Ash has endured, they’ll always be an important part of rock & roll history and I am forever grateful and honored to be a part of their legacy.
The Best of Wishbone Ash
©1997 MCA Records - Acoustic remake of “Blowin’ Free” - Dobro & Acoustic Guitar, Bass
* While we were recording Illuminations in 1996, MCA Records was putting together a Best Of collection and had asked us to make an “unplugged” acoustic version of Blowin’ Free as a bonus track. With limited time and a shoe-string budget, we recorded it quickly at a friend’s studio in CT. Andy Powell & I played acoustic guitars, I also played Bass and Dobro guitar, Andy’s son Aynsley (who was only 15 at the time) played drums, and Tony Kishman sang the lead vocal…not bad for a few hours’ work!
©1997 Repertoire Records - “Mountainside”, “Crack of Dawn” - Guitars, Bass, Vocals, Keyboards
* An interesting and very little known fact for WA fans of this time period, is that I played Martin Turner’s Gibson Thunderbird bass on this version of Mountainside. The bass track was part of the first English demo recordings we did in London, but were later replaced with a Rickenbacker 4001 bass that I recorded in America for Illuminations. Because of time restraints and pressure from the German record label to release the Distillation collection, this version of Mountainside, with its different bass sound and slightly different mix, was sent to them while Illuminations was being recorded in the States. Looking back, it’s pretty cool having both versions.
©2014 Solid Rockhouse Records - “Strange How Things Come Back Around” - Music & Lyrics
* Blue Horizon is the name of the latest album from Wishbone Ash (released February, 2014). Andy Powell had asked me if I’d like to submit a song that the band might consider using on the album, and so I did - AND, I’m glad to report that it made the cut! This was one of those rare times when I sat down and wrote the entire song (music & lyrics) in about 15 minutes. The track is called 'Strange How Things Come Back Around'.
I wrote it on my Strat, which gives it that funky/blues groove on the verses. The bass and guitar lines during the outro are reminiscent of some earlier WA riffs. Andy liked the tune a lot, so we got together a few times to work it out before the band headed into the studio to record it. Although certain parts ended up sounding quite a bit different than I had intended, the guys did a good job making it their own.
Rock is Dead
©2005 Generic Records - Songwriter, Exec Producer, Engineer, Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
* Something I always wanted to do was make an ass-kicking, in-your-face rock album…and man this is it! The band was actually named after a small room (The Blast Room) at a music store where we all worked at the time. Employees could go in there and crank up the big amps really loud without bothering anyone on the sales floor. As it turned out, Blast Room was the only name we could all agree on, so it worked out perfectly.
There's some seriously ballsy energy captured on this album. But, once Rock is Dead was released, this short-lived band ended after only a handful of gigs…chemistry just wasn’t there…lots of issues were. At the end of the day, we made a high energy, classic rock style album together, so it was worth doing.
©2000 Tunnel Records - Songwriter, Exec Producer, Engineer, Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Lap Steel Guitar, Vocals
* A combination of Progressive Rock, Pop and Jazz sums up the sound of Cinema, with lots of clean, intricate musical parts and big vocal harmonies. This was my first time writing all the material and engineering the entire album while learning the ropes of computerized recording. By no means my best stuff, but it certainly has its moments. There aren’t many bands out there that can pull off this kind of material, but Cinema had very talented players on board who did the job well.
Knock Down the Walls
©2008 Red / Sony Records - Lead & Backing Electric Guitar (Rock/Pop Mix) - Lead & Backing Classical Guitar (Urban Mix)
©2013 Red / Sony Records - Lead & Backing Electric Guitar, Slide Guitar
* My long-time friend Gary Lefkowith manages Chubby Checker, and they hired me to record the guitar solos and rhythm tracks on a couple of his contemporary songs. Chubby also invited me to play some live shows with his group, and then he later made a guest appearance with my group at the concert premier of my album release for Worlds Within. He’s a good guy and a lot of fun to be around.
LISA BOUCHELLE & JOHN POPPER of Blues Traveler
Only the Tequila Talkin'
©2011 / ©2016 Trash Can Dreams LLC - Electric Guitar
Free Spirit Reflection
©2003 Broadband Records - Lap Steel Guitar
©1997 Green Linnet Records - Lap Steel Guitar
©1991 Generic Records - Lead & Rhythm Electric Guitar