Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mark Growden - Lose me in the Sand

One of my favorite projects to work on last year was Mark Growden's album now known as Lose me in the Sand. At the time it was simply known as Tuscon because he had assembled all the musicians from Tuscon and it was recorded there.

Inspired by the musical vibe in Tucson, Bay Area musician, composer and singer Mark Growden employed an all-star lineup of country and blues players from the Old Pueblo to record his explosive new album last year at Loveland Studio. Lose Me in the Sand explores some of Growden's musical roots while planting new seeds in the Sonoran Desert.

While he focused on the accordion on his last album, 2010's impressive Saint Judas, Growden mainly plays clawhammer banjo here. Robust accompaniment is provided by guitarist Clay Koweek (who also plays mandolin), fiddler Tim O'Connor, Dobro player Connor Gallaher, harmonica player Tom Walbank, upright bassist Ian Stapp and percussionist Andrew Collberg. They use the wooden instruments to kindle a fiery brand of old-time bluegrass that's also warm and inviting.

Quoted from here.

Loveland was a challenging studio in some ways but also had strong points like being able to record to 16 track 2" tape. It was recorded live in the studio with minimal amount of overdubs and repairs. Everyone was in a single recording room except for Tom, the harp player who I put in the control room. Some baffles were strategically placed to help with isolation. The room wasn't that large and there were a lot of open mics including two room mics placed at either end. All this bleed of the instruments into different mics resulted in a lot of depth of field in unusual and unpredictable ways. The live sound of a group of musicans playing their guts out in a small room, capped by Mark's passionate and soulful vocal delivery is what makes this record so vital and exciting.

This Tuscon experience of producing and recording this project with Mark and company, is certainly up there with other classic recordings I've been involved with. I don't really know how to describe it but the performance atmosphere was electrically buzzing and vibrating with the feeling that something real was going down. This atmosphere is on the recording.

Check out the video for my song "Settle in a Little While" from the new album.


Video by Liliana Mejia and myself. Made with a Buddha Board and a blow dryer. Filmed while I was attending an artist residency at HEREKEKE in Lama, NM.

Where to Purchase "Lose me in the Sand"


The best place to purchase my new album Lose me in the Sand is directly from Porto Franco Records here.

But if you prefer iTunes or Amazon you can get them there too.

"Lose me in the Sand" National Tour Continues


Big Bend, TX.

After these two days off in New Orleans, we head out to North Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Northern California, Oregon and Washington. I hope we're coming to a town near you.

Here are the details:

Appalachia/Heartland/Rockies Leg:

The NorCal/Northwest Leg

More shows will be added for April and May. Here's what we have so far:

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