There is absolutely no way I could complete a project like “Immigrant Songs” by myself…I will need a LOT of help from my friends! So I’m calling on several talented musicians I’ve met over the last 30 years to help me tell these stories.
NOTE: This is only the list of confirmed guests so far. If my Kickstarter project gets fully funded, I’ll have the budget to add even more amazingly talented people.
Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Audio Engineering
I was a fan of Scooter long before we became friends. Not only is he a champion 5-string banjo player, his guitar playing is absolutely world-class. He has huge ears (metaphorically), and has the ability to take any song to a completely new level by playing just the right notes at just the right time. In addition to being a talented musician, he is also a top-notch audio engineer. He did all the mixing and mastering on both “Sheep’s Clothing” and “Loescher+Kenneth (Remastered)”, and he’s bringing his skills to this new album as well.
Flute, Whistle, Vocals
My not-so-secret weapon: a wonderful multi-instrumentalist and singer who can elevate any track out of the ordinary and into the realm of magic. I’ve had the honor of sitting in with Scooter and Jill (aka Chambless & Muse) many times over the years, and I have always admired her ability to take a song and not only make it her own, but make it better. Her fingerprints are all over “Sheep’s Clothing“, and they will be a core part of this project as well.
Beth is an amazingly talented, incredibly funny singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and author. Earlier this century, I was fortunate enough to play drums and percussion with her at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, supporting the release of her album “Take Some Fire“. She has a strong voice (both literally and metaphorically), and is a truly unique talent…and the fact that she’s a big Rush fan gives us lots of common musical nerdiness to share. Beth brought her talents to a few tracks on “Sheep’s Clothing“, including my version of her song “Take Some Fire“. I’m looking forward to the musical alchemy she will concoct for this project.
There are many fine multi-instrumentalists in the Texas Celtic music scene, and Kendall is certainly one of them. There is very little that Kendall can’t do, and…more importantly…very little that he won’t do. Not only can he make me snort adult beverages out my nose, he adds wonderful sonic textures to any song. For example, he went out of his way to record an “emergency” accordion track (in his wife’s closet, no less) for “Lad Among Heather“, and it really took that track over the top.
From the Grand Ole Opry to the Emerald Isle, there is absolutely nothing holding back this Texas girl. I’ve played with Frances since she was in her very first band at 17 years old, and it’s been my absolute pleasure and privilege over the last <mumble />-something years to watch her grow and flourish into a world class multi-instrumentalist, singer, and composer. Sharing the stage or studio with her is pure joy, and always leaves me wanting more…and since this is my project, I get to have more. Yeah!
Highland Pipes, Flute, Whistle
An absolute master of his craft, and never content to rest on his laurels, EJ is a world champion bagpiper turned multi-instrumentalist and singer, who also builds several of the instruments he plays. The music is always the most important thing to EJ, and he brings passion to every performance. Playing with EJ always inspires me to “up my game”, and it is an honor and pleasure to work with him.
I was a fan of Rich’s for many years, admiring his work recording and playing live with Ed Miller (another musical hero). I first worked with him on the Piper Jones Band album “Crossing the Sabine”, and he was just as talented and cool to work with in the studio as he was on stage. He is one of those guys who can listen to a song, diagnose what it needs, and then dig into his deep bag of musical tricks to make it happen. Anything Rich touches turns to gold…and I’m sure that he’ll have the same effect on this project. Want proof? Check out “Legacy“, the first track from “Sheep’s Clothing“…
Uilleann Pipes, Whistle
I knew Tim’s reputation as the finest uilleann piper in America long before I met him, and I saw him perform from a distance a handful of times. When I found out he happened to be in Houston while we were recording the first Jiggernaut album, I called him up and asked him to play on a few tracks. What he delivered was absolutely magical, and I have continued to call on him when I have a track that needs that certain something I can’t quite express. But Tim gets it…he understands what a song needs to make it special, and he delivers. Every single time.
I first met Brian at the Cactus Café in Austin, TX in the early 90’s. He was touring with his recently released masterpiece album “Back o’ the North Wind“, and he literally changed my life. He is the whole enchilada – singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, author, and mentor. I worked up the courage to ask him to play fiddle on my song “Amazing Grace (Again)” for the debut Jiggernaut album “In Search of More“, and he ended up playing on a few other tracks as well (including my cover of his own song “Best o’ the Barley”). His list of musical achievements is too long to list here, but suffice it to say that it is a tremendous honor to work with one of my heroes again.