The new album sounds amazing. That’s not me bragging; I’m only responsible for a small part of the sonic beauty that will soon be hitting your ears. Let’s take a minute to recognize and celebrate the talented musicians who contributed to The Optimist:
Aaron Bishop (bass) kicked everything off on this project by volunteering to organize recording the rhythm section. He is a musician and songwriter who tours with Tyrone Wells, Matt Hires, and more. I’ve been lucky enough to play live with him a couple of times, and he played bass for “Enemy” on Tourniquet.
Bob Matthews (drums) is a Corona-based drummer who I was lucky to meet through Aaron. He was awesome enough to host the rhythm recording in his home studio, and brought amazing energy to the songs. He tours with Kate Voegele, and plays bass in The Lucky Lonely.
I have known Rick Moore (keyboards/sax) since we attended Michelson Elementary together. I’ve been in awe of his musical prodigiousness since the first time I saw him play, and his Berklee degree only adds to the impressiveness of his resumé. He’s a founding member of Murphys band The Hot Dark and has toured with Patrice Pike.
When Rick came back from Boston he brought Kiel Williams (guitar) with him, and NorCal music fans were all the happier for it. Kiel writes beautiful songs for The Hot Dark and plays guitar so well that I just sit back and smile.
I first saw Jimbo Scott at the Freight & Salvage open mic in Berkeley in 2011; he played his song “Stone Blood” and as soon as the night ended I beelined to give him my card. We’ve since struck a great friendship and collaborate frequently. One night he came by my house with an unfinished song and a bottle of bourbon…an hour later we had “Pick Up Your Horn”, one of my favorite songs on the album. His album Weekends at the Madhouse is out now.
Michael Clebanoff (mix) was my coworker in Los Angeles, and I owe him big time. He invited me to a show by this girl named Sami that he’d just started playing drums for…I was so impressed that I asked her to help me finish a song I was working on called “Moonshine.” Michael mixed that song and was a huge help with the rest of Tourniquet, so once I was done recording The Optimist I asked him to mix the whole thing, and his work blew me away. He also composes music for film.
Alexis Wagner created the art for the album and both singles. She is an immensely talented designer and an exciting artist to work with, as she frequently surprises with interesting ideas and concepts. She also designed the artwork for Tourniquet.
I’m also grateful to Pete Ahonen, Owen Ridings, Caroline Nelson, Mike Stevens & Paul Stubblebine for their contributions. I hope you enjoy their work as much as I do.