Saving Grace Album Release
"It was once said that writing about music is like dancing about architecture. How can I possibly sum up the making of my newest solo album? And not just any album, but the album I have been trying to make for 20 years? You could start by knowing that after nearly 10 years of working for Gregg Allman as his guitarist, musical director, songwriter and friend that this was my chance to bring to bear all I have learned from him and the amazing musicians I have befriended throughout this journey. You could also start by listening to the rough mixes from FAME studios in Muscle Shoals, AL. We had the pleasure of working with two of our dear friends and legendary Swampers highlighted in the Muscle Shoals documentary, Spooner Oldham and David Hood. You’ll hear Duane Allman's 1957 Goldtop Les Paul recorded at FAME for the first time since Duane played it there himself. The guitar weeps and moans. I'm hoping you will find this tone as special as we do. It fights you a little and pulls the best out of you. Gregg has always been kind enough to grant me full access to his brother's instruments. Enshrining it on my own tracks was an honor and returning it to its original home at FAME was truly a privilege.
There are also tracks from Memphis where we recorded at my Co-Producer Scott Bomar's Electraphonic Studio using the original HI RHYTHM section. The guys who played on all those Al Green hits. Playing my tunes. Don Bryant stopped by to sing his praises. “Love and Happiness” drummer Howard Grimes laid his signature grooves from the Stax and Hi records days. In fact, the entire rhythm section attested that our session felt exactly like the sessions back in the day. Wide open, deep grooving, soulful music making, no boundaries stylistically or personally. MUSIC. They’ve made a lot of hits.
My friends Eric Finland (B-3, piano and electric piano) and Moses Patrou (percussion, backing vocals, drums and piano) took part to help mix in some NYC flavor. Our inspiration was to take my songs and baptize them in the southern sound of old and new. The Bo Keys horns are a young bunch who played as kids with Bobby Bland, Willie Mitchell and have their own group that protects the flame. Chad Gamble is Jason Isbell's drummer and Dave Cobb's session drummer. He came in for a few and cracked some cymbals and drum heads wide open.
These two sessions that form the 12 tracks of "Saving Grace" represent a cultural and musical connection between the generations. We weren't trying to make a throw back or "classic soul” record. It is music in the spirit of our heroes...Jerry Wexler, Ahmet Ertegun, Sam Phillips, Wille Mitchell, Steve Cropper, Rick Hall and Berry Gordy, to name a few. Thankfully Red Hawk Films was with us and captured it all in high def. Essentially, we have a documentary movie and an album. We hustled it all together with a rebel spirit. Studied musicians with a punk rock soul. Tracked all live on the floor to tape with a few overdubs, save horns/backing vocals/strings. I hope these tracks and the video can find a way to your heart. I hope you see our mission is to tell a bigger story and do our small part to get music back to where it belongs while driving it forward with relentless ambition. Keep a light in the window and thank you for taking the time to hear what we have to offer."