Notable Albums

sheila sondergard- spoke too loud

Musicians

  • Sheila Sondergard - Vocals, Guitar
  • Jeremy Miller - Keys
  • Sean Martin - Guitar
  • Jason Littlefield - Bass
  • Bill Ray - Drums
  • Sven-Erik Seaholm - Production
  • John Hancock - Album Photography

Released 2008

Through my involvement with the Jamband known as Tubby I began working for other artists under the Barfly Promotions banner. Shawn Balch, a highly respected and regarded promoter in San Diego knows many great musicians through the shows he organizes and he brought us all together for a "hand-picked" foray into Sheila Sondergard, a singer/guitarist/awesome person whom he manages.

We began rehearsing for the sessions at Shawn's apartment in Mission Beach, CA. Tiny amps were the rule and I brought only a snare drum and brushes; the idea was to feel out the corners and nuance of the music. We really approached it as if it were a Jazz singer's album; Sheila is "small but mighty" but still it's good to play in the lower dynamic as to really get a sense for where her music comes from. More bands should relegate at least two practices like this to their preparation work; it's much easier to think and assess things when you are out of the "normal" band environment.

We started tracking at Sven Erik Seaholm's Kitsch -n- Sync studio and the songs just sort of flew together. When you've got the right ingredients, great things happen. Sven captured the rhythm tracks perfectly. Chuck Prada and Jeremy Miller came in and laid their parts after Sean, Jason and myself then Sheila went in and sang over the tracks. I'm really proud of this album too. It was at a point of my life where a lot of bad energy was being cast aside and a new rebirth if you will was taking place. It was also the first recording session my son attended with me and he sat right beside me as we were tracking "Spoke Too Loud".

Ernest Lane Born With The Blues

Musicians

  • Ernest Lane - Piano, Vocals
  • ? - Bass
  • Seth Blumberg - Guitar
  • Leo Dombecki, Paulie Cerra - Sax
  • Mackinley "Mack" Johnson - Trumpet
  • Bill Ray - Drums

Released 2006

Note: Please let me know who played bass on this recording.

Ernest Lane was the pianist who played with Ike Turner and was his oldest childhood friend. They grew up together in Clarksdale, MS and maintained that friendship all the way to the very end.

The stories that they would tell were hilarious mostly, some dark and incredulous. It was always fun to sit around and listen to them argue too. Lane always kept $500 on him, as he would occasionally come out with "Ike Turner, here's your $500 from such & such"...some long ago debt that he wouldn't let go, and Ike would never thak the money. Or if he did take it would give it back a little while later. Those guys...

We recorded this album in about 2006 up in Los Angeles at Leon Heywood's place off Crenshaw. It was funky through & through. The room we tracked in was the scene of many great albums. One of my heroes James Gadson had tracked in that room so for me it was a spiritual experience.

On another note, I also did the album cover for this; it was my first attempt and I since learned a lot about design and layout. One has to start somewhere!

state of mind

Musicians

  • Lincoln Kroll - Vocals, Guitar, Keys
  • Mike Sherman, Mark Bonney - Guitar
  • Frank Lazzaro - Percussion
  • Ben Moore, Dave Chesavage - Keys
  • Bob Rosencrans - Bass
  • Bill Ray - Drums
  • Calvin Fan - Cello
  • Stellita Harris, Andie Mahn, Lisa Sanders and Kate Cowden - Backing vocals

Released 1997

I met Lincoln Kroll in 1995 along the way; a bassist I worked with back then Bob Rosencrans was playing in his band and they needed a drummer so I stepped in and was introduced to this ball of unadulterated creative energy known as Lincoln.

When you came up to Lincoln's recording/rehearsal facility in Carlsbad, CA. it was "total Rock & Roll". There was a full-size tour bus parked along the side of the house and once you walked that length his backyard was a garden of sorts dedicated to his band. You see, he had taken plaster casts of their faces and planted them into the yard so it was a very strange sight to behold!

One of the things he did that I found brilliant was create a plastic shell-mold of his own face, fill it with swag such as a CD, stickers, keychains, even candy. Can you imagine the look on some A & R person's face when they open his box and see a face staring back at them?

We recorded this album in the old Golden Tracks studio across from Guitar Center on El Cajon Blvd in about 1997. It was the last time I tracked to 2" tape I'm certain, because digital was beginning to make it's great debut. (For the record, I miss the warmth and sound that 2" brings).

Jamie Varley You Ride

Musicians

  • Jamie Varley - Vocals
  • Leo Dombecki and Jeremy Miller - Piano, Keys
  • Nick Melucci - Bass
  • Seth Blumberg - Guitar
  • Bill Ray - Drums
  • Todd Gunnerson - Engineer

Released 2006

There's some albums that never get heard by enough people, and I feel that this is definitely one of them. If I had to narrow down my favorite personal works, this would be in the top 3. It's a very accurate representation of not just my playing but also personality.

I knew Jamie through the connection we had at SOTA Music in Del Mar. Back in 2005 when we recorded the Ryan Montana CD Jamie heard it and asked me to play on his stuff. And that's how that got started.

I remember showing up the first morning we recorded and it was cold out; I was still half asleep because of the gig I did the night before but a little bit of coffee remedied that. The first thing I cut with him was the song "Flooded Heart". I gave it a cursory listen and then we were off and running!

I remember this music was so easy and intuitive to feel and to play. It was a completely natural process and were Jamie ever to call me for a gig I'm certain we would have a great sense of communion on stage.

The two songs I have chosen are significant; "Runaways" was the first song I heard when I received my copy of the CD and was completely floored. "Slow" is just epic all the way to the "sideways" drumfill at the end of the tune. I just love love LOVE the harmonies on the vocals. Jamie Varley is a talented cat. I'm proud to have played on this.