This project was labeled a “dream album” from the planning stages and it well surpassed that. In Los Angeles in June of 2014, I had the pleasure of recording with the very players who created so much of the sounds of the early 1970’s. The songs I had written were inspired by the vinyl I held in my hands and was spun in my Virginia home as a young boy. I had recently become reacquainted with these masterful works and, bam—the songs were born (along with my new son Jack McGee).
Enlisting co-producers Chip Johnson and Kit Karlson, we set out to find the ultimate band for this style of writing. I found Russ Kunkel through a fellow songwriter named Jamie Houston and Jeff Pevar through my accountant, Alan Friedman. Jeff introduced me to Leland. Then Waddy, I simply asked, and he responded, “Sounds like you’ve got it goin’ on man!”
To L.A. I also invited John “Red” Redling and Patrick McAloon, my band mates acting as the hometown musical glue and support that the session needed on B3 and backing vocals. I had some amazing friends join the fun post LA to add to the magic…Danny Kortchmar, Pat Monahan, John Popper, Gabe Witcher, Matt Menefee Tony Lucca, Emily Hearn, Bobby Houck and Hank Futch from The Blue Dogs, Colby James, longtime PMB members Michael Ghegan, Al Walsh and Jonathan Williams and even my brother Hugh McGee.
The process of recording live to a tape machine with these legends in the old Producers Workshop, now called Boulevard Recording, in Hollywood was nothing short of a religious experience. The songs took shape in the live, recorded moment in no more than a few takes, after only hearing the song one time as pictured here. Creativity was on maximum and nearly no words were spoken or direction given, we all just played off each other.
I left California and headed to Virginia to complete the vocals at Bias Recording in Springfield, VA. A studio I had worked at on my very first CD in 1994. The hand painted artwork on this album is from Monty Montgomery, a former Longwood classmate of mine and now accomplished San Diego based artist. The layout is by my longtime designer, Dan Schuman and the session photos are by old friends David Bergman and Joyce Boghosian. My lifelong fans helped make this a reality through Kickstarter. So as you can read, see, hear and feel, this truly is a return to my roots.
At a time in the music business and society where full albums might be a lost art form, I hope this one means something to you for many years to come, it sure does to me.