Sign up for upcoming events and info

Sample Tracks

So we're working on this big band album. The working title is Big Bad Brown Bag Band. Tom asked me last time I saw him if I was particularly attached to that title. I told him I wasn't. He may have some other ideas. It IS a mouthful to say. But funny. We may just end up calling the album The Muffins: Big Band. Simple, but that way everyone knows what they're getting. (Well...sort of...)

Anne and I were watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in "Follow the Fleet" the other day. The dancing was, of course, fantastic. But I really focused in on the swing band tunes. I think they used an alto saxophone-playing band leader named Jimmie Lunceford for that one. Anyway, the tunes were wonderful. So inspiring that I went downstairs into my studio and started recording a new big band piece. Tom and I talked a lot about the project at band camp, both of us admiring the old swing bands from the 20s, 30s, and 40s. It was Tom's idea originally for the album to be a sort of Muffinesque (gosh, I LOVE that adjective!) tip-of-the-hat to those great swing bands. Consequently, I really wanted to capture a swing feeling with this new tune, which I'm calling "Catawampus" (that title, btw, is one that I already used for another tune, but I replaced it with something else. "Catawampus" seems to fit this new swing tune much better!). I started it with a simple bass, snare, and alto intro, one that Billy, Tom, and I already videoed at our latest band camp. (I'm in the process of getting it ready for YouTube, so I'll let everyone know as soon as it's up.) After that simple intro, the big band kicks in. I really like it so far. It swings, but it's still very Muffinesque (there it IS again!).

Just got back from a wonderful recording session at Tom's Mountain Studio, way back in the hills of the Blueridge Mountains in Madison, VA. (We endearingly refer to Tom's house, which he and his father built themselves, as Palace Oblivion just 'cause it's so far out there!) Tom was a wonderful host (he fed us well - burgers on the grill, baked salmon, chicken frittata, whole bean coffee - Yowza!). Mostly we used the session to get Billy's bass tracks onto a new album of big band music (Muffinized, of course) that we're currently working on. Paul has already added his drum tracks on a few of the tunes (more than half?) from his studio in Arizona. I already added almost all of my horn tracks from my own Abin Sur Studio here in New Market, MD. But we also had a lot of fun. We took some time out to video ourselves improvising on horns (at one point Billy played soprano sax in a sax trio with Tom and me - he played surprisingly well! I think we're gonna have to get Billy on more soprano as the years go by!), playing duets on concertina and harmonica, and playing a stripped down trio version of "Catawampus", a tune to later (hopefully) show up on a future album somewhere. We also did a lot of talking and laughing - always good to get together with my Muffin brothers. Paul was missed terribly (especially when we did the sax trio - we used to play together as a sax quarter all the time), but we know we'll be seeing him again soon.

RSS feed