I kept telling myself for weeks "don't do it!". You got kid and one on the way, a wedding to plan for, you are rebuilding an old truck, and you got a job to go to everyday. Every sign was pointing to slow down and take time to smell the flowers. But since I had been living in Austin,Tx the last 10 years during the worst drought since the 1950's, I figured there weren't gonna be any flowers around anyhow. And this is how it all started.
A few days later I'm on the phone with James Stevens, engineer and owner of East Austin Recording booking studio dates to go in and record. With nothing but a list of nine songs, 7 originals and 2 covers, and a bunch of ideas floating around in my head I set into motion what would become my first full length record "Low Country Hi-Fi".
Since its inception, I knew a few things about "Low Country Hi-Fi". First I knew that it was going to be a 99% acoustic record, and it is minus the Hammond B3 on a handful of songs. Second, there would only be only one guitar in the fingerpicking style. Third, it was going to be a record for the road. Something you could pop in and listen to all the way through. I also knew that I was going to track the basic tracks live with the rhythm section I had been playing with for the last 9 years, with Josh Vernier on drums and Kevin Fox on upright bass. And that's what we did.
Next I needed to fill in some of the empty spaces with some good friends and some of the best folks in the Austin music scene. First was Jonny "Keys" Grossman from Uncle Lucius on piano and organ, then Doug Moreland from the Flying Armadillo's on fiddle, Nate Mayes on backing vocals, and last but not least by a long shot was the unmatchable Cindy Cashdollar on dobro and National slide. Over a span of three days these musicians came in and turned a very minimal thing into a rolling groove of a completed piece.
My favorite aspect of making this record was the ease at which the songs came. I didn't try to outdo myself or anybody else lyrically or musically. I just wanted to create songs that had the feeling of everyday life and people. There is someone we all know hidden in the stories of these songs.
When all is said and done, "Low Country Hi-Fi " is a simple reflection of all that encompasses Americana music. It is a piece that lives by the "nothing to it, but to do it" feel.. A sound that is familiar but not dated. On the very opposite end, it is an album that intentionally defies everything that is the hey ho strum of the new folk revolution of the 21st century.