This is an album about time, distance and perspective, written in the midst of upheavals, smiles and sadnesses. So, that's quite rare, yes? It's my first solo ("solo" meaning, "couldn't have been done alone") set since my son was born, so please don't tell him if you don't like it. I sense he already distrusts my artistic impulses, and we're trying to encourage him to be less critical. Everybody hates a critic, especially a critic in diapers.
I'm writing this as wind sweeps through unfamiliar trees and unfamiliar birds trill unfamiliar calls in a gorgeous and unfamiliar place called Tamworth, Australia, which reminds me not to complain about the traveling life. I can hear a bagpipe playing in the distance, which reminds me why I don't have a bagpipe on this album.
Hey, the bagpipe is okay. But it's no Lloyd Green. Lloyd’s brilliant steel guitar work graces each of these songs, and Lloyd’s intelligence and creativity are evident in every note.
Thanks to anyone who lends an ear and doesn't ask for it back.
I presented each of these songs to my favorite musician, steel guitar maestro Lloyd Green, as nearly blank canvases, shaded only by acoustic guitar and vocal. He drew the paintings, and then some of our friends came by and framed the whole deal.
Growing up in the Washington, D.C. area, our instrumental hero was Mike Auldridge, who played Dobro for the Seldom Scene, a pioneering progressive bluegrass band that played every week at the Birchmere in Alexandria, Va. As it turned out, Mike had a hero as well: pedal steel legend Lloyd Green, whose work with the Byrds, Don Williams and others had elevated Nashville steel and Dobro playing into something of other-worldly elegance. Lloyd took notice of Mike's playing as well, and the two became mutual admirers, even collaborating on Mike's 1976 tune "Lloyd's of Nashville," written in Mr. Green's honor. But they'd never made a full-length album together, until now.
So this was our bright idea: Invite these two giants of their instruments into a Nashville studio to have a musical conversation with each other, using some songs we wrote and some we chose as conversation-starters. We surrounded Mike and Lloyd with the most talented and sympathetic musicians we know, asked them all to start playing, and proceeded to have the time of our musical lives. In the end, Mike and Lloyd said they rank these recordings with their finest and most fulfilling, and we found a way to make our heroes smile. We hope you like it, too.