Take your Field Trip Now!
Some days, just showing up and being ready is all you need to do for magic to appear, which is what happened the day the legendary Fred Wesley came into the studio. Fred was working on The Healing Blues Project that Greensboro musician Dave Fox had been cooking, and Dave needed a rhythm section. So, he called on my House of Dues band mates bassist A.J. Diggs and drummer Chuck Cotton. When we took a break, I asked Fred if he would play on two songs we already had in the can, a Louie Armstrong tune, "Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans", and another old standard, "Glory of Love".
I'm guessing Fred has been playing trombone for about 70 years, which is mind blowing in itself. Gracious as he was, Fred listened to a little bit of the tune, and asked where he would drop in for his solos. So, Benjy Johnson from Earthtones Recording rolled the tape, and in one take, the music just flowed out! I can't say enough about how cool it was to watch a master do his thing. Make no mistake: Fred Wesley is the MAN.
In addition to Fred on "DYKWIMTMNO", vocalist Roger Benny Moore, the "Zataran's Man" from Greensboro's The Swamp Nots is joined by pals Sam Fribush, a student at New England Conservatory of Music on piano, and UNCG's Director of the Miles Davis Jazz Studies Program, Steve Haines on double bass. These guys also play with the lovely Greensboro jazz vocalist Nishah DiMeo on "Glory of Love."
The title track, "Field Trip" features Nishah on vocals, Tracy Thornton on steel pan, Benjy Johnson on surf guitar, and the Greensboro legend Bobby Kelley on bass.
I'm thankful for so many who agreed to perform: the great Chuck Cotton on drums, the irascible, fantastic Max Drake on mandolin, my House of Dues bros AJ and Sammy and Rob Luney. Much thanks to the rock and roll brains of Benjy Johnson from Earthtones Recording on guitars, percussion, kick drum, production, sir mix-alot, arrangements and overall hokum. He'll be "down thair, 5 o'klok, and sumbody's ass will git whooped." You know what I mean...
The cover art is derived from a Gong Kai painting "Zhong Kui Traveling", c.1304 where the demon queller uses his unusual powers to capture and contain up to 80,000 demons at a time while on his field trip, returning from hell to do so.
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I hope you enjoy your copy of "Field Trip", and all your demons are quelled... thanks for visiting. See you soon at a show!