OTHER PROJECTS: I am a freelance producer and instrumentalist who has recorded on many albums by my fellow artists. Being self-employed, I also like to write on “spec,” producing material whose ultimate use – or client – has yet to be found. Here is some of the latest studio work I’ve done.


BUBBLES: An Original Hip-Hop Groove

Living just above Foothill Boulevard in Oakland, I cannot help but be affected by the lives that surround me. So the other day, having a few spare hours available to me, I thought I’d try my hand at an urban groove, using the most basic virtual instruments on hand in ProTools. This barest suggestion of a tune is built on just two chords – but, depending on where the bass line goes, they either sound full of hope or full of pathos. The drum patch reminds me a bit of a New Orleans second line. I named this loop after my favorite character in “The Wire.”

NANCY LEE: The Vaquero Song

In addition to everything else, I play fiddle and violin on other people’s records, a cottage industry made possible by the miracle of desktop recording (and, more recently, Dropbox). I’ve just completed an album project for my friend Nancy Lee, a fabulously talented singer-songwriter from SoCal, and here is her rendition of “The Vaquero Song” by Dave Stamey – probably his greatest and most enduring composition. (Incidentally, I played also on Dave’s original version, so I had to come up with something different for Nancy – it turned out to be a flamenco-style mandolin solo; I trust there was at least one mandolin somewhere in old Alta California.)

MISS V, the GYPSY COWBELLE: Land of Fortune

An American original, Miss V is an itinerant musician, horse wrangler, trail packer, banjo maker, and writer of songs of the American West. I was very fortunate to help produce some tracks on her latest CD, “The Itinerant Lady,” including the album’s last song, in which the narrator returns to the maternal ground that sprang her. Bobby Black on steel guitar paints a vivid picture of eternity.


Here is V doing a hardcore honky tonk shuffle, with Bobby Black on Steel, Bing Nathan on drums and bass, and myself on fiddle and keys.



















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