Working from Life


Hello, friends—it’s been a spell.

I finished making a new record last year. It’s called Quicksilver Tequila, and I’m excited to finally share it. I was actually excited to share it earlier this year, on vinyl. That’s still going to happen, but it’s taking longer than I had hoped and I’m feeling antsy. Rather than keep the music under wraps any longer, it’s going to be released digitally this month, with the vinyl to follow.

You can hear a single, “Working from Life,” on Bandcamp, as well as other digital services, such as Spotify, Tidal, iTunes, and Amazon.

The recording and production duties were handled by Johnny Sangster at his Seattle studio, Crackle and Pop. Johnny and I somehow managed not to meet for many years, despite running in similar circles, and it was a great pleasure to connect and collaborate with him on this project. I got both a new album and friend out of the deal. When I described the kind of record I was hoping to make, colleague and mutual friend Lincoln Barr told me that Johnny was the guy I was looking for. As is usually the case, Lincoln was right. We got together for a few nights in late 2015, then again a year later, and recorded a gang of tunes. Per our original mission statement, we let the performances we got determine what made the final cut. What you’ll hear are the ones we liked the best.

Along the way, we decided that I sounded a bit lonesome all on my own, so we recruited backup. Patrick Porter played some characteristically exquisite pedal steel, adding that mysterious color right where it was missing. Daniel Walker executed a Hammond organ part with the fearsome precision and deadly efficiency of a hired assassin on the job, right before our amazed eyes. Blues master Brian Lee delivered his trademark slide guitar magic—stinging on one track, crooning on another—as well as some terrific harmonica playing. And finally, Johnny’s no slouch with musical instruments himself—his essential contributions are all over the place.

No one phoned it in. To all of the players—I can’t thank you enough.

In keeping with a fine and longstanding Seattle tradition, Quicksilver Tequila was mastered by the incomparable Ed Brooks at Resonant Mastering. The album’s artwork, photography, and all graphics you’ll see associated with the music come courtesy of my talented wife and visual artist extraordinaire, Amanda C. Sweet. During both the writing and recording of this music, Amanda was also an invaluable sounding board and a reliable source of insight and advice. A few of these songs would have fallen right through the proverbial cracks were it not for her ears.

I hope you enjoy “Working from Life” as a first sample—an appetizer, if you will. The main course should be everywhere you’d expect to find non-physical records these days by the end of July or early August. I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks, as always, for listening.