Stolen Season Gratitude Rollcall

I’m home from my first 2015 concert down in Atlanta, working from the best possible command center at the moment:  snuggled in blankets with both my Pooshka and little Gawain, all three of us purring.  Consequently, the laptop is not in my lap because there’s no room for it.  It’s full of purrs.

I am so happy right now.

Gawain Sleepy Gawain Pooshka















There’s no better time for me to type up my gratitude for the fellow musicians, artists and superheroes who are helping me realize the Stolen Season album.  Read on for a huge list of awesome.

-Andy Sagraves is my buddy, and I think he’s great.  Laying drums down on “Temptress” was our first time working together, and it was easy and fun, just like it should be.  Andy’s recently worked with Shawn Hardin and Gone Was Here.  I’m glad he wanted to work with me, too. 🙂  We’ll definitely do some more stuff together!

Ben Deschamps is my self-appointed big brother, and I am all the better for it.  We keep finding ways to do good musical things for each other.  This time around, I got to be the recipient of his upright bass talents on “Temptress“, and his mixing advice on the whole shebang.  This project is better for his kind attention.

Betsy Tinney is my heart-sister and foremost collaborator, and I will always love her.  She is all of the cello that you hear on this album, as well as other records of mine.  When I did the math yesterday, I realized that I had written over half the songs on the album at her house.  Betsy never hesitates when I ask her to play with me, and she always comes up with brilliance.  I strongly believe in letting my friends write their own parts when I ask them to work with me on any given song.  Betsy has galaxies of music living inside her cello and her mind, and she shares them freely.  We are so fortunate!

Catherynne M. Valente‘s writing has sparked so many of my songs for the past eight years, but this time around it was “Girl Into Devil” which came directly from her work.  I wrote the song at her house during a time of great personal distress, with her stalwart German shepherd guarding me all the while, and she did not let me fall.

Chaz Kemp is a Renaissance man, an extremely talented performer, singer, and songwriter who also wreaks merry havoc with Art Noveau illustration.  In this case, it’s the latter I got to benefit from.  The album’s official promo art is Chaz’s work, and I love it so much.  Chaz is always a delight to work with, and he helped me get the wintry tarot card image I was after, a la Led Zeppelin.

Clint McCune is an angel.  A big, scruffy ginger angel with a gigantic voice and a gigantic heart.  Over the course of our friendship, I’ve known him as an activist, a venue owner, a daddy, a brother, a drummer, and a force of nature.  He took time out of his busy day to come over to Betsy’s house to rock out on “Little Bird” with me, and I’m so glad he did!  That’s his djembe and adorable doodly scat vocal you hear.  These are but the least of his super powers.  This man has sung on mountaintops, and the world has heard him.

Elizabeth J. Leggett is a mage of the eye and the unseen, giving life to illustrations of all sorts.  In recent months, she’s done magical things with my songs, showing me with ink and paint and stylus what she sees in them.  She contributed FOUR incredible works of art for Stolen Season, and I am over the moon.  Click on the individual Soundcloud links for “Believe in Lullabies“, “Black Swan Blues“, “Dream of Mississippi“, and “Handsome Rogue” to see what she came up with.

Heather Dale is a bard for the ages, and I am proud to know her.  Our friendship snuck up on me- it took me a long time to believe that such a shining soul really wanted to be here on the earth where I was hanging out.  😀  But that was before we went on tour together, and had enough shared time in cramped spaces to be real girls with all the masks taken off.  I love Heather the same way I love fire: with a great deal of respect for what she can do.  For Stolen Season, she and Ben came to visit me, and we tracked Heather on keyboard for “Temptress” and for “Sultry Summer Night” That’s Heather playing piano on the former, and playing sneaky little organ and vibes on the latter.

Ginger Doss has been a galvanizing presence in my work for a very long time.  She has worked with me on over half of the records I’ve made, as engineer, friend, and voice of healing.  I am so very glad that I did not end up doing Stolen Season without her.  Ginger tracked and mixed “Believe In Lullabies” for me, and also arranged the drums and played flat-out killer piano for it.  Her praise of the album as a whole was all I needed to hear to know I was doing something good.

Jason Dominioni and I have been music buddies since I lived in Memphis during the early “aughts”.  His mixing advice and fresh ears were invaluable to the sound and quality of this album.  He and his Grasping Thin Air bandmates are all people who I’m proud to call my friends.

Kevin K Wiley and I have been working together for over ten years.  His genius and enthusiasm have done me a world of good on all sorts of projects.  Kevin has been the primary graphic designer for all of my CDs, and we’re working together on the Stolen Season packaging right now.  We had a great phone call last Thursday, brainstorming like mad.  We look forward to sharing with you what we come up with!

Ryan James Loyd is my partner and greatest source of emotional support.  He’s a talented essayist and narrator, and he also just happens to have a gorgeous, deep baritone voice.  Occasionally, he lets me talk him into singing.  That’s his sexy low octave you hear on “Black Swan Blues“.

Renée Janski is my sister on Facebook, but it goes far deeper than that.  Mother of two incredible grown men, real live opera diva, multi-instrumentalist, music teacher, and LGBTQ rock star, her light reaches far and wide.  I love her and I’m so glad she took time out from her whirlwind life to record piano for “Sultry Summer Night“.  She was there for the moment that inspired the song, and she was one of my greatest sources of support during the more drastic romantic events that inspired a great deal of this album.

SatyrPhil Brucato, Sandra Buskirk, and Bryan Syme are the reason “Black Swan Blues” exists.  I’m so grateful to them for letting me run away with their webcomic!

Sandra Buskirk and Kirk Lanier were my star photographers for this project.  I am so grateful to have had their eye and their genius on my side!  You’ll see their efforts all over the place as I continue to promote this thing.

Thanks also to all of my early listeners: Team Timberlake, Renée, Jade, Summer, the Storybundle customers, the “Little Bird” Facebook contest participants, Ashley, Blyss, Rubiee, Nicole, Nessa, Ember, Chaz, Beth, Sherry, Bekah, and my monthly subscriber-sponsors.

You can make an album all alone, but it sure feels good to be able to say thank you to this many people for helping out.  At least, it feels good to me. 🙂

Future stuff:  “Little Bird” will get a music video thanks to Sabrael and Meg, and several of the new songs will be brewable soon, thanks to Dryad Tea!