My Fantasy Dream Band

I have started to write the history of my learning about and participating in music throughout my life. Music has always been a critical part of my life, and at one time or another, the source of my income.

I have made recordings all along the way. When I was younger - late teens, early twenties, which would have been in the early 70's, making decent recordings wasn't as easy as it is now. And, many of the tapes made back then haven't survived though time. But, as time and technology has progressed, recording has become easier and easier for individuals and bands.

I have made two "studio recordings" with bands in the last 15 years. One of them is called "Rhythm Women and Groove Daddies." This is a recording with my wife Kristi and another couple, Craig Rhodes and Charlene Brown. We started getting together and playing several weekend days a month back in the early 2000s. We started out playing familiar covers, but we moved into learning original songs.

We recorded 12 songs - 11 originals and one traditional - at the Little Hollywood studio in Nashville, Tn, I wrote 7 of the songs. I'm proud of the effort - for the experience level overall of the band, I think it is a very creative work with some excellent songs. It has received next to no recognition, but that's ok.

The other CD I recorded with a band was at my friend Don Starwalt's studio in Edwardsville, Illinois in 2006 I believe. The bad was actually friends of Don's that for the most part added tracks after Kristi, Don, and I put down basic rhythm and vocal tracks. There were 8 songs that I wrote, and the CD is called "8 Songs." The songs are for the most part lean more toward aesthetic and art songs and less toward commercial songs. I am proud of this CD also.

But for the last decade, I haven't been in a studio with a band, although I think about it quite a bit. When I think about it, I think about taking about a dozen of my best songs which I have written over the years and recording them. My best dozen songs are high quality and could be arranged for a band very well.

While I could find a band of very good local musicians around here to play on a CD, and record a very fine CD of these songs in a very reasonably priced local studio, I haven't done that. A big part of the reason for that is that in the back of my mind, I am "saving" these songs to be recorded with my fantasy dream band. I know that the odds of that happening are probably slim, but not impossible, and to me I think if I had the dream band to record with, in a top notch Nashville studio, who knows, I might win a Grammy or get enough recognition that I might actually be able to spend the later years of my adult life making a living playing music in decent venues.

Living so close to Nashville, Tennessee, I have learned about the best of the best of the musicians in Nashville. Make no mistake about it - the best of the best in Nashville are the best of the best in the world for playing this kind of music. I have been fortunate to have been in workshops with some of these. Everyone of them has taught me important lessons about the song writing, instrumentalism, and the creative process. But one in particular has impressed me so much with their musicianship and attitude towards writing, playing, and performing that I would choose them to be the leader of my dream band. That person is pianist John Barlow Jarvis.

I would pick John to be the music director of my recording session. Other musicians that I fantasize about being in my dream include bass players Byron House and Elaine Spalding, dobro player Jerry Douglas, fiddler Mark O'Connor, electric guitarists Vince Gill and Ben Haggard, mandolinist Chris Thile, although now becoming host of PHC, he may not have time for that kind of miscellaneous activity. Noam Pikelny is an excellent banjo player that I would be honored to have on songs. Some of my favorite singers are Alison Kraus, Aaron Neville, Vince Gill, and the Civil Wars. Wouldn't it be wonderful to sing with them on your own songs?

Of course, I would want to bring in a few of my closest musician friends that are really good to put a track on a song just to be a part of it, but all in all, I would want the dream band to do its magic. I know it would be awesome.

Believe me, while I don't know for sure, I can imagine the effort and cost of putting this kind of session together. More than likely, it is beyond reach. But my songs aren't going anywhere, and I'm a very patient person. I may decide someday to put together a local band and record them. In the meantime, I do record them at home on my computer with tracks to get a feel of how they might be arranged.