April 28th is fast approaching. That is exciting to me as it is the release day for BOARDMAN by Kip Boardman, a record I am putting out on my own Steel Derrick Music label.
BOARDMAN combines a few elements. Firstly, Kip's alarming tenor voice that is sweet as it is world weary singing lyrics that move from clever and funny to downright heart wrenching and beautiful. Add his instrument of choice: The Mighty Wurlitzer electric piano with its wonderfully slight distortion and percussive emotion drawing in its listeners.
The album features 10 songs played by 5 men who are at the top of their game. Eric Heywood is featured on electric and pedal steel guitars and what a job he does. Some of the best pedal steel I've ever heard is here, (coming from Kip's affinity for very early "Dirty Work" era Steely Dan vibe, that feeling is all over Kip's music….70's pop and roots.) Dave Gleason plays the Telecaster exclusively on BOARDMAN. Throughout Gleason features his trademark twang and rock we've come to know and love except here, he stretches out to newer territories on this outing. Dave's solos are what you expect, nothing short of inspiring.
In the engine room on drums and bass are Steve Mugalian and Rob Douglas respectively. Steve is a country veteran and also plays with The Dave Gleason Trio. On our studio sojourn, Steve is a one take wonder, just nailing the songs perfectly with a soft touch that allows the kit to resonate fully, never choking the drums like (we) drummers tend to do. On BOARDMAN that beautiful tone is evident throughout…..a master's touch. And finally Rob Douglas who musical directed much of the sessions provided that famous Fender Precision Bass sound we've come to know and enjoy in all of music history. Rob is an authoritative player with complete clarity of note in his approach. Rob Campanella captured an incredible bass sound for the record, (Ampeg "roll and tuck" nach…or was it the Bassman??) executed by an incredible player.
What's more, the entire album was cut live including lead vocals! If your a fan of the aforementioned early 70's Dan, the sharp as a tack, breezy grooves of J.J. Cale, songs Bonnie Raitt would truly shine at singing and a writing style that Randy Newman might have done back then, BOARDMAN is for you. It's roots folded in with pop and groove and covered in pedal steel guitar. It's a road album for sure, and it's the kind of record that musicians in particular love to hear, as it was created with the Hi-Fi fan in mind. 10 Songs written and sung by Kip on vinyl. Yours truly added a smattering of harmony and percussion.
Look for the video for "O The Ache" and the complete songs "Running Right” and "All In The Course". The big record release event is at El Cid May 7th at 8:30. That is when you can buy the record personally and see the band that made it happen!!
Nelson Bragg- Steel Derrick Music