This 2023 release started to formulate in my mind after seeing long time friends Jerry King & The Rivertown Ramblers at one of their shows in the fall of 2022 - Jerry King and fellow bandmate Anthony Ray Wright are significant artists in their own right, specializing in honky-tonkin’ country, rockabilly and rock ’n’ roll, and are both gifted mulit-instrumentalists on upright bass, electric bass, guitar, drums, piano & vocals (in fact, they could have easily switched roles on this record) - hearing them that evening prompted me to ask Jerry & Anthony how they’d feel about making a record together - something a little rootsier than my previous releases.
The work was done in Jerry’s personal studio in Vevay, Indiana (a small rural river town where both Jerry & Anthony reside, a little over an hour from my home in Cincinnati, Ohio) - a one-room facility utilizing a good bit of vintage mics and preamps (Jerry & Anthony are professed “gear nerds”) - Jerry was on upright bass and Anthony on drums and guitar overdubs - I used a Baldwin Acrosonic spinet piano, and tenor & baritone sax dynamo Eli Gonzalez was the icing on the cake. Per usual, the majority of the tracking was done live over the course of several visits to their community - Jerry did a lot of preliminary work along the way setting tones, so when it was time to mix it was all went down in one evening - never before have I experienced this kind of efficiency !
Numbers were selected along the way: I knew we’d pay tribute to Cincinnati label King Records so I selected Lonnie Johnson’s “She’s So Sweet” and Tiny Bradshaw’s “Train Kept a Rollin’”. Ever since I heard “Lights Out” by New Orleans R&B artist Jerry Byrne on the Specialty Records compilation “Rock ’n’ Roll Fever” I was enamored, yet never performed or recorded it until now. One of my very favorite artists Tampa Red was represented with his “You Can’t Get That Stuff No More”, based on a version by my British piano pal Julian Phillips. “Low Down Dog” is something I’d typically do at a sound check, and “The Fives” (a barrelhouse number by Hersal Thomas), blues standard “Trouble In Mind” and “Am I To Blame” (learned from Jimmy Rushing’s version heard on legendary program “Jazz Casual” presented by Ralph J. Gleason) have been in my repertoire for some time now. The first track, “Kay-Bee Boogie”, a rockin’ boogie woogie was an improvisation named in tribute to my girlfriend Karen Boyhen, the illustrator of this recording’s fine cover art. And the closing track, Bob Wills’ “Faded Love” was a suggestion by Anthony Ray Wright - delivered as if legendary country pianist Floyd Cramer stopped off in New Orleans.
The objective was a to make a fun upbeat party record and I believe we delivered !
The Vevay Sessions
"THE VEVAY SESSIONS" was recorded in rural Vevay, Indiana in cooperation with Jerry Girton aka Jerry King (upright bass & engineer); Anthony Ray Wright (drums & guitar) and Eli Gonzalez (tenor & baritone sax) - we aimed to make a rootsy spirited record and believe we achieved it...good rollickin' fun !
released March 15, 2023
produced by RICKY NYE
recorded @ GIRTONE STUDIO - Vevay, Indiana
engineering & mixing by JERRY KING
mastering by ANNA BENTLEY
illustration & layout by KAREN BOYHEN
photo by SAM GIRTON
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