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I’m excited to welcome the release of the first single from a new record of ten songs I co-wrote with Madeleine Peyroux and co-produced with Madeleine and Elliot Scheiner for her next release (scheduled for June 28th), “Let’s Walk.” In some ways this song, "Please Come On Inside", has a more minimal basic structure than all of the others on the upcoming record, and, as such, presented certain challenges from the production point of view. But I think what ultimately made the song work for me was the way we were able to arrange a background vocal part (beautifully rendered by Catherine Russell, Cindy Mizelle and Keith Fluitt) which very subtly gave a clear shape to the form of the song. Once we had recorded the vocals it changed the way I heard the song, and oddly, it felt about half as long as it had before, and was over before I wanted it to be.

Elliot, with his typical and beautiful enthusiasm, at one point let me know in no uncertain terms he was convinced "Please Come On Inside" needed a “talk-box” solo from me on the guitar. (The “talk-box” is a quirky device used to process the guitar signal in a vocal sounding way, and was made famous by Joe Walsh (Rocky Mountain Way), Peter Frampton (Show Me the Way), and Steely Dan, when Walter Becker processed a Dean Parks solo after the fact (Haitian Divorce), among others.) I pulled my talk-box off of my Steely Dan touring rig and had a blast recording the solo. It’s so much fun to record with that wacky thing that it’s difficult to suppress a grin when using it. But it’s absolutely necessary to suppress the grinning, because it requires that a long plastic tube be carefully positioned in the mouth when using it, since the guitar sound passes through the tube into the mouth, and the mouth acts as a filter to create the vocal-like quality, which has to be recorded into a microphone directly from the mouth. Anyway, though at first I wasn’t sure the talk-box was the right thing for the track, when Madeleine heard it, she loved the way it had a sort of growling, animal quality to it, which neatly connected to key elements of her lyric, and from then on I was sold on the idea.

I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am deeply saddened by the loss of Jim Beard, my dear friend and music-making partner for more than 40 years. It's a great loss to the music-loving world as well: if the reach of Jim's music was limited in width, it was never limited in depth; the people who listened, understood and loved his music did so deeply. I'm extremely proud and grateful to have been able to work so closely with him for so many years and to have contributed to his great legacy of recorded music. Please listen and remember.