Mack Starks Linebaugh: electric guitars, additional vocals, misc noises
Without Mack this would be a very different record, if one at all. I'm indebted to him more than anyone and more than I can say.
I'd recorded some of these songs a few times before but I felt like we were recreating sounds instead of letting ourselves use the music and lyrics to create our own. It was very frustrating. Mack showed an enthusiasm for recording these songs that was inspiring. He brought Richard on board after playing some of the songs for him and in October of 1999 they invited me down there for two one-week stints at Richard's Studio in East Nashville.
Mack and I met through our mutual friend Julian Bourg in San Francisco. Mack and Julian grew up together in Nashville, and I met Julian when he was arguing philosophy with another stressed-out coffee drinker at Muddy's on Valencia at 24th Street in SF. We struck up a conversation and have been friends ever since. A year later, Julian took me to see the show of his old friend Mack who was opening up for Iris Dement at the Great American Music Hall. Mack's long time friend and collaborator Richard was playing with both Mack and Iris on the tour, and the four of us had a beer afterward at the Edinburgh Castle down the street.
Mack's biggest contributions--if I can qualify or compare his many--were his strong, delicate guitar solos that quietly polished each song with a subtle, voice-like beauty. He is an amazingly intuitive player, knows what he wants to hear and was very empathetic to what I wanted--most impressively, usually before I did. His playing is completely consistent with his production ability, following that same brilliant inner direction.
Mack is now working with his good friend, Tucker Martine (who produced Farmer Not So John's "Receiver") on Mack's new solo record, which is bound to be great and to which I'll provide a link as soon as it exists.
Richard has toured and made records with Maura O'Connell, Iris Dement, and Matthew Ryan. He's produced records for Matthew, Dana Cooper, Jeff Finlin, the Fountains, and his and Mack's Farmer Not So John, and done some here and there for some of Iris' songs as well. He's been stationed at a urinal next to Peter Rowan and played at Teddy Kennedy's wedding. Somehow everything he does becomes mythical.
Of late, Richard's been spreading the wealth with his guitar, production and engineering acumen. When not on the road he obsesses on his mid-sixties Olds Cutlasses, which usually aren't on the road either. His personality can be summed up in an initially disturbing, but ultimately charming fact that he's has never met a murder ballad he didn't like. Mack says he knows a hundred or so.
Richard and Mack made two records as Farmer Not So John for Compass Records. http://www.compassrecords.com/farmer.htm Rolling Stone, USA Today and Spin, among many others, all gave FSNJ great reviews and "Receiver" was a Pulse/Tower Records top 20 independent release in '98. Iris Dement said FNSJ was "pretty darn good."
Don has recorded and performed with John Hall, Maura O'Connell, Dead Reckoners, Iris Dement, Kate Cambell, Farmer Not So John... dozens of great musicians and writers, and has appeared on The Tonight Show, The Late Show with David Letterman, the Grand Ole Opry, On Stage, Regis and Kathy Lee Show... He's been everywhere.
And a guy like this doesn't stop there. He's not gonna rest until he fulfills his dream of owning the world's largest tour jacket collection.
Having started as a principal player in Shiloh and then the Flying Burrito Brothers, Al has worked with everyone he's wanted to-from Stephan Stills, Graham Parsons and Michael McDonald in the 70s and 80s, to Garth Brooks, Emmy Lou Harris and Tori Amos in the 90s. His most unnoticed appearance, as far as I know, is his pedal steel work on the Rolling Stone's "Exile on Main Street." He remains very much in demand as a player and is producing a new country band called Memphis Exchange. As a symbol of the influence and contributions he's made, Gibson created a signature Dobro in his name.
Steve "...has toured with artists as diverse as Sonny Landreth, Sheena Easton, Albert King, Nanci Griffith, and Kris Kristofferson. He has played on albums by Bonnie Raitt, Kenny Loggins, Joan Baez, Mark Knopfler, Marshall Crenshaw, John Mayall and Trout Fishing in America. He has received Grammy nominations for his piano, harmonica and saxophone work with BeauSoleil, and for his accordion work with Arlo Guthrie. For two years Steve was the musical director for E-Town, a weekly radio show where he got to play with James Taylor, Michelle Shocked, Shawn Colvin, David Wilcox, Maura O'Connell, Lyle Lovett and hundreds of others."
-- from Steve's website: http://www.steveconn.com/rom.html
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