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carbone's garage: the early years

Late one night I walked down the street and into a pub for the first time. I ordered a pint of black and tan. That was 1990. The band was playing Neil Young's "Hurricane." It’d only been a case of beer since I'd been a brother in a Franciscan monastery. Brown habit, prayer book and all. The music that I’d considered the devil's drug for many years was an erotic high.  I wanted to be inside this thing of rock and roll.

So in 1994 I recorded an 8 track demo in a windowless one car garage in NJ with Tim Carbone. The unintended result was the soundtrack for mir in my sky: mystic journey for peace to Yugoslavia (1994), a documentary of a war-ravaged country that I produced, directed, edited, and marketed. The first production run sold out quickly.  Before the second run could go to press, the war was over and The William Morris Agency in LA dropped it's interest.garage

the duo project: saweeet

Early in 1996, I recorded the hick-pop saweeet CD with the then fifteen year old Krista Long, the late Cesar Diaz (Bob Dylan), Timothy Carbone (Railroad Earth, Phil Lesh), and members of Solution A.D. (Atlantic Records)  After her CD release, several sold out shows and college airplay, Krista left town.  A month later nearly all her cd stock was stolen and ended up on the black market.  Krista still remains at large, although there has been an unexplainable surge of sales for our remake of Melanie’s 70s hit “Brand New Key.”

the solo album: fortunate adventures

Late that same year I assembled a stellar cast of players for the solo project. Classic sounds. Marshalls, Les Pauls, Gibson 335's in elevator shafts, toilets, hallways.  Jeff Barg of Kings in Disguise and upright bassist Kevin McConnell of the Larry McKenna jazz quartet and I recorded the rhythm tracks in five days. Over the next week, Tim Carbone, who went on to play with Railroad Earth and Phil Lesh, laid violin tracks deep into the night.

The late blues guitarist Cesar Diaz (Bob Dylan), and alt-country guitarist Neil Casal, who’s since played with Lucinda Williams, Ryan Adams, and Chris Robinson Brotherhood came by.  One by one, Gary "G.D." Dillon, Len Mooney, and Texas punk polka star Ray Symczyk added their colors and threads. After two hundred hours of mixing and mastering, the self-produced unfortunate adventures of a naked mystic was released in 1997. Sometimes it felt like overkill to have so many great players in the room. Now I'm beginning to think we created a classic piece of work.

the band: bovine social club

Ten years after releasing "unfortunate adventures...", I ran into Jeff Barg. We both ended up at the same table at a Tim Carbone birthday party. “We have to start a band,” he said. I reminded him I'd burnt out as a singer-songwriter. Jeff was pretty forceful though, plus a band was a different thing for me. We were really inspired as well by what was going on with Railroad Earth.  So we put together a list of non-negotiables and went into development. Next thing I know Tim Carbone says, “Hey, I want to produce your record." We were off and running. Again.

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