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As we come rounding the corner of another whirlwind SXSW, Susan and I pulling together new songs to add to our upcoming shows and the new CD we plan to start recording soon. The songs are nearly all in place, so I'm getting antsy to fire up the studio here at Rambleheart. We'll keep y'all posted on developments.
SXSW was one of the finest ever. We played several showcases hosted by Third Coast Music and Edge City. The lineups were outstanding, ranging from old friends and artists, such as Sliad Cleaves, Jimmy LaFave, Jim Stringer, Bill Kirchen, Byrd & Street, Jim & Sherry Brokus, Ray Bonneville, and John Lilly. Just being in the company of such stellar talent is an honor, and getting to hang for several days and catch up was a joy. It's an amazing gathering of musicians and music lovers each year.
Now for the next stretch of road ahead …
With the release of THESE ARMS in August, we came to the next phase in the whole process of putting out a new recording. The studio work was done, thanks to the excellent work of our talented friends, Mark's steady hands in the control room, and the mixing and mastering magic of Cris Burns. We asked talented artist Judy Paul to let us use her beautiful FLY for our cover art. Ana Amezcua took that mixed media piece, along with a handful of fabulous photos by Dana Lynne Stringer, and she laid out a lovely piece of cover art.
Since we got the CDs in hand, we've been working to get them into the hands of DJs across the US and Europe. We've even mailed a few to Australia and Japan. Mark has made endless trips to Office Depot for envelopes and the post office to send them out via parcel post. He’s on a first-name basis with the postal employees, who have been awfully kind!
Now, we're starting to get a bit of airplay and the first reviews of our record. John Conquest of THIRD COAST MUSIC was very complimentary of our first duo recording. He said, “...the musicianship overall is first class, but the main attractions are Viator's acoustic, electric, National Steel, and Hawaiian guitars and Maxey's spare, atmospheric vocals.”
Just yesterday, we received an email telling us that we’d been reviewed at leicesterbangs.blogspot.com. It’s a very nice review. Here’s a bit of what he said: Mark Viator and Susan Maxey originally set out to record some low-key acoustic versions of some new songs, together with a few old favourites... Imagine their surprise when they came up with this masterpiece... “By The Riverside”... a Viator original ... features some bold slide guitar and shows off his Louisiana Cajun roots. Maxey takes vocals on the title track, and it’s a performance full of heart and plenty of soul, as is her take on Kate Wolf’s “Across The Great Divide.” ...“Queen of the Bayou” is another chance for Viator to parade his swampy pedigree and “Dharma Bums” brings out his wandering Kerouac side. All in all, just a great collection, and one that’s easy to recommend to any fan of Texas roots music, Americana or alt country.
We appreciate the kind words! We’re out and about playing in Austin, so come get your own copy and give us your opinion. Hope to see you out and about!