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To Boldly Go...

Updated: 4 days ago



To “boldly go where no other has gone before.”  I guess that, or something like it, was the mission of Captain Kirk and the Starship Enterprise.  Well, we decided to “go boldly back” (OK, another split infinitive couldn’t hurt) where lots of cats have been before --- the swing era.  Put Don Stiernberg, Rusty Holloway and Jeff Jenkins into a recording studio, add a mandolin, upright bass and acoustic guitar, and let ‘em “turn the pups loose” on some classic swing tunes.  That’s exactly what we did, and the result was “Swing 220,” Blue Night Records’ latest release.  We sure hope you like it.


Even more recently (right now, as a matter of fact), we’re in the development stages of moving into what’s being called the “Americana” musical genre.  Take one of the greatest singer/songwriters currently on the planet (Steve Spurgin), add Rusty’s upright bass again, and roll out the red carpet for Jens and Uwe Kruger (2/3 of the Kruger Brothers).  The result will be BNR-221, which has yet to be titled.


To say that I’m excited about this project would be a gross understatement.  Steve Spurgin is a veteran musician, a wicked-good singer, and as noted, a very gifted songwriter.  Among other ensembles, he was a member of the contemporary bluegrass group “California” with Byron Berline, Dan Crary, John Moore and John Hickman.  Heck, he was even in “Wild Oats” with me (I’m not makin’ this stuff up) back in early 1970s Los Angeles.  Check out his solo releases (“Distant Faces” and “Tumbleweed Town”) at


This latest project began with a phone call between me and Steve about two months ago.  Since then, we’ve developed a song list, secured the services of most of the players, and decided to record in Knoxville, TN.  We’re going into the studio the second week of December to begin the recording process, plan to mix right after that, send it out for mastering, finalize the art work, and get some discs manufactured.  I’m guessing it will be released in April, 2011 at the latest.  See, there really is work involved.  Doesn’t mean we won’t be grinning the whole time though . . .


On a serious note, take a moment to think of what artists give up to do what they do.  Whether they’re musicians, sculptors, painters, or actors, all artists take great risks to generate things we enjoy.  They don’t get guaranteed salaries, paid vacations, health insurance, company cars, or many other benefits normally associated with work.  Sure, it’s their choice, but without those with the courage to make that choice, the rest of us would be forced to live in a world without great music, thought-provoking visual art, or any of the other beautiful things that help soften the hard edges of life.  So let’s all support the arts as much as we can.

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