I have had the pleasure of recording four albums for Thomas James Haithcock and Wounded Pickup the past 15 years. The first album was a remote recording in a living room creating a rootsy vibe. Wonderful Chico musicians have graced Tom’s work including Chico’s Jon LaPado, Aaron Jaqua, Barney Barbour, Troy Dye, Rags, and myself playing drums from time to time. Tom’s country folk sweet and simple poinient tunes, in fact, taught this old rocker to play drums in a straightforward manner in total support the song–nothing more, nothing less. That’s a valuable lesson for any player, no matter the instrument.
In the fall of 2016, Tom fufliiled one of his musical dreams, to record a couple of his tunes with Nina Gerber. She liked the songs and came on board as a guitar player and consultant, though her schedule was too tight to produce. Nina likes to record with her friend, engineer, producer, and owner of Studio E in Sebastopol, Jeff Martin. When Tom asked me about this place, I was thumbs up and excited
I had met Jeff at a couple house concerts he hosted for the Nell and Jim band at Studio E. The vibe of this barn conversion facility, located on a small orchard is warm and friendly. Jeff makes great records there for people like Nina, David Grisman and others from far and wide. A studio owner with such a space is practically a kindred spirit by default with our similar recording setups and music production lifestyles. Our common experiences, both ups and downs, were fun to share over coffee and music. When I told Jeff, I was moving Electic Canyon last May, he graciously offered an open invitation to record and produce at Studio E if the session fits.
Tom asked me to play drums on the tunes and I was so down for the adventure. Jeff would play bass and hire Jan Martinelli for piano and Rachel Tree for background vocals. The final player needed was a pedal steel player. Naturally, Peter Grant, whom I had worked with in the Nell and Jim band was our guy. Pete is a Nina fan so that sealed the deal.