Luke Powers began working with Tommy Spurlock in 2002 on a solo project. Tommy pulled together a crack group of session musicians including Randy Hardison (drums), Jim "Moose" Brown (keyboards) and Anthony Crawford (vocals, mandolin). Randy had written songs and played drums for Garth Brooks. "Moose" had worked with everyone on Music Row at one time or another. Anthony Crawford had recorded and toured with Neil Young in the '80s. Tommy played most of the guitars (and banjo, mandolin, mando-guitar, etc.) and bass.
Finally, Garth Hudson, legendary keyboardist of The Band, agreed to participate on the project--lending the songs those indefinable sense of mood and presence that he gave The Band's works.
The recording process began simply enough in Tommy's Train-car studio. Basic tracks were cut over several months. But then a series of tragedies struck.
First, drummer Randy Hardison was killed by a mysterious blow to the head as he was checking mail at his apartment. There were rumors of an affair with a woman from Florida. Authorities later convicted the woman's husband and one of his associates of manslaughter.
While Randy had completed drum tracks for most of the songs, there were still a few that needed them. Randy had done such an excellent job and in homage to his artistry, Tommy and Luke decided not to put drums on the other tracks.
As Tommy said, "It just wouldn't be right."
Then another tragedy struck. Tommy lost his beloved train-car studio. The circumstances were complicated and involved business and partnerships, etc., but Tommy lost the train. He decided to relocate to Austin, Texas, where he would build his house/studio down the road from his pal Willie Nelson.
In commemorate the work they'd done together, Luke wrote "Tommy's Going Home to Texas." The last song on the album, it was recorded at Voytek Kochanek's studio in Hendersonville and features Garth's spectral piano. The song brought a tear to the eye to Garth and Tommy both during the recording session.
In the meantime there was some good news. Jim "Moose" Brown went on to co-write "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere," the massive hit for Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett. And Anthony Crawford teamed up with Black Hawk.
Tommy finally got around to finishing his studio in Austin in late 2006 where mixing and final mastering of the project to be completed in early 2007.
Forseeing no other mishaps, the release is anticipated for Sept. 2007 by Phoebe Claire Publishing. In the meantime, Luke has made available several unmastered mixes of the songs through the Phoebe Claire website.
Perfectionist Tommy fumes, "I don't want those unmastered versions out there!"
Luke also released several tongue-in-cheek press releases on "I Saw John Kennedy Today" and "Cover Song" (based on the Sgt. Pepper album cover).
Beatles Pepper Inspires "Cover Song": http://www.prweb.com/releases/2004/12/prweb188296.htm
John Kennedy Sighted in Internet Song: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2004/7/prweb144788.htm
The JFK song was been widely downloaded--thanks in part to links on a Kennedy Conspiracy website (http://jfkennedy.8m.com). One of the songs got picked up by DJ Spencer Leigh for the Jukebox Jury segment of the BBC Liverpool. The "Cover Song" has receive numerous downloads and the press release has received over 90,000 hits to date and been picked up by several Beatles-related websites: http://abbeyrd.best.vwh.net/news/newslinks.html
"Cover Song" has apparently been forwarded to Sir Paul, but we're still waiting for his response (assuming he's not dead . . . . ).
Luke and Tommy at work in the studio--back when Tommy still had the train and Luke was still drinking.
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