As the storms subside and Spring starts to spring... for survivors everywhere, here's the video collaboration of visual artist Ashley G. Garner with Dusty Wright. The song was produced by d. Bindi, mixed by David Lee, and mastered by Alan Douches for West West Side Music. Recorded by Gio Loria at Black Volt Studio, LA & Straus Park Studio, NYC. Co-vocals by Jay Stolar.
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This album reflects my emotional journey over the past two years.
1. Fall Out Of Line - Song started out about the homeless, but I realized it could be about anyone who feels displaced, whether physically or emotionally. And it certainly resonated for me given the theme of this record. Jon Bendis on guitar, London-based singer/songwriter David Ogilvy on background vocals.
2. Life Is Hard - About my younger brother David who was involved in a horrific motorcycle crash this past summer. He remained in a coma for 7 weeks until he mercifully passed away. He battled many demons in his life. HIs death made me examine the history of depression in our family and how I'd become depressed about his passing, as well. My friend Martin John Butler helped co-write it. One of my favorite tracks on the record. Features Queen Esther and Sonya Hensley on background vocals.
3. The Way We Left Our Hearts - In some ways another song for my brother and about anyone who understands how some relationships are fraught with traps, and how hopeless it can all seem. Features Clair Reilly-Roe on background vocals, Gabriel Handy on classical guitar and Matt Goeke on cello.
4. All Revved Up - A song about going nowhere fast and waking up one day to discover that you've really been running in place your whole life. That you never "found" your true destiny or legacy. This whole album was really an examination of my life as seen through the eyes of my father and my brother. I'd lost my father the year before my brother. It was a very brutal one-two punch combination to the heart. And in some ways the first five songs are about my brother David and the second side is about my father Joseph. Drummer Mark Brotter and bassist Pete Hamilton are part of my performing quintet in New York and accompanied me on this track.
5. Weather This Storm - Yet another song about how fragile life is for all of us, whether it's an emotional storm between two lovers or between family members. But the song also offers the hope that we can get past the hurdles. My favorite New York singer/songwriter Jay Stolar sang background vocals and David Lee Waters added slide guitar. Basic tracks were recorded at Gio Loria's Silver Lake studio in LA.
1. We Can Set Sail - So if this were a vinyl album, this would the first track of the second side. It was written about two people who fall together with seemingly nothing in common. And it struck me that was the story of my father and mother meeting and falling in love. My longtime guitarist Jon Bendis played that beautiful chiming guitar part. "And I could grow a garden on your barren land..." That last line of the song, that says it all. It offers hope for anyone who says you can't make a seemingly impossible situation work.
2. How Do You Measure A Man? - Written while my father was in hospice and finished after he passed away. I'd been summoned to Florida by my mother and brother after my father had another stroke. I had to make the decision for our family to move him into hospice. The lyrics are straight ahead and self-explanatory. David Lee Waters provided the beautifully nuanced slide guitar and Queen Esther on background vocals.
3. I Got Lost - Towards the end of my father's life he had dementia. Anyone who has dealt with this condition knows how crippling it is for everyone around that person. Just how that person is stuck in a world of "gray". Jon Bendis provided the demented electric guitar part.
4. I Am Not Willing - This is a rather obscure Moby Grape cover. It was written by Peter Lewis. It's a song I often performed with my cellist Matt Goeke in our quintet GIANTfingers. When this album was being assembled it took on a whole new meaning. Some people give up on life, on facing the challenges presented to them. For them, it's easier to throw in the towel. Jerry Krenach played drums ,Anton Oppenheimer played bass. Which leads into the last track on the album...
5. Fly - This song was written after hiking in the mountains up near Lake Placid, but when I read a story in a New York paper about a young woman who died by suicide it became something else. Why do some people soar while other people crash? Is the glass half-full or half-empty? That can certainly depend on one's emotional health. I know life is far more complex than that, but the song examines that scenario. Why is it that life can be impossible for some people to navigate and so the only way out is to end life and yet for others... the bigger the hurdle to conquer, or mountain to climb, well, they face that challenge with unyielding determination? I wanted to end this record with an offer of hope for anyone feeling trapped. And it also became my own coda for my own emotional situation over these past two years. Basic tracks were recorded at drummer Sammy Merendino’s studio in Harlem with Queen Esther on background vocals. We are currently raising funds to produce a “Fly” VR (virtual reality) music video for suicide awareness and fighting depression. Anyone can make a legit tax-deductible donation at our website: SilenceIsNOTgolden.nyc
Produced by d. Bindi
Dusty Wright on vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, harmonica, and percussion with Jonathan K. Bendis, Mark Brotter, Martin John Butler, Gabriel Handy, Peter Hamilton, Sonya Hensley, Jerry Krenach, Dave Lee, Gio Loria, Sammy Merendino, David Ogilvy, Anton Oppenheimer, Queen Esther, Clair Reilly-Roe, Jay Stolar, and David Lee Waters.
Mixed by Mr. Dave Lee. Engineered by Dusty Wright, Martin John Butler, Gio Loria, Brent McLachlan, & Sammy Merendino. Recorded at Strauss Park, Two Dog Studio, Silverlight Studio, 30 Below, and Harlem Parlour Recording. All songs written by Dusty Wright and published by PetRock/BMI except "Life Is Hard" by Wright/Butler and "I Am Not Willing" by Peter Lewis. Mastered byAlan Douches for West West Side Music. Layout by Dusty Wright. Photography by Hyuna Shin/CreativeShin.com.