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Summer

Woodshed One

Summer, 2017. We’ve passed the 4th and we’re in the thick of it– already, it seems… Here in Malibu, we get another several million of our closest friends visiting the area between now and mid-September, so for us that means it’s time to head East.

But until then, I get to work on our latest recordings here in Paradise. This shot is taken from the back door of Woodshed Recording in Malibu, the spectacular studio of pal Richard Gibbs, looking southeast from Point Dume. Not a bad way to suffer during the first half of summer.

It’s been an exciting year of music so far, of re-devotion to the classic van Gogh Brothers sound with three new songs toward a new EP and the amazing additions of Michael Carey and Jonathan Smith to the West Coast live lineup.

From a recording standpoint, we’ve had the blessing of the original van Gogh Brothers and Dave Westner with Andy Plaisted at Woolly Mammoth on the East Coast, and engineers Sarah Tudzin (Hamilton, Logic) and Aleks von Korff (Coldplay, Chance the Rapper, The Chainsmokers) on the West Coast. As luck would have it, Michael Carey is also a writer and producer (Robbie Williams, Will Smith) and Michael joined me for the production of “Don’t Leave Me Lonely,” that included Santa Davis (The Wailers, Peter Tosh) on percussion and Michael on acoustic and baritone guitars. I’m very excited about the new project and I’m thinking thematically about the East/West nature of the music and which direction to take the writing next after a blues-rock stomp, a Nirvana-flavored rocker and an Orbison/ Willburys-inspired love song. Depth and weight.

From a co-writing perspective, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to continue working with young, up-and-coming artists, and, recently, to collaborate as a lyricist on the theme song for a new television series– a first for me. These are all fruits of my work here in LA over the last 5+ years and my attachment continues to deepen with my recent appointment to the Malibu Cultural Arts Commission, thanks to Richard Gibbs and Skylar Peak.

What’s next? Some time on the East Coast in August and early September, a return of the van Gogh Brothers to Toad Cambridge, for the 7:00 PM early show on Thursday, August 17, and an eye towards more time in Boston and points East for 2018. The adventure continues.

I look forward to seeing my East Coast friends and family in the coming weeks, and hope that everyone is having a great summer so far.

Until next time,

JC