There were many incredible artists who played on the new album, “Becoming”. These contributions took the record from my guitar/vocals/toys-from-the-basement sound to a lush recording that included stand-up bass, drums, more vocals, violins, guitars, trumpet, etc.
In order to thank them properly Betony and I wanted to do some sort of meaningful and creative celebration.
So we had a Medals Ceremony and Listening Party. It was so wonderful and we wanted to share pictures.
First we started with a homemade meal that had several courses. If any of you are ever invited to a dinner that my wife is making… drop everything. I know you like her paintings… well, she’s also an artist with food.
After the meal I put on the music from the Star Wars IV Throne Room Scene. It’s a triumphant fanfare and fits just how I feel about these musicians. They are heroes.
I presented them each with a vintage medal (most were from midwest music programs in the 80’s, where they did honors right).
As I gave their medals I said some silly lines about each of them. I’ll recount those here now! And, fair warning, they involve a lot of private jokes.
Mary Claxton (vocals, electric piano)
This aspiring female comic is also an amazing female drummer who masquerades as a female teacher during the day. (she also hates the adjective female)
Girl Woman: Mary Claxton
Brian Claxton (drums, marimba)
One of the best male drummers in Greeley, his playing is both tender and delicious, like slow-cooked brisket. Ladies and gentleman, Brian Claxton.
Hayden Farr (barri-saxophone)
Of all the Becoming musicians, I knew him least of all. But we had a beer together so now we’re best friends. Giants & Pilgrims rookie of the year recipient and the token saxophone player: Hayden Farr
Graham Bylsma (electric guitar)
This young man wins the “most easily mistaken for having just smoked weed” award cause he’s just so chill, is the best guitarist to ever have a bike stolen off of my front porch: Graham Bylsma
Melanie Haskins (violin)
Known for making the best lattes and having the loudest cannon-blast laugh of WELD County, the concert-iest of all Concert violinists: Melanie Haskins
Johnny Burroughs (vocals, guitar)
He’s Greeley’s most eligible bachelor eliciting desire from 12 to 85 year olds, he also wins the award of “most reminds me of Kanickie” from Grease: Johnny Burroughs
Wes Sam-Bruce (video director)
To quote 90’s classic The Addams Family: kitch… Down kitty!” Here’s the Macully Culkin of art! A boy wonder wonder boy: Wes Sam-Bruce
Craig Basarich (trumpet)
The sultan of slice, king of cheese, the colossus of crust, The pope of pizza, the padre of the pie, the great bambino! One of my best friends: Craig Bassarich
Bron Khan (bass)
He wasn’t able to come… so I didn’t write anything silly about him.
After these ridiculous intros and hand-shaking and photo-ops with their medals, we headed into the living room to hear the whole album while eating desert.
As I said, it was a magical night and I’m so thankful for these wonderful artists. I’m honored they would share their gift with Betony and I. They are one of the main reasons I’m so excited to share this album with you.