Greetings to everyone from Liberty, Tennessee, on the edge of the Cumberland Plateau. I certainly do hope that the world is shining brightly on you as we approach summer. This is the first spring that I will have seen in its entirety in middle Tennessee, after thirteen years of hanging my hat here. It’s been good weather and a good time to stay around the house, planting things, mixing and making music. The Craig Demos are now available. If you go to my last post, you can read the story about how this record came together.
The title bears the first name of my friend, Craig Eastman, an extraordinary fiddler and multi-instrumentalist I have known for five years. We met in Los Angeles at a recording session we did together. I named the record, The Craig Demos, because that’s what these recordings are. Last fall, Craig, my partner, Sue Griffiths, and I did six shows together in California. Sue and I made the demos in September and sent them to Craig to help him prepare for those shows. At the rehearsals, Craig mentioned how much he liked the recordings and suggested they be released.
My plans to tour through June got derailed by the interval, the pandemic, and I found myself home in mid-March, having shortened my mid-Atlantic spring tour because of cancellations. By the end of March, talk about releasing The Craig Demos had turned to choosing and mixing the songs. The demos were just voice, banjo and guitar. Then we talked about including Craig on some of the recordings. He was more than willing and is playing on five of the ten songs.
The record includes songs about a hopeful lover, a social distance warning, a trio of racetrack gamblers, a moonlighting guitar player, a worried farmer, a color concerned artist, a homesick coal miner and a puzzled lover. Co-writers on this collection include Sue Griffiths, Geoffrey Himes and Jeni Hankins.
There are two instrumentals, “Woodland Street” and “Natty Don,” two brand new songs, “In Your Arms” and “In Times Like These,” five new versions of previously released songs, “I’m A Painter Too,” “Janesville,” “Springs,” “Kings of the Grandstand” and “I Wish I Were Back Home” and one never before released older song, “Is This Called Falling In Love.”
The record features three musicians, Craig Eastman on fiddle and lap steel, Sue Griffiths on banjo and Billy Kemp on guitar, piano and bass.
Back-up vocals include Sue Griffiths, Ali Moynihan-Eastman and Charlie Bernhardt.
At this point, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to tour and play shows to promote this record. I am hoping you will go to my website, listen to the record and then purchase five copies to share with your friends. Spread the love, share the music.
It’s time to go be a gentleman farmer here in Liberty. Here’s wishing all of you that are growing things a bountiful crop and everyone a pleasant summer. Please keep in touch and I hope to see you at a show sometime soon…
Congrats to you and Sue and Craig on the new record!
I’ve put the announcement on my Facebook pages and the Jeni & Billy one, too! I hope you get lots of downloads!
All the best to you and Sue,
Hi Jeni, Thank you so much. I am grateful for your efforts to share the news about The Craig Demos. I hope you like it. Wishing you all good things… Much Happiness, Billy