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This album has gone down a few windy back roads to finally get here. About 25 or 30 songs, 3 or 4 title changes, 3 bands and 5 years. To get the perspective to eventually pull it all together I had to pull back and look at it like a painting, and thankfully still have the same amazing pool of talent in my orbit a couple of years later to pick up the thread with the same eye and heart (and perhaps a more deft ear) and finally complete it all correctly. I’d like to say the process of writing these songs put me through all these amazing changes in my life, etc, but the truth is, writing most of these songs kept me sane and helped me retain my identity as I was forced through a bunch of fairly unreasonable changes elsewhere in my life, helped me navigate new kinds of choices and still keep it together. Eventually it became clear that all of it represents a long arc in my life’s path that literally brought me back home. In darker moods, very maze-like.
‘Gone Are Those Days’ is one of the oldest songs here next to the last one, written before I left the Reading area in the early 90’s for central Pennsylvania. State College is an extremely large yet highly isolated college town that afforded me some of the luxuries of both a small town and big city, good and bad both ways. My search for self while living there helped map out the songs written during this period and represent explorations of the choices I made to get to the point I was at. Towards the end there was more grumbling and lamenting and less affirmation. Soon everything changed fairly drastically by fortune, not choice although hindsight points to more choice than I remember.
Late in 2002, soon after I began this project in earnest (after the release of my second album KRIS KEHR AND STONE POETS) I left Pennsylvania for North Carolina where I lived until moving back to Reading in late 2005. Two close friends passed and old insecurities dug in as I ran to the safety of someone else’s music but still gave it my all, and had a crazy good time/learned a whole lot more in the process. But alas, the frustration of casting ones’ fortunes into the hands of incompetence overtook me. I started writing things that were really just scream therapy in a muted room in the back. I have been very thankful for the Woobie Cat Mobile Kitchen but never more-so than at that time. It was how I was able to redefine and retain who I was.
Climbing out of that hole was as hard as anything I have tried and I’m still doing it. But it was after moving back to the area where I was born and raised, the Berks County area of Pennsylvania, that I was able to reconnect with where my heart is. The cabin is an extension of that home for me, and last Christmas ‘Mighty Pine River’ came out to assure me of that fact.
None of this may matter very much to many of you but I do thank those of you who took the time for one reason or another. I will never understand the process/magic that goes on between hearts and heads and people and music, but I am so glad I can sometimes be a part of it.
released November 30, 2007
Produced by Kris Kehr
Production assistance from Bruce Seikmann and Stone Poets
Engineered by Bruce Seikmann, Jack Hand, Kris Kehr & Bob Klotz
Engineering Assistance from James Harton & Jeff Shirley
Mixed by Jack Hand at Quaivering Audio, Lenhartsville, PA
Mixing Assistance from Kris Kehr & Bruce Seikmann at Amoeba Sound, New Jeruselem, PA
Mastered by Frank Green at DigitalMaster, Nashville, TN
Tracks recorded at:
Bob Klotz Audio — Port Matilda, PA
Amoeba Studios — New Jeruselem, PA
Woobie Cat Mobile Kitchens:
336 Strouse Ave, State College, PA
The Cabin, Telescope, PA
Cottage Hill, Gerton, NC
The Gravy House, Marion, NC
Shed Wilrecar, Black Mountain, NC
Bartolo House, Mohnton, PA
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