SERA SERA. It was really sweet of her.
POTTER'S FIELD -- (Christy McWilson sings lead vocal) -- Christy brought a few songs to the recording sessions in Austin to see if I wanted to cut 'em. She played this song and I instantly said: "That's on the record." The only issue we had was that she wanted me to sing it and I didn't want to sing it because I wanted some songs on the record that were completely hers. Plus she could REALLY sing it well (Laughs). Christy's vocal on this song is my favorite of her vocal work on the record.
RIVER UNDER THE ROAD - That's a song Sarah (Brown on bass guitar) wrote. I wanted everyone to be represented. She has mainly written R & B songs and when I heard that, I thought I could make it into a Howlin' Wolf song -- but it would have taken some time. It had been recorded previously by Laurie Lewis' husband, Tom Rosen. I really like the way that came out.
THESE TIMES WERE LIVIN' IN (originally by Kate Wolf - 1981) - On the 1998 version I did with Rick Shea on the Kate Wolf tribute album, I only had two hours in the studio so it was rushed. Tribute records never have a big budget. So for this project, I have Nina Gerber, who for many years, was Kate Wolf's guitar player. I wanted something on the record that connected Nina to her past (with Kate Wolf) in the same way that MARIE MARIE connects to mine.
NANA AND JIMI - I think the older I get, the more autobiographical the songs are getting. It's a true story. I saw Jimi Hendrix twice. The song is about Jimi, but mainly it's about my Mom. It fit right in with the women-making-music theme - here's one for Mom.
She used to drive Phil to gigs with his friends. She and I would get something to eat and sit in the car and wait for them to get out. I started going to shows when I was 12 - she drove me with my friend Joe to see Cream. My Mom was wonderful about that. I wouldn't be doing what I do now if it wasn't for her. So I never had to rebel against our parents, they kind of understood.
So I saw Hendrix at the Fabulous Forum in 1969 while Nana waited in the car. She probably listened to the Dodgers game. She was a huge baseball fan. That was the time that I fell in love with music.
I was talking in the studio with Mark Linett (who mixed and mastered the CD) about that show. I have some very firm memories of what Jimi said and what he played and also the fact that there was a riot during the show. We were talking about how much we remember things from when you're a kid and if it's actually true or exaggerated. Mark disappeared and came back with the Hendrix show in his hand. I took it home wondering if I remembered it right. I listened to it and everything was there from the stuff he said, to the police on the stage, and the songs.
DON'T MAKE PROMISES - That's a Tim Hardin song that I have always loved. I like taking songs that aren't duets and making them duets like I did with Syd Straw on WHAT AM I WORTH (King of California, 1994, HighTone). Christy and I were looking for a duet and then we found this. We came up with the idea that I would sing the verses, and she would sing the choruses, which would switch the meaning of the song and make it more ambiguous. So I think it came out great.