Two years ago today Colorway’s second, full-length album, The Black Sky Sequined was released. You can see some pictures from the recording of it right here.
The two week process began in the middle of October of 2014 at Sonelab in Easthampton, Mass with Mark Alan Miller at the controls and me and J.J. O’Connell and Dave Hayes behind the drums and bass respectively.
The ten song album will always remind me of a special time in my life–gaining a better understanding of what this band means to me and what I hope it will mean to anyone who cares to let us in to their world, even for a few minutes. It’s different from the first album because before we went in to record the debut we had never really played out as a group. This second effort showcased how far we had come as a collective unit. I hear it in every note in every song.
I managed to recruit the bafflingly talented David Trenholm to score a horn section for the closer, “Telephone” and arranged for Tom Mahnken, Nick Borges, Terry Nagel and, of course, Dave T to play the parts.
I was lucky enough to have some amazing artists grace the cover, namely Laura Nugent (for the front), Pietro Spica (for the back) and the incomparable Jodi Nicholas for the gatefold. And, of course, the ever present logo work of Tom Pappalardo who also did the layout of the album.
“The Black Sky Sequined” album cover (2015)
When it was ready to get pressed I got to check a big box off the list and was able to work with the legendary audio engineer, Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering in Portland, ME (I was sandwiched between sessions by Death Cab For Cutie and Mark Knopfler–wild world, eh?). This certainly fulfilled a lifelong goal of having his memorable name on one of my albums (check five albums in your collection. I’m willing to be he mastered three of them).
The vinyl was sent to Bernie Grundman Mastering Studios in Hollywood on Bob’s recommendation and was lovingly prepared for replication by another audio legend, Chris Bellman. To see his “CB” on the dead wax always makes me smile.
The album sold well and got some pretty stellar reviews which was nice to see. WRSI – 93.9 The River put “Come Back July” into its regular rotation and became a sort of theme song for those who pine for the heat here in New England through six months of cool, chill, cold, freeze and thaw. They still play it here and there and we’re all so lucky to have a AAA radio station that cares about its local heroes from their start all the way through their careers.
The great videographer Tom Adams at Reelife Productions produced a fantastic video that was shot right here in the valley and was fun to make and still fun to watch (it helps that July is only two months away). You can see it here.
Dave, JJ, and I went on the road for a bit in support of it and had some fun shows and met and reconnected with some great people from here to Raleigh, NC and back again.
The band evolved over that same time period for natural and understandable reasons.
And now–and for almost two years–I have had the pleasure of getting to know two amazing musicians Matthew Clegg (bass) and Riley Godleski (drums/vocals) who help bring my creations to life. We work well together and–though it’s a busy year for everyone–we’re planning to get back to work and put some of the new music down on record to share with the world sometime soon.
But this album will always remind me of one person who will forever hold the highest office–my mom, Judy. Because it was on the notebook page of the letters she wrote to all the people in her life that she wanted to leave a message to before she passed on that the words were written:
Then it began. Rockets. Stars. Flowers blooming.
The Black Sky Sequined.
Reds, yellows, blues, greens. Silver and gold.
Fireworks and the cheers of spectators.
And while she never expressly told me that this was a reference to my bursting onto the scene on May 9, 1970 I’m gonna go with that theory until another one comes along. 🙂
So thanks for all of you who have hopped on the Colorway train over the past five years. It’s been a thrill to play this music for you. Thanks for supporting our efforts, for buying our albums, for sharing our links, for coming to the shows and for just being you.
And Happy Birthday and Sto Lat to The Black Sky Sequined. May the music roll on and on and on . . .
PS: If you’ve made it this far I should probably tell you that in honor of the two year anniversary everything is on sale at the Colorway store. Check it out right here.