So it was March of 2020-Chris, Bob and I had completed a short tour of Australia the year before, and we were playing gigs, kind of marking time-we were between drummers and were using subs. One of them was an old friend of Bob and Stan's- Rusty Parker. I had heard of him, but these gigs were an opportunity to play and hang out with him, and he really clicked with the band-the missing piece to the puzzle! Suddenly the world stopped due to Covid, and we were all sitting at home.
I was teaching online at home and doing a lot of guitar playing in between classes and lessons-in that time I came up with "South Broadway Boogaloo", the instrumental on what was to become Signs of the Times, and the music for "Taken Away", for which Stan wrote the lyrics. We also decided to do a "quarantine video" about this time, and redid "Tell the World' from Times Hard.
A few months passed, and we decided we would at least get together once a week at Clayton Community Church, which is our unofficial practice space. In these get togethers, we would work on new material-Chris brought in a really cool shuffle, "St.Louie Bound", that sums up our feelings about our town and the blues music scene, along with the title song, "Signs of the Times", and "Make it Right". Stan had a song with a New Orleans theme, "Heartbeat Away".
We then started working on some covers that we had always wanted to do, Albert King's "Oh Pretty Woman" and Willie Dixon's "It Don't Make Sense (You Can't Make Peace)". Summer came along, and we were able to start playing some outside shows. The new songs were received well by everybody, along with another Chris song, "Walkin' in Love".
A couple of years ago, we did a recording of I'd Rather Go Blind, which is a favorite in our live shows at Sawhorse Studios in South St. Louis with Chris Turnbaugh engineering. We made the decision to go back to Sawhorse and record some of these new songs and see what happens. We would go in and track about four songs in an afternoon and then go back again in a month or so. While we were doing this, we thought that we would just go ahead and record some of the cover songs from our live sets that have been favorites, like "Can I Change My Mind" and "When Somethings Wrong with My Baby". Bob wanted to write a song in tribute to his mom, who passed away the previous year. He came up with the lyrics, and I wrote the music to "Just One More Day".
After recording the basic tracks, which we paid for through gigs and from our individual pockets, we decided to do a fundraising campaign through the website to pay for mixing, mastering, and production. The donors received perks which went from album downloads to the band playing for a house party. It was successful, and by October, Signs of the Times was ready to be released!
You can't pull off a project like this without some help along the way. Chris Turnbaugh was stellar in engineering and mixing this project, along with all of the helpful advice we received from him. Bob's overall production along with Chris T's technical expertise and Kevin Nix's mastering made this an album we are proud of. Preston Butricks gets a thank you for designing our new logo and helping with video and photos, along with Scott Palermo for the album design.
Most of all, we would like to thank you, our fans-we couldn't have done it without your help.