Looking Ahead In 2017

Happy New Year to my audience around the world! I look forward to continued tickling of your ear drums and soothing of your souls.

As we all know 2016 was a bitch of a year with one iconic artist after another dying. Us Gen Xers were hit the hardest since many of these people defined the popular culture we grew up in and that has continued to influence not only us but a generation or two of musicians and artists after us, Prince being a prime example. Besides icons such as him and actress Carrie Fisher there were Rock 'n' Roll originators Scotty Moore and Lonnie Mack as well as Funk and Fusion guys such as Bernie Worrell and Alphonse Mouzon. There were two from STAR WARS, Kenny Baker followed by Carrie Fisher, then during a break on the NYE gig the news of William Christopher, better known as Father Mulcahy from M.A.S.H. By no means am I going to compile a comprehensive list; mentioning the ones who were important to me is enough for now. A big 'thank you' to them all for their contributions to music and cinema. "Cars like that don't pass you every day."

Plans for 2017 include (finally!) the release of the long awaited IRREVERENT DISSIDENT on Annie Gator Records.

Three songs were recorded four years ago in Tokyo with Hugh Ashton (dobro, co-producer), Danny Katz (piano), and Hisayuki Nakase (upright bass). The remainder have been steadily hammered out at Jupiter Studios with Richie Kindler engineering over the last year and a half. The Lumpp brothers, Anthony (bass) and Danny (drums) appear on three songs, bassist Denny Wright appears on three, and Kyle Crison appears on both the prelude, with Anthony Nicholas LaNave III on drums, and the disc-only bonus track. Keith Trittschuh of The Muleface Brothers makes a cameo as backing vocalist on one of the tunes.

The material includes many signature songs that have been hammered out onstage over the last few years, some that I wrote and some my arrangements of Blues standards. Two songs were written by old friends of mine from my Austin days with C. Rex, "That Ain't Me" by Todd Moore and "What Do I Tell My Heart" by Wayne Willems. Both songs have new, quintessential JJV arrangements. The aforementioned bonus track was written by myself, Kyle, and Jen Conley who all appear on it.

Recording wise it's a mix of old and new, the best of both. The bulk of it was recorded with the trio set up in a circle playing live in the studio. Three guitar amps were used and blended for a sound greater than the sum of the parts. Various rooms were employed as well as different mic placements. Overdubs were added as each song required and include steel guitar, piano, Wurlitzer, and horns. Modern mixing techniques were employed to make it compatible with modern listening devices.

The most ambitious project I've embarked on yet. All of us who worked on it have put a lot of effort into it and are proud of our accomplishments. We hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we do. Look for a Spring release.