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Seas and Greetings !
Tue, Dec 24, 2013
Season's Greeting from Casa de Cotton
Happy Holiday Greetings from the Tropics to the Tundra!
I hope this finds everyone in good spirits and in the best of health and ready for the coming year.
Time is flying by so quickly down here in the Keys. We have so many projects in the works and travels on the horizon. I've completed the entire recording project that has been a true labor of love. The most enjoyable record making of my life with no time limits and no label limits! It has been so wonderful to revisit some of my compositions and bring life to them as I intended them to be when written, I could not have done this without my band-mate, good friend, right hand man - sound engineer Russ Scavelli. His years as owner of music stores and playing in New York for years sure shines through Russ has done a tremendous job getting all the songs trimmed and transferred over to the extraordinary mix master Ian Shaw (from England) who has finalized the mixing. The next stop is Scotland where Ian's mastering partner put on the final touch.
Thanks to Russ and Ian for making this a most enjoyable and creative project. Ian's mixing studio is aboard a houseboat where he lives as well. He has lots of vintage gear he uses when he's mixing and it sounds amazing!
I'm happy to say that the Paul Cotton Band is now an all string band with our drummer. With the new addition of the great Din Allen on 5 string bass and vocals we have advanced Russ Scavelli to electric rhythm/lead guitar. He plays a Gretsch Tennessee Rose of course and boy are we having fun trading solos back and forth all night long. Gregg (G-Man) Shanle on drums/percussion and when he's in the mood, vocals. Heading up our ensemble is the local legend Joel Nelson on vocals/acoustic guitar/ mandolin/ harmonica-- my first music partner on this island 5 years ago - wow! I am so lucky to play and befriend such great musical talent and count my blessings every day. Four strings and four vocals is making for a lot of big grins and a big hit with the audiences!
We have heard from so many of you and will look forward to seeing you soon. We will be at the Schooner Wharf on 1/3/14 and 1/4/14, and playing a private function January 25th . In February we are scheduled at Schooners 02/7/14 and 2/8/14. Those dates may change as we are developing a concert weekend Feb. 21/22/14. Our travel abroad made the cruise dates in February 2014 conflict, so we have already blocked the Cruise ship for February 20-23,2015 !!
I also listened to you about the Havana Jazz Festival - unfortunately the dates are always the same and inconvenient...ending Dec.23rd which is difficult if you have family obligations. We will now have a one year window if we have enough interested to go - we definitely have the connections.
In March, our band will play the Annual "Keystock" outdoor festival. I'm not at liberty to say yet, but it will be another major headliner (Yes, I played with them back in the day!) I believe this will be our forth year. Last year the headliner was 3 Dog Night. They sounded great. Our thanks to Joe Cleghorn and his production staff.
I will post next month about our Conchs, Cowboys, and Tales of Key West production at the Red Barn Theatre April 6/7/13/14 --- an absolute delight for me joining the theatre stage with the Made In Key West Band. Too much fun!
Our weather here is much the same as the Bahamas in winter so keep us in your travel plans. We would love to visit with you while you're here in the only "Caribbean paradise that you can drive to". We have Tours to Cuba March 12-19, 2014 and April 09-17, 2014. We are actually in contact with the Ministry of Music over in Havana and have such great news coming down the pike! It is an amazingly beautiful and historical island, and the people live for music. We hope you can join in these adventures of a lifetime and maybe catch a certain musician sitting in and recording!
I'd also like to thank my good friend Jack Smith from Pirate Radio for hosting Keystock and also for having me on Pirate Radio last Friday . Jack and his wife Jennifer get extra large Christmas donations and I have been live on the radio for the past three years drawing the winning name for the grand prize. I sang 4 songs with that power acoustic duo Darryl Brook (owner Grateful Guitars) and Dangerous Dave Hoffman on guitars and vocals. This was done at a fine restaurant here called Two Friends. The new owner Danny is a native of New Orleans. The food was awesome and so was our conversation. Thank you Jack Smith for the introduction. We'll be
back with the new cd for you to feature on the show hopefully in February.
I've been honored with an induction to the Thorton Township High School Hall of Fame, which is so nice of them, I did not attend the Alabama Hall of Fame ceremonies so I will do my best.
That may take us up to the Mid-West in May ...so please stay tuned to future listings.
We have a line up for the summer and those dates will be listed as well.
Caroline joins me in wishing you all the very best joyous and healthy New Year ahead !!
Be well, be kind, have fun!