Back in March we shared a few words from Cadillac Sky mandolinist and vocalist Bryan Simpson as the band got started on their next CD.
Well, it’s all finished and Gravity’s Our Enemy is set for an August 19 release on Skaggs Family Records.
We hooked up with Bryan once again last week to find out a bit about the new project.
“The title of the record is lifted from the lyrics of a song on the record called Carousel. We thought it was appropriate based on several things. With the last record referencing ‘walking,’ and with us attempting to really make this thing ‘fly’ with the new record, we thought Gravity’s Our Enemy was kind of cool.
But I also think of the ‘gravity’ in the title as sort of like the ‘gravity’ of our situation. I mean, we’ve got wives and kids now and they deserve our attention and that sort of prevents constant touring which would probably be the best thing for the band (maybe not for our lives but for the band), and there’s gravity to that. And just simply coming from the reference point of bluegrass – with our instrumentation,etc – and trying to take our music to more diverse audiences – that certainly can work against you at times – sort of the stereotypical presumptions that occur before you’ve even played a note. So there’s gravity to that.
But the record name chooses the ‘gravity’ of our situation as an adversary – because, be not fooled, we have no plans for defeat- we plan on rising above and getting our feet off the ground – very soon!!”
On this album, the band enlisted the aid of an outside producer, noted mandolinist and producer Mike Marshall.
“Blind Man Walking we produced ourself – so this new producer was a lot easier to work with – not such a hot head like the last. No, honestly, we co-produced this record with our new musical guru, Mike Marshall! And it was awesome.
We got together a couple of weeks before the session down in Florida at his brother Al’s house. Al had just had four nuns stay at his house – so I think we made him a nervous wreck but he was very gracious. Anyway, Mike was so laid back and easy going with his suggestions that it made everything flow so easy. Not to mention he’s a man after our own hearts – he loves food and likes to eat it. So it was a love connection from the get go. We’d work for a little while and then Mike would whoop together some crazy gourmet meal out of some celery and cheese, and olive oil, or whatever.
We recorded the record the tracks starting on a Monday and finishing on a Friday one week in March- and then guest work got done a few weeks later. So it was pretty quick- kind of like a wedding- you prepare unnervingly for so long – and then it’s over really fast. And to continue that metaphor, I guess once it’s recorded you are ‘married’ to it for the near future….
I don’t know how we’ll make another record without Mike – a true inspiration and, even better, a true friend.”
Bryan also spoke about a few of the songs featured on Gravity’s My Enemy.
“I really dig this record so choosing a few songs to mention is like a parent picking their favorite child. I mean the record’s got a little of every emotion on it. I can tell you my wife’s favorites are Inside Joke – which is one of two songs scribbled down after a crazy dream – The Wreck being the other, and then the last song on the CD called Too Good To Last – sort of a lament about living in the moment.
The Wreck is my favorite I guess because of how it came to me. I had this dream where me and the other guys were sitting in this auditorium and out walked Andy Falco of the Infamous Stringdusters with a guitar thrown across his back and blowing on a harp like Bob Dylan, humming the first part of the melody. I looked around at the other guys and they seemed to love it – and I woke up wishing I had written it – to quickly realize, I could still write it. So I rushed into the other room, sang the melody and a few lines into my home phone (calling my cell phone) around 4 in the morning – making my wife crazy – but happy to have Andy give me a great song, royalty free… I think (we’re still in negotiations).”
Bryan suggested that this new CD is a better reflection of who the band is than their previous release, Blind Man Walking, which has been their constant companion this past three years.
“We are different people in so many respects than we were then. This music is representative of our experiences and life changing moments the last three years, not to mention the different music that has entered our ears while driving around in ‘the vault’ (our van) for endless amounts of hours over the last three years. And also, I think, the time in between making BMW and Gravity’s has granted us a confidence musically to look deeper inside ourselves and find our true voice, so to speak. But I also realize that when we make the next record it will be a more exact commentary than this one- so they’ll all have their own personality I’m sure.
We just want people to just listen to the record in its entirety – we really feel like the songs go together like a jigsaw puzzle, and that all 14 tracks tell a different part of the story that is Gravity’s Our Enemy.
Repeat after me – Aug. 19th on Skaggs Family Records!!”