Bass player, song writer and journalist, Jon Weisberger has announced the release later this month of his first solo CD. The independently labeled, If This Road Could Talk, is scheduled for release on September 16.
The collection consists of a dozen songs, each of which Weisberger has written either alone or with a partner. None has been recorded before except for Losing Again (which the Chapmans cut in 2000).
Three of them were co-written with Mark Simos, while Alan Bartram, Jennifer Strickland, Justin Carbone, Jeremy Garrett and Tim Stafford helped with one each. The last five sang lead or harmony on their respective songs.
Most of the songs were penned in the past five years and they reflect the various facets of bluegrass music during that period of time. Two, My Turn To Laugh and Stepping Stone, are both traditional in character, albeit that the latter reminds one of Johnny and Jack with its rumba beat. Some, like When She’s By My Side, At The Bottom Again, Aim High and the title track, are among the majority in being contemporary bluegrass. A couple, including Nothing Against Memphis and Lonely Town, are acoustic country while The Very Next Hello has the broadest appeal.
Weisberger has been playing bluegrass bass since his late twenties, playing with at various times Union Springs, the Wildwood Valley Boys, Chris Jones and the Night Drivers, Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time and recently the side project band, Lonesome Heirs. The musicians that he has asked to help him – Chris Jones, Tim Strong, Aaron Till, Mike Witcher, Ron Block, Jesse Brock, Andy Falco, Jeremy Garrett and Ned Luberecki, among others – are largely those with whom he has appeared on stage in recent years, with Tim Stafford and new friends Jenni Lynn Gardner and Megan McCormick could be described as ‘hired guns’ in the usual meaning of the term.
The same goes with the singers. Darren McGuire is young singer who crossed Weisberger’s path when they were both in Ohio in the 1990s, while the better-known Patty Mitchell, Jan Harvey, David Peterson, Robert Gateley, Stephen Mougin and Chris Davis have each made a favourable long-term impression in their own ways.
Weisberger offered this explanation for releasing If This Road Could Talk ‚Ä¶..
“I started thinking about doing the album about a year ago, with two main purposes in mind. First, I simply wanted to have something to sell in the course of touring and teaching; second, I had accumulated a fairly substantial catalog of songs that hadn’t been recorded, and in some cases not even demo’d. I concluded that an album of original songs made with the friends and colleagues I’ve gotten to know over the years could be something that fans would want, and could also serve as high quality demos for unrecorded songs. And with that came the opportunity to highlight some of my favorite musicians – not only those already well-known, but some who, in my opinion, deserve to be much better known than they presently are.”
The album was recorded at Ben Surratt’s studio, The Rec Room, in Nashville, with engineer Surratt sharing production duties with Weisberger.