A decade on from his debut solo project, Toshio Watanabe will release a follow-up CD, The Fiction Twins Plus: My Favorite Songs (Red Clay Records RC-128), at the beginning of October (2022).
In the liner notes Watanabe relates ….
“When I was a high school student in 1960s, I enjoyed recording with two tape-recorders to overdub and it was like a magic to me. After several decades, it is still a lot of fun to record.
Nowadays with digital equipment, it is easier to get good recordings.
Fiction Twins do not really exist, and I am the one who sings and performs most of the songs and music in this album.
After the last Fiction Twins album, I wanted to try something with a banjo and a fiddle. So I started recording a little by little. The fiddle part was impossible for me to record without the help of my friends. Fortunately, I was able to get great help from Chris Sharp, Jan Johansson, Hiroyuki Momiyama, and Hsuen-Cheng Liao ‘Ryo.’
On one song, Kazumi Watanabe joined us in the chorus. It was her first recording experience to sing in English in front of a microphone. I think she did surprisingly well.
For the last song, I added a slightly older recording of Hideyuki Watanabe’s guitar, banjo, and vocal with Chris Sharp, Terry Eldridge, and the legendary Uncle Josh Graves.
Bluegrass music is constantly evolving. I hope that the first generation of bluegrass style will remain in a part of the current evolution. Current artists and musicians are like our children and grandchildren.
I hope you enjoy my favorite songs that I have chosen here.”
The CD consists of a wholesome 14 songs …
Girl I Love Don’t Pay Me No Mind / Bummin’ An Old Freight Train / How Will I Explain About You? / Knoxville Girl / On The Sea Of Galilee / Watson Blues / What Became Of That Beautiful Picture / Are You Tired Of Me My Darling? / The Bluebirds Singing are Singing for Me / Go Home / Rocky Run / The Cyclone Of Rye Cove / Don’t Forget Me / Mama Don’t Allow
Scheduled to be released on October 1, pre-orders are now accepted at Red Clay Records in Japan, while it is likely to be more-widely available later.
Watanabe has a long history in bluegrass music stretching back well over 50 years, playing bass for Bluegrass 45; banjo in the Shaggy Mountain Boys; and mandolin with the Church Back Trio.
He is a Grammy-nominated producer and president of B.O.M. Service, Ltd, the umbrella organization for MoonShiner magazine and Red Clay Records.