By 1993 I had stopped performing solo and was working with Alan Gregson, Richard Curran and Geoff Orr. All three are excellent trained musicians and could hold their own in on any stage. February 1994 we all went to Nashville USA to record an album at Russ Long's studio, 'The Car Port'. We were with musicians who were working at the very highest level in Nashville, Alan, Richard and Geoff slotted right in.
I was introduced to Russ Long by my then manager, Richard Bickersteth. I met Russ in the UK when he was on a trip with the singer Steve Taylor, Russ was Steve's sound engineer. Steve Taylor's band 'Chagall Guevara' had just split up and I think Steve and Russ were on a global tour making a video to promote Steve's album 'Squint'.
Dave Perkins and Mike Mead were both members of 'Chagall Guevara', I first met them in the Uk when 'Chagall Guevara' were headlining the Greenbelt Festival in 1991. Phil Keaggy was also appearing at that festival, I was introduced to Phil by my friend James Tweed. I met Phil again the next year at the Cornerstone festival in Illinois.
It's a mystery why 'Chagall Guevara' didn't become a huge band have a look on Youtube: 'Chagall Guevara' - 'Violent Blue'.
I think Russ Long suggested we ask Phil Keaggy to come in and play on a song, he did and played a solo on 'Apple Pie', we were blown away by this mans talent and humility, he is a legend.
Phil Madeira made a major contribution to 'Sunset Grill' (Phil Madeira and Dave Perkins had been members of 'The Phil Keaggy Band'). Phil came to play Hammond B3 on a couple of songs and ended up playing on almost the whole album. Phil lit up the studio, his warmth and generosity were infectious. Phil a multi talented musician, he has worked with a long list of revered artists, he is also great songwriter, poducer and artist. Phil is currently a member of Emmylou Harris's band 'The Red Dirt Boys'. Over 20 years on Phil has recently played on my album "Cowboys and Moonbeams.
Al Perkins arrived at the studio to play pedal steel and I had to pinch myself, another incredible talent and humble guy who went out of his way to play what we wanted. Al was a member of 'The Flying Burrito Brothers', played on the two solo albums recorded by Gram Parsons and has worked with a whose who of musicians from the last 50 years including Leonard Cohan, Dolly Parton, James Taylor, The Eagles... he even played on 'Exile On Main Street' by 'The Rolling Stones', what more can you say!
Meeting and having these guys play on my album was a privilege, not only are they great musicians but easy to work with and great company.
Sadly 'Sunset Grill' has never been available in it's original form until now (2014) but here it is at long last. The name 'Sunset Grill' came from a restaurant in Nashville we frequented late at night after recording.
released March 1, 1996
Produced By Russell E. Long & Sam Hill Jr
Recorded February and March 1994 at The Car Port, Nashville, Tn. USA
Additional Recording/Mixing Alan Gregson, West Orange Studios, UK
Sam Hill Jr: Guitar/Vocal
Richard Curran: Violin/Mandolin
Alan Gregson: Acoustic and Electric Guitars
Geoff Orr: Bass Guitar/Piano
Phil Madeira: Hammond B3/Dobro/Accordion
Mike Mead: Drums
Al Perkins: Pedal Steel Guitar/Dobro
Phil Keaggy: Guitar on 'Apple Pie'
Eric Darken: Percussion
Bob Halligan Jr, Dave Perkins & Karthi Masters: Backing Vocals
Cover Photograph by Andy Hutch
Cover Design by Steve Turner
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