Cigar package #3


Last Thursday I fulfilled another cigar package before releasing WOLF. For those of you that are not aware of the cigar package, prior to releasing my new album people could buy two different levels of cigar packages. I would bring the cigars over and we’d smoke a cigar while listening to my new record together before it came out.

I got together with my good friend Phil at his absolutely amazing house over-looking Austin. We settled into two fine leather chairs with Cuban cigars, 18 year old scotch and a bottle of wine from his cellar. I laughed out loud when I walked into his wine cellar. He looked over his collection of a couple of hundred bottles and picked one out. There’s a spiral stair case from his cellar to his cigar room. His cigar room has its own AC system that pulls air from outside. “Tomorrow” he said, “You will not even know we smoked cigars in this room”. I said, “I bet, there was not a hint of odor when I walked in tonight”.


His sound system is amazing and it’s the first time I really got to actually hear WOLF. It was the first time to sit and listen to it in its entirety on a real nice sound system. When making an album, especially working on one as long as I have worked on this one, you can sometimes lose sight of the beauty of music, working too close to the fine details. I finally took a step back and got to listen from a listeners standpoint.


We recorded piano for one of the tracks at his house. He has an amazing piano that John Elliott graciously played on the album.

phil's house piano

Phil is one of the biggest fans of music I know. I did not know to what extent until this night. I came across something I’ve never seen in anyone but me. Phil is moved to tears often by music. I noticed all my standard moves out of the corner of my eye. The subtle moves to wipe away tears. I am moved to tears every single day by music. It’s such a beautiful and inspiring thing in my life. I have never come across another person that literally sheds tears often from the beauty of music. It was refreshing to see.


After finishing WOLF, we talked about artists we love. We played songs for each other. He has an amazing collection of vinyl. He turned me on to some amazing things. We watched youtube videos of Richard Buckner, Amy Speace, John Fullbright, Danny Schmidt. We watched his personal videos that are not online of AJ Roach, Anthony Da Costa and Nels Andrews.

He stumped me a little with a question, “Who are artists you believe to be above everyone else? Who really, really moves you?” Up until now and with most anyone else this would be an easy question to answer. With Phil however, I wanted to come up with people that maybe he didn’t know, which is very tough. The only person I could come up with that he hadn’t listened to was Richard Buckner. We did however talk of Dayna Kurtz, Danny Schmidt, Raina Rose, Carrie Elkin, Rose Cousins, Sean Rowe and many others that have the ability to move us deeper than others.

This was one of the most enjoyable nights I have had in recent memory. Truly a night of inspiration. Thanks for buying the package and taking the ride Phil.

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