http://www.youtube.com/attribution_link?a=iBl2ijFdHJo&u=/watch?v=tOs4OFlGKwE&feature=share

This is the title track of our soon-to-be-released album, and the video is produced by Jay McMichael of CNN, and includes a tribute/memorial to my late sister, Sarajane Hakopian…
Miss her very much.

virginiamovie:

Editing is underway! 
Thanks for checking to make sure we’re still breathing…

virginiamovie:

Editing is underway! 

Thanks for checking to make sure we’re still breathing…

virginiamovie:

Editing is underway! 
Thanks for checking to make sure we’re still breathing…

virginiamovie:

Editing is underway! 

Thanks for checking to make sure we’re still breathing…

Bonnie Raitt and George Marinelli

When Bonnie and George make magic, I mean music, together, it’s a real window that opens from past sounds and great concerts from the last forty years and new songs pop through into our future… So perfectly balanced between old trusted vibes and contemporary ideas… So, anyway, when George says “hey, I’d like to put some guitar in a few of those new songs”, you not only say yes please, you say how can we make this happen? In the middle of the Bonnie Raitt world tour how can we do this? And we made it happen! Here’s how it went… It was a really cool day!
We had a studio day reserved in Nashville during a brief time when George was resting up right before the European leg of the tour. We had our two chosen base tracks all started in advance and had collaborated with John and Cliff, of Nashville Studio Live, to pass the songs over the Internet (amazing, technology in action) and had two songs really set for our session. 110 years, and Pushed You Away, the latter being from the perspective opposite the famous Bonnie Raitt vocal “I Can’t Make You Love Me”, since I’ve often felt unable to really feel emotionally available (it comes and goes), and have sometimes had this uncomfortable and painful moment… And the song was born with acoustic guitar and a little bass and drums… George took it to a blues-rock place with some Telecaster twang and some Strat slide, that felt like it was the evolution of the Slipstream sound blended with Cousin John Band… In mid session I realized that I had the PERFECT guy in the studio with me… George could feel where the song was going without me having to explain much at all! It made me realize that alot of what we enjoy in recent Bonnie Raitt albums is George’s guitar magic! And mandolin! Get ready for some sweet mando in our new songs!
Then when we had put all the magic down, George said what else you got? and I pulled out the songbook and looked at new song ideas and we settled on a live-play recording session of Wherever She Goes, a love song about missing someone who’s on the road, someone who is surrounded by fans and followers and magic, but who longs for a night at home…at least we think she does. Semi-autobiographically, it’s my hearts aching to be on the road with her, and at the same time being happy to be home. If you ever waited at home — you’ll like this song, especially after George gave it magic on guitar and mandolin and then a little hand-drum on the back of his acoustic. Amazing. By the end of the day we were laughing and grinning about how unique and how powerful our time in the studio was!
On the drive back home, I couldn’t stop thinking about how I had been playing guitar and singing and writing songs inside a living breathing Bonnie Raitt album!
George brought all the magic of Bonnie’s sound (except her voice and her slidey strat!) into the studio, and i brought my songs! Wow, I am never gonna be the same now that I’ve learned all the secrets of the Bonnie Raitt Band (sorry, I am sworn to secrecy), trust me the album will let you into my world, my music (blended with George Marinelli’s guitar) and my heart…

Come see Little Feat Legend, and photographer, Billy Payne, at the Birchmere! 

Come see Little Feat Legend, and photographer, Billy Payne, at the Birchmere! 

John goofing around with George Marinelli (Bonnie Raitt Band) guitars in Nashville. In May, we had the good fortune of having George “guest-in” on three new songs, 110 years, Push You Away, and Wherever She Goes… This is the best year ever (so far)!
Big shoutout to Nashville Studio Live and Cliff Goldmacher with engineering by Jon Stinson. They know how to make a record!

John goofing around with George Marinelli (Bonnie Raitt Band) guitars in Nashville. In May, we had the good fortune of having George “guest-in” on three new songs, 110 years, Push You Away, and Wherever She Goes… This is the best year ever (so far)!

Big shoutout to Nashville Studio Live and Cliff Goldmacher with engineering by Jon Stinson. They know how to make a record!

The 5 Artist Feature - Number 2!

Harrie, a lovely musical-artist-blogger and singer-songwriter in the UK, chose Cousin John Band as part of a five artist review - seems like she liked the music… more where that came from.

About Leather and Steel

I literally shouted to my wife, “Oh my God, there’s a wheel here!” and it gradually came to me that this thing fell something like a hundred years ago, when there were civil war armies encamped and entrenched in these western Maryland woods… What a story it could tell, if this wheel could talk, occurred to me right away, and soon after, I began to hear stories…

Now, as the singer and chief songwriter for the americana/blues/rock band, Cousin John Band, I am accustomed to story lines bouncing around in my head, but this was the first time I wasn’t even in the story. Most of my songs previous had me as the main character, or the girl I was with at the time, or the girl I wished I was still with… you get the picture. So I scribbled down a few things and didn’t really think, I am gonna do this song. More like, what a cool wheel, I am gonna ask the farmer’s family if they know about this, (they didn’t), and, I’ll probably never be able to find this again… Just a bit of history, the Cousin John Band is a little band that plays bars and parties and the occasional festival in the DC area, and our songs are very bar-centric. As an example, when my Unitarian minister asked me to do a song at church, I looked at her blankly for ten seconds and then said, “they are not very appropriate, unless you are doing a sermon on drunken heart-break and other shenanigans”, or something to that effect.

My little sister was killed by her boyfriend, ex-boyfriend actually as she had told him she didn’t want to see him since he was using drugs and acting weird, he stabbed her, and we’re all having a real hard time just going on after that. So having a song in my head was a relief to me, it had been a while (maybe a year after she died) and I needed a song in my head right about then. Really needed it. But I couldn’t really write it, didn’t really think I was ready or able to do something larger than myself… Then I saw a thing online about ABigProject, a peace event that was looking for art and song entries, and I sent the bit of lyrics and my thoughts via email. The response I got, from the VP of the organization, Frank Dominguez, convinced me I had to try to do it, so I sat down and let the song write itself, and then I let it play itself on my acoustic guitar. So my first song about other people also became my first acoustic song, became our featured song in the 150-nation peace exhibition, including a video by Emmy/Oscar winning team Leo Eaton/Gary Griffin, and a visit to the UN to sing it in person during their event…thanks to a lot of help from other people too numerous to mention but they know who they are and that I love them. This last thing, the trip to New York city, was the biggest, scariest deal for me, and I was able to bring along a friend and mentor, Patty Reese, and she contributed a song as well. (by this time I’d become a Artist/ambassador for UNArtsforPeace, this small NGO affiliated with the UN, that does peace related stuff all over the world, and was beginning to pester artists from Bob Dylan to Dolly Parton, to help - no I didn’t meet him!)

Anyway, the song… I was afraid it would be boring and/or hard to understand a song made of little snips of lives carried by the wheel, and couldn’t come up with a stanza that made it about peace at all. I ended up without one, No direct mention of world-peace, and just one about war and cannons and dying, and one that hinted at re-incarnation and/or the soul/afterlife…

The thing I would most want to say is that this song is the start of me writing honest songs that are roughly equal to my views of things and/or myself, and that it doesn’t have an extra great plot twist or anything, even though maybe it would be a better song if it did. It just has the actual plot twists of lives lived through a chunk of history, and as seen in the tiny glimpses I got through the wheel. So its just more or less realistic and lifesized, and just as well envisioned as I saw it, without a lot of slickness. And thats ok, I think, because its not pop. But I guess thats pretty obvious, LOL.

http://www.nodepression.com/video/leather-and-steel-making-the-wagon-wheel-song

John

Creating

cousinjohnband:

Creating new music is like building a relationship. Honest,  communication, trust and vulnerability are our only requirements!
Performing the music is like consummating the relationship!

Creating

Creating new music is like building a relationship. Honest, open communication and vulnerability Our requirements!
Performing the music is like consummating the relationship!