Produced by Mark Rubin (Bad Livers, Atomic Duo) and mixed and mastered by Gurf Morlix, this is the only recording of Don just by himself, singing his songs and telling the true life stories of the times and characters that made up his lyrics.
In 2004, Don's hands started to cramp and go numb on his gigs and it became apparent that they were soon going to gave up on him completely to where could no long even strum his guitar. So, with a intern pal (Jake Zuckerman) we set up a field recording session in his living room with a handful of microphones and a now obsolete recording format and just let the tape roll. Don lived inside of his songs and they became real to him every time he sang them, and we felt it was important to document the man and his stories in as natural and unvarnished a manner. The pain of his singular Gospel composition the "Crucifixion," the youthful joy in knocking over "Pappy's Simmon's Privy," and the heart breaking recounting of his early life with his bride Patricia ("Times Were Never Easy,') so painful a memory he couldn't get through a take without breaking down and crying.
For many years, these tapes sat in a box under my bed. It took a long time for me to even bring myself to listen to them. A few record labels contacted me about releasing it, but the contracts I was offered were jokes; I give them Don's music and they take his publishing rights all for releasing a CD. Don't think the big guy would have swung at that pitch, so back under the bed they went.
But with the urging of his friends and family, especially long time admirer Gurf Morlix, we are pleased to share that day with you all. Simply intended to be anything but a little souvenir to his fans and a peek into the life of the "Pavarotti of the Plains," and "God's Own Yodeler." We hope you will find as much joy in listening as we did that day sipping lemonade in his front room in South Austin.
Photo courtesy Al Walser. Cover design Jeff Brosch.