Who are the OtherHand?  They are, each and every one, stellar artists in their own right, and are all very busy doing their own thing.  Because I seldom actually gig my own music, the OH has mostly been simply a studio band, changing from record to record to suit the size and scope of each project.  I like to think of the OtherHand as an ever-increasing circle of musicians – my “go to” crew. 

For Less is the New Black, with its  more economical arrangements, I decided to make it a small, but very agile core group.  This time around, the OtherHand is:

Nick Kirgo – I first saw Nick perform with another very talented friend (Lauren Adams), and I was knocked out by not only what he DID play, but also what he did NOT play, and that is a HARD lesson for some players.  For Nick, it’s just how he rolls, knowing that songs must breathe to be truly great. I am grateful to have made this record with him. Our sessions together easily remain some of the most effortless and fun work I’ve ever done.  He’s been with me on my last 3 records and our chemistry just keeps growing. I’m looking forward to many more hours together, in studio….  Many thanks, Nick…

*** Funny “Nick” story – after we’ve been working together all these years, I recently told him he’s been pronouncing my last name incorrectly since we met, and would he please make note of the correct pronunciation,  “KO-zak, not KAH-sack”… He laughed (?)…  He THEN told me I’d been butchering his last name for all these years, as well, “KEER-go, not Kur-go”…  We both laughed, but we have it straight now….

Daniel Rhine -- Daniel first came to OtherHand while I was producing Phil Christie’s Ghosts of Christmas Past at my studio, and Daniel was called in to play the CD release gig. He was just awesome in rehearsal and onstage, extracting incredible emotion from his double bass.  Having Daniel onboard for Less is the New Black, has been a real blessing. His unbelievable instincts are a huge reason this record sounds so open, and yet so rich.  He’s a new dad this year, so along with my sincere thanks, I wish him well on Fatherhood, the journey of a lifetime…  Much love, brother…

Ed Tree -- If you’ve frequented L.A.’s acoustic scene, it would be near impossible to NOT know of Ed’s immense talent. He is perhaps the most prolific producer of singer-songwriters in Los Angeles, as well as being a longtime member of the Spencer Davis Group, and a fellow member of the Talls.  Ed plays in so many bands, that on any given night in this town, you might just run into him onstage, strumming his favorite SG.   He plays in just about every style and does it with vibe, making it all look beyond easy. I met Ed during the halcyon days of Billy Block’s Western Beat in the early 90’s, and even then he was a legend.  We’ve been on a few projects together now, and I still believe that IF and WHEN I ever grow up, I wanna be him…    Respect, my brother…

About my guest artists:

I love unusual instrumentation, and I love making music with friends. Luckily, I have large and wonderful network of talented artist / friends that I asked to join Nick, Daniel, Ed and me on this project.  They are all featured in the photos, to the left. Thanks to each and every one of them for working so hard to make sure the vibe of the record stayed intact, even though most of them played on only one tune, where they were featured.  Special props to Joee Corso on backing vocals, for adding texture to the record, and to Janeen Rae Heller for making My Life Fits so hauntingly beautiful…

My post-production team -  Alf Rodenas and Marc DeSisto.  These two fellows were the “ears after the ears”.  Thank you to Alf for working patiently with me, making the mixes better than I could have done on my own. And to Marc --  Your mastering was perfection (and if you’re making a record – DO NOT skimp on this part).  If you do not understand exactly what mastering is, look it up, but I must say that Marc is certainly among the best.  Thanks to you both….

Pictured left (top to bottom):

Nick Kirgo, Daniel Rhine, Ed Tree, Alf Rodenas, Marc DeSisto, Joee Corso, Dan Kay, Janeen Rae Heller, Cristian Yancey, Leslie Beauvais, Jimmy Yessian, James Grey, John Stowers, Dave Salinas, Tim Tedrow, Stevie Blacke, Merritt Evan Raff, Leo Valenzuela, John Classick and Terry, “T. Smidi” Smith