As promised, several top-notch instrumental performances on the “What’s Gone Before” project were made possible by an elite group of musicians whom I have labeled “studio session all-stars”. Allow me to introduce them to you now.
Kevin Dukes: Lap Steel
One of Keith’s oldest and dearest friends and musical mentors, Kevin Dukes is a songwriter, arranger and producer based in Los Angeles, CA. As a guitarist he has recorded and performed with a virtual “who’s who” of popular music. As a session musician he has performed on hundreds of television and film soundtracks and themes, and hundreds of commercial advertising soundtracks. Employing his skills as a songwriter Kevin has composed music and lyrics for Platinum status recording artists Chicago and Meredith Brooks, Integrity Records Gold Record status artists Don Moen and The Tommy Coomes Band. Aside song placements on internationally released albums and feature films Kevin’s compositions have been heard around the world via placements by BMG, Universal publishing and LA Post Music in television soundtracks and films from Canada to Australia and Sweden to Israel.
SPECIAL NOTE: Having grown up playing music with Kevin, Keith attributes another skill to his friend: mountain biking. It was in the 1990s in L.A. that Kevin taught him everything he could about this grand sport. Kevin, however, bears no responsibility, legal, moral or otherwise for the multiple crashes and concussions that his less skilled pupil has suffered in the meantime.
“What’s Gone Before” Contribution – Lap Steel on “Dancing Rabbit”
Sam Levine: Clarinet
On any given day, Sam Levine might be playing for a film soundtrack, flute for Mandisa, clarinet for Wynonna, penny whistle for Amy Grant or saxophone for Lynyrd Skynyrd. As of Fall 2012, he had recently recorded for Vince Gill, Aaron Neville, The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Carrie Underwood and Kenny Chesney. In his career he has played shows with Sammy Davis Jr., Mel Torme, Henry Mancini, Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Reba McIntire, Michael McDonald, Al Jarreau, Liza Minnelli, Amy Grant, Toby Keith, Lynda Carter, Michael W. Smith and Larry Carlton. As an artist, Sam has more than 16 artist recordings on three different labels (Greenhill Music, Village Square and Brentwood Jazz).
Keith was thrilled to hear of Sam’s availability to work on this project since he and his wife and kids used the Sam Levine: Jazz From the Heart CD as standard getting up, getting ready Sunday morning music during the early child-rearing years. During Sam’s in studio performance on track 4 of the EP, Keith declared it via twitter as “the most beautiful clarinet solo of all time.”
“What’s Gone Before” Contribution – Clarinet on “Plowman’s Pride”
Russ Pahl: Pedal Steel
Originally from Minnesota, Russ Pahl moved to Nashville to play steel guitar. Since then, he has played with some of the biggest names in pop and country music as well as a lot great people you’ve never heard of.
Always trying to expand the boundaries of the steel guitar, he tries to make every performance a new adventure.
Highly recommended by Producer/Engineer/Player Sarah Emily Parish, Russ came into the “What’s Gone Before” fold of players and quickly worked his unique brand of magic to stellar effect.
“What’s Gone Before” Contribution – Pedal Steel on “Lullaby for Lucy”
It has been my honor to work with Kevin, Sam, and Russ to give this recording top-of-class quality. Thanks to each one of you for putting your inimitable stamps on my music.