Frankly, I had no idea what I was getting into when I met Kevin Zoernig. Sure, I was looking for a producer, since I could feel a new record kicking in the chute (I'd made one before, a moody acoustic song cycle called 'Semi-Blue'). Yes, I wanted to amplify the folky flavor of my songs, and I even longed for a few tragic horns. But no one prepared me for Kevin. Recorded at Santa Fe Soundworks and released in the spring of 2003, 'Exiles' offers a swooping journey through the labyrinth in search of the unnameable source. All of us are exiles from the garden, and these songs evoke the heroes, mysteries, goblins, and detours on the bumpy road to redemption. The play between the lyrics and arrangements we created is suitably taut. We began tracking 'Exiles' at David Cragin's down home studio, Santa Fe Soundworks, in the spring of 2002. From the outset, Kevin seemed determined to avoid any hint of musical cliche. Instead, he delighted in bending and defying genres, all in the service of prodding the songs to fly further. Cragin and I listened slack-eared as Kevin generated idea after stunning idea. We'd stumbled onto a brilliant contrarian who was going to take us, and the listener, on a wild ride. So, instead of a trit-trot, 'Exiles' turned out to be a roller coaster, filled with horns, keyboards, and electronic surprises. Kevin assembled a stellar cast of local musicians, including Mark Clark, Peter Gordon, and Kanoa Kaluhiwa to bring the songs to life. And, of course, since Kevin has such a dramatic flair, his arrangements dovetailed with, and deepened, the stories embedded in the songs. You'll certainly find some edges here. Songs about longing and friendship and loneliness. Songs about addictive desire. Songs about love and rage and indifference in the body politic. Something sweet and intense as well. A striving for integrity. A big scope. I invite you to check out the lyrics. I think they say a lot. And if you're not grabbed by them - or by this record - our money-back guarantee (plus bonus!) is on the back of this page. Ok. No bonus. But you get the idea.
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