"Time For This"
"Time for This" is a song my father, George Cavanaugh, wrote while sitting by my cradle when I was a baby. It's also the title I chose for this new record I've made of my interpretations of some of his songs. It's a project that I have been wanting to do for a few years and this year was a deadline of sorts: This is my 48th year, and when my father was my age he died of heart failure after several years struggling with a brutal combination of chronic depression and prescription opiate addiction, with some regular old alcohol and street drug use thrown in. I was 22 when he died.
As I started digging through material for the record, I was genuinely surprised by how moving and timely some of these songs are. His dry wit, keen sense of justice, and joie de vivre shine through in these songs. I had a great time playing through them with Duke in the studio, sitting next to each other strumming big old acoustic guitars. Jennifer Kimball added a few harmonies. What we ended up with is am intimate and honest sounding batch of songs recorded beautifully by Chris Rival. I hope you enjoy them.
More about George Cavanaugh's Music
When I was growing up, music composition and performance were just part of my home life. Dad always had a song he was working on, a band he was rehearsing in the little houses we rented all over New England, a new record he would listen to over and over. He was self-taught, and learned to play the guitar mostly by listening to folk and blues records in the early ‘60s. He liked to play Dave Van Ronk's arrangement of Come Back Baby, and wrote a few songs in that style. My parents named me after Ry Cooder, whose first solo album had come out just before I was born.
My parents drifted around when I was a baby, living first in Southern Connecticut, and then Granby, Marthas Vineyard, and Provincetown, Massachusetts. Wherever we lived, my parents hosted whatever traveling musicians were playing the local room. My dad played around the New England folk scene, but mostly he worked some kind of trade while he was writing his songs and poems, and he didn't play out much. But there were always mandolins, basses, drums, dobros, every kind of folk instrument around the house, and people to play them. There's no point in dropping names here but there were a lot of good musicians, engineers, and artists floating through my childhood homes. I even used to play little harmonica on Orange Blossom Special in jams.
By the late 70s, we had settled near my dad's home town of Stamford, Connecticut, and a Country and Western Band coalesced to play in the burgeoning Honky Tonk scene around New York. Dad adapted some of his folk songs to the new band, wrote some other ones, and made up a stage character called Bobby Pedd. His band was The Bobby Pedd Band, and between 1978 and 1982, when I was between the ages of 7 and 11, there was always a band in our house - a big, wild one. Some of those guys were like family to me, and they had kids of their own who came to hang with us during rehearsals. We always had a few guys living with us in the big house we rented in downtown New Canaan. I have his diary from 1981, and there are quite a few Bobby Pedd Band shows at the Lone Star Cafe in Manhattan, sometimes opening, sometimes headlining. They were definitely working, and they were a pretty cracking band based on some live recordings I have on cassette.
A series of hard things happened, and seemingly all at once in the early ’80’s, for my family and for the various friends in the band, and that whole world just disappeared. Time works that way sometimes, everything all one way, and then, suddenly, all another. There's an old family story about Dad visiting a fortune-teller when he was young. There was a lot of good there in his palms, a lot of adventure and creativity, but the mystic couldn’t see anything beyond the age of 40.
This record comes out officially, digitally, etc. in April 2020. I'll be playing a few shows around New England in April including a release show at Club Passim in Cambridge. I'll also be touring a bit in the UK opening up for Jeffrey Foucault.
But I am able to press and mail some advance copies in time for the December holiday season. The record is pretty much done and the copies I send out will be complete. This infusion of pre-sales and crowdfunding will help me get the money I need to finish the odds and ends and prepare for the release.
Risks and challenges
This is my first solo album in 20 years. Every aspect of this release is down to me. While I've been through many releases with bands and know how to do all the things that need to be done, I'm hoping I can keep up with all the demands of finishing this release. I don't have products in my hand yet and there won't be much wiggle room before the holidays if anything goes wrong.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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