(it's about) time
You don't need to be able to remember the '70s to know it was a time when "singer-songwriters" were free to be more than a sensitive guy with a guitar. Van Morrison could be a Hipster Soul Singer or a Celtic Mystic; Joni Mitchell could be a Hippie Siren or a Jazz Chanteuse. It was a time before musical labels meant stylistic restrictions, before record stores had separate bins for every imaginable genre, before artists could be defined by a curated Apple Music playlist.
You don't need to be able to remember those times, but it doesn't hurt. Brian Saunders became musically aware in those times. He swept the dial on the radio to listen to The James Gangor James Taylor or Bob James, but by the time he decided to make music himself, seriously, the world had become binned – you had to choose: Punk or Ska? Funk or Jazz? Rock or R&B? So he put in his time playing in bands that were pigeon-holed by choice, but kept drifting back to bands that felt free to blur the lines. So when it came time to make the record, he and his producer, Johnny Sangster, considering a batch of songs written over 25 years, realized that it could only work if undertaken with the same unfettered spirit that prevailed when a band could "cross over" without even trying to.
(it's about) time is a record that suggests Mose Allison digging into the Stax catalog with The Wrecking Crew in support, Nick Lowe back in the Stiff Records days tackling Steely Dan covers, Maggot Brain-era Funkadelic playing Moondance track-for-track. Johnny wrangled some of the finest musicians in Seattle, put them in a great room, and set them loose. The songs are simple, or deceptively complex, and in spite of being as much as 25 years or as little as two weeks old they share a common thread so that even in their diversity they feel of a piece, different facets of a single stone. (it's about) time pretty much screams "1970", and does so without shame or pretense.
(it's about) time features:
Brian Saunders - Guitars & Vocals
Eric Eagle - Drums & Drum Programming
Keith Lowe - Electric & Upright Basses
Johnny Sangster - Guitars, Backing Vocals, Percussion
Daniel Walker - Electric & Acoustic Pianos, Hammond B3 Organ, Clavinet, Mellotron
With: Barb Hunter (cello), Christopher Foerstel (viola), Kimberly Jill Harrenstein and Andrew D.B. Joslyn (violins), Hans Teuber (tenor sax), Stephen Moore (trombone), Steve Mostovoy (trumpet), and Scott Saunders (additional percussion)
Here's a track from (it's about) time. "Stumble Around" was written by my good friend, Rabbi Joshua R. Simon, and has been part of my sets for years. Josh passed away on August 7, 2005; this project is dedicated to him...
(it's about) time is also available to stream via Spotify.