THE CLEVELAND RECORDING SESSIONS 1977
   

Mail $15 check (shipping is free) to
Catesby Jones
207 Brookwood Avenue
Wilmington, NC 28403

In 1975, I was making a living on the New York College Coffeehouse Circuit playing original music with Kathy Black.  We were the new darlings with solid bookings and great prospects for a successful future in the business.  Unfortunately, creative differences, the rigors of the road and a lethal dose of selfish immaturity on my part led to our demise both personally and professionally.  With no more than an old busted up Ford, my guitar and a ton of bad Karma and regret I stumbled home to Cleveland to figure out my next incarnation.

Out of self preservation I threw myself into my song writing and decided to make my first record.  Jeff Van Gelder, a friend from Boston, came down to add his enthusiastic guitar playing to a rhythm section of local musicians I had assembled for the project.  When I thought we had it all down we booked a couple of days at legendary Cleveland Recording where many of the era's hits had been recorded.

Early in the session it became apparent that none of us could keep time as every song felt like it was racing to its conclusion.  Ken Hamann owned the studio and for some unexplainable reason he took what almost felt like a fatherly interest in my project and saved the day.  He called up a session drummer from the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, suggested his son as the bass player and in no time we were knocking out the set list in time and on budget.

We cut everything live and then I doubled a few vocals, played some guitar solos and added sound effects.  We distilled the session down to six songs, made a dozen reel to reel tapes, a couple of acetates and I went shopping for a deal.  J. Ross Baughman, a brilliant photographer I met in Sao Paulo, Brazil, was in town doing a story and offered to shoot my cover art for free.

Nothing ever came of this project but one record company was considerate enough to send back a kind letter.  They said, "It didn't hit their hot button," and it may not hit yours but I still love it after all these years.  If only I could combine the youthful exuberance of that kid with the experience of this man we might really have something.

I offer this time capsule in its entirety to anyone curious about my musical origins and as a reminder to myself that songs are immortal, capable of transporting the listener to a place and time long forgotten to the rest of the world.

                                                             Catesby Jones
                                                             Fall 2008

 

The Cleveland Recording Sessions 1977, Catesby Jones

This package was lovingly restored and re-mastered from thirty year-old reel to reel and cassette tapes by Jeff Reid at Ear To The Ground, Wilmington, NC

This project was originally dedicated to my parents and titled "All Grown Up Now".  I rededicated it to their memory and to the memory of Cleveland's quiet recording industry giant, Ken Hamann.

Catesby Jones: vocals, acoustic and electric guitars

Jeff Van Gelder: acoustic rhythm guitar

Paul Hamann: bass

Pete Sinks: drums

Rob Luoma: drums on "Bells"

Barry Weinberg: piano and B3 organ

Thomas Herman: St. Paul's Church Bells, Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Recorded, engineered and mixed by Ken Hamann
March 16th and 17th, 1977 at Cleveland Recording

All songs written and arranged by Catesby Jones
except "...Dreams" co-written with Peter Weiss
Prospect Hill Music   BMI

Front cover photograph: J. Ross Baughman
Inside photograph: John Townes
Graphic design: Jeff Reid
Printing: Billy Barwick at All Ways Graphics

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