One of the things that I am the most proud of with this record is that I was able to pull this off in spite of lots of obstacles..
But even though I wrote and produced the songs (and worked my tail off), I never was alone.
There are a lot of people to thank!!!!!!
To begin, I want to recognize all the folks at Druid City Brewing Company that taught me so much about music, songwriting, and community in the months that led up to the pandemic. Those Sunday night Open Mics gave me a reason to write and practice and kept me going during some tough months in 2019 and 2020.
The names that first come to mind out of that group are Dan Holtsberry, Devon Bearer, and Sue Rowe—as well as my “peeps” at Guitar Gallery in Tuscaloosa, Jameson Hubbard and Brantley Charles who organized the event every week.
Once the pandemic hit, I benefitted from the support of some really great people especially Jackie Flowers, Natalie Valentine, Kim Vann, Kristen Miller, Holly Jolly, Ashley Bowling, Robert Conde, and Chris Carter. Their encouragement and feedback inspired me to think that the music was something of value and helped me to “keep on movin’ on.”
I also wanted to thank my work colleagues from U of A who came out to support me as I was working my way toward the album, starting with Eric Baltrinic who played with me and got this whole thing started, his wife Heather, as well as Cecil and Sarah Robinson, Kelly Guyotte, Stephanie Shelton, Ryan Cook, and David and Melanie Walker.
And then there are the people who listened to demo after demo as well as every mix tweak while also listening to me talk about my endless trials and tribulations. Those are my *brothers* Bryan Cohen, Mike Casey, my actual blood brother, Brian Lawson, and Zia Uddin.
Where family is concerned, my dad, Hal Lawson, and his wife Kathy provided needed financial support for the second FAME session and they continue to help me believe that these songs need to get out there. And my son, Julian once again did his old man a solid and took a bunch of pics for the record at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, which was totally dope of him. After all, who the hell wants to take pics of their middle-aged dad?
Last but certainly not least are the folks who actually helped create the album proper. I’ll talk more about FAME, its musicians (the band) and all of its great people in another post, but words cannot express my greatest appreciation to all of them. But I am especially (and beyond) grateful to Spencer Coats who served as engineer, mixer, cat herder, and full-time vocal coach for these recordings.
People who know music know that most engineer/producer guys are total pricks. But Spencer is the exact opposite: He’s always positive, he’s always open, honest, and receptive, he's SUPER skilled and musical, and the dude works his ass off 24/7. Spencer is the absolute greatest. And his shirt game? It’s even better!
And then there’s Kaye. There’s no website without her. There’s no album cover without her (and some solid handiwork from her daughter Emily), and no "Betting on You." I am so grateful for the selfless time she spent helping me get this thing off the ground, including creating this website after working what amounts to two jobs nearly every day and also being an amazing mom. I could never ask for a better partner. Thank you, babe!