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BACK IN THE STUDIO WITH BILLY DEAN

Aloha Friends,
I'm still on cloud 9 from an exhilarating weekend of music making and collaboration. Billy Dean and I decided to go back into the studio and record three new tracks. We plan to release an EP containing Black Bach, Start Now and three new pieces in a couple of months. I’m thrilled to have drummer Jared Shonig and beat box/vocal percussionist Mark Martin joining our team of producer Dave Veslocki, engineer Chris Santalis, Billy and me.

Mapping out of my piece Chant For Peace with drummer extraordinaire Jared Shonig, Billy, Producer Dave Veslocki and me not paying attention/ noodling on recording engineer Chris Santalis's Stratocaster.

jared absolutely killing us (Billy and I reflected in the glass) with his powerful and imaginative drumming on Chant for Peace.

jared absolutely killing us (Billy and I reflected in the glass) with his powerful and imaginative drumming on Chant for Peace.

Billy, Jared, Dave (listening) and I doing our one take remake (but... I did rerecord an extremely angry solo!) of Hootchie Coochie Man, the Willie Dixon classic made famous by the legendary Muddy Waters. Billy added her own lyrics which are unique and moving. This is our version of a power trio!

Billy, Jared, Dave (listening) and I doing our one take remake (but... I did rerecord an extremely angry solo!) of Hootchie Coochie Man, the Willie Dixon classic made famous by the legendary Muddy Waters. Billy added her own lyrics which are unique and moving. This is our version of a power trio!

Absolutely brilliant Beat Box/Vocal Percussionist Mark Martin, Billy, Dave, moi and engineer Chris thrilled after Mark completely slayed us with his contribution to Billy's fabulous song Dollar and a Dream. Billy insisted I lay down some funky bass lines as well as guitars!!! Too much fun!

Absolutely brilliant Beat Box/Vocal Percussionist Mark Martin, Billy, Dave, moi and engineer Chris thrilled after Mark completely slayed us with his contribution to Billy's fabulous song Dollar and a Dream. Billy insisted I lay down some funky bass lines as well as guitars!!! Too much fun!

Here we are with the wonderful Chilean singer song writer, Nano Stern. Nano had spent the night and was on his way to play in Toronto and Billy was over for a party that morning for rehearsal in addition to a celebration of her performance on the television show The View. She was needless to say, the high light the show! Nano agreed to add vocals on Chant for Peace. We are thrilled! I wanted to remake this small piece (original version is on my CD Ufonia) given all the racial tension in our country and in the world. Nano, among other great attributes, is his generation and country's seriously committed protest singer. Billy's new lyrics for Chant are like everything else she writes, quite serious and emotional. We will send the mix to Nano in Chile, and I'm confident he will add a great voice and dimension to the piece. It's all very exciting! I will keep you posted about video releases and the track releases. As Always, Peace love and guitars!!

Here we are with the wonderful Chilean singer song writer, Nano Stern. Nano had spent the night and was on his way to play in Toronto and Billy was over for a party that morning for rehearsal in addition to a celebration of her performance on the television show The View. She was needless to say, the high light the show!
Nano agreed to add vocals on Chant for Peace. We are thrilled!
I wanted to remake this small piece (original version is on my CD Ufonia) given all the racial tension in our country and in the world. Nano, among other great attributes, is his generation and country's seriously committed protest singer. Billy's new lyrics for Chant are like everything else she writes, quite serious and emotional. We will send the mix to Nano in Chile, and I'm confident he will add a great voice and dimension to the piece. It's all very exciting! I will keep you posted about video releases and the track releases.

As Always, Peace love and guitars!!

92Y LAUNCHES NEW ON-DEMAND SERIES: GUITAR TALKS WITH BENJAMIN VERDERY

Aloha Friends!
It is with great excitement that I write to you about the launching of Guitar Talks with Benjamin Verdery by the 92 Y and D’Addario. A few years back when I was asked to be Artistic Director of Art Of The Guitar at the 92Y, I suggested that they ask each artist if they would agree to do a live pre-concert interview with me. To my delight, many agreed and now a few years later we have ten interviews with such wonderful artists as Sergio Assad, David Russell, Pepe Romero, the LAGQ, Eliot Fisk and Paco Peña, Raphella Smits, Paul O’Dette, and 3 group interviews which include: Frederic Hand, David Leisner, Gyan Riley, Ricardo Cobo, David Tanenbaum, Rene Izquierdo,  the Eden / Stell Duo , Raphaella Smits, Andrew York, Phillip Candelaria and Louis Trépanier, Scott Tennant and William Kanengiser.

I want to thank first all of these wonderful artists for their willingness to be interviewed prior to their concerts. In addition, I want to thank all the crew at the Y for the filming of each interview, the audience’s enthusiasm and finally to the Y and D’Addario for actually putting it out into the world.

My hope is that you all will enjoy hearing and seeing these great artists talk about their art and life as much as I did.

Following this initial launch the interviews will be posted individually each Thursday starting August 20.

As always! Peace, love and guitars!

92Y Press Release

Ben Verdery & Billy Dean

Aloha friends!
I'm over the moon to share these two new videos featuring duos with Hip Hop artist Billy Dean. They were recorded by David Veslocki and shot and edited by Mitsuko Verdery.

What an exhilarating and exciting journey it has been. You can read about my collaboration with Billy Dean at Transom: Colliding Stories-Musical Bridges-by Ben & Billy

Audio of Start Now and Black Bach available at Loudr.

Thanks for all the great comments and support so far!

Have the greatest day.
Peace.


deep thoughts