"Long Way Down"
The Big New Life project continues:
The Vinyl Kings—are pleased to present "Long Way Down," their sixth release from their third album, Big New Life.
The Kings include Josh Leo, Larry Lee, Harry Stinson, Jim Photoglo, and the late Michael Rhodes—an impressive band of veteran Nashville writers, musicians, and producers who have collectively worked with hundreds and hundreds of recording artists, including Carole King, Sting, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Neil Young, Shania Twain, Vince Gill, Steve Winwood, Alabama, Jimmy Buffet, Tina Turner, Mark Knopfler and many more.
Lee likens the melody of a song to the road a lyric travels on. In "Long Way Down,"—written by Leo—the road appears to be a sunny drive through an idyllic countryside with bright hilltops and tummy-clutching drops into the shadows. The song sounds light while acknowledging that life is often hard, and that we can try to hide from the trials or face them head on—even accelerate into them and let the plunge be the drive when the road takes us that way.
You can spend your time in total isolation
try to keep yourself from feeling any pain.
Live inside a life of your Imagination
It’s a losing game.
The orchestration, harmonies, the lyrics and delivery of "Long Way'' are powerful and right on. The contagious, singalong chorus—like the song itself—offers hope for those courageous enough to accept its simple challenge.
You’ve been down down down
it can only go up from here.
Turn around round round.
If you don’t
put your feet on the ground,
It's a long way down.
The stimulus for Big New Life was "Smoke Rings for Renee"—written by Photoglo following the passing of Leo's wife, Renee LaRose Leo.
"Renee was a powerful element in the equation," says Photoglo, whose day job these days is as a member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. "Aside from being an artist and educator, she was right in the middle of the band's story. I wrote down all the ideas and inspiration that thrived in her presence. It set up a pattern of us all writing songs about things that matter at this stage of the game. It wasn't about writing 'hits' or 'the next thing.'
"The whole project was a labor of love," continues Photoglo. "We are brothers—proud and happy to still be working with each other after more than 30 years."
Stay tuned for more.
Vinyl Kings: Larry Lee (top left), Josh Leo (top right), (bottom l-r) Harry Stinson, Michael Rhodes, Jim Photoglo
Members of the band—Photoglo, Stinson, Lee, Leo, and Rhodes—have individually produced, written songs for, played on recordings by, or toured with such artists as Bob Dylan, Elton John, Neil Young, Carole King, Sting, Shania Twain, Vince Gill, Steve Winwood, Tina Turner, Mark Knopfler, Dan Fogelberg, Glenn Frey, and so many more.
The Vinyl Kings' first album, the 2002 A Little Trip—a nod to The Beatles who inspired each of the VKs to pursue a life in music—received rave reviews and developed somewhat of a cult following. After all, it's a little hard to buy the concept of an album of Beatles-esque music, but Beatles fans who found it loved it. Intensely.
"The genius of the record is that the Kings managed to create an album of original tunes echoing the evolving sound and feel of the Beatles—neither impression, nor caricature, but a pure, loving homage," writes Dale McCurry, from his review of A Little Trip for NoteWorthy Music.
For information and interviews, please contact the Vinyl Kings at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PRODUCED by THE VINYL KINGS with STEVE MARCANTONIO
RECORDED and MIXED by STEVE MARCANTONIO at Blackbird Studios and The Music House, assisted by ZANE ANDERSON
ADDITIONAL RECORDING by
JOSH LEO at Blue Cow Studio
LARRY LEE at Studio On Demand
HARRY STINSON at Tres Mariachis
Strings on "SO EASILY FOOLED" arranged by KRISTEN WILKINSON RECORDED at STUDIO 78 by DAEWOO KIM
MASTERED by ANDREW MENDELSON at Georgetown Masters
COVER ARTWORK by RENEE LAROSE
COVER DESIGN by PHOENIX MENDOZA
THE VINYL KINGS
LARRY LEE - Keyboards/Acoustic Guitar/Vocals
JOSH LEO - Keyboards/Acoustic & Electric Guitars/Vocals
HARRY STINSON - Drums/Acoustic Guitar/Piano/Vocals
MICHAEL RHODES - Bass
JIM PHOTOGLO - Acoustic Guitar/Vocals (and Bass on "Smoke Rings For Renee")
The Vinyl Kings would like to thank the following for contributing their amazing talents!
Dave Hoffner - Strings/Horns/Percussion/Accordion
Chris West - Horns on "Give It Away" and "Long Way Down"
John Jorgenson - Clarinet
Pat Buchanan - Slide Guitar on "Big New Life"
Strings on "So Easily Fooled":
Jun Iwasak - Violin
Jung Min Shin - Violin
Beaty Lamb - Violin
Kristin Wilkinson - Viola
Kevin-Bate - Cello