That time of year thou mayst in me behold When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. -William Shakespeare Hi, My name is Kurt Hagardorn. When I wrote the song 'Leaves', the title track to this new album, I felt I had captured a mood and emotion that set the tone for the kind of Record I wanted to make. Another major influence for this project was band mates Tucker Jackson (The Minus 5, Celilo) on Pedal Steel Guitar, and fellow Portlander April Parker on Accordion. Writing songs with these instruments in mind helped shape the mood of reflection and memory that began with the song 'Leaves' itself. I recorded Leaves in 2009 in Portland Oregon with my friend, co-producer and engineer Mike Anzalone. We mostly recorded at his home studio, but rented out Jackpot Studios to record Jenny Conlee from the Decemberists on piano for a song, and Type Foundry Studios to record the strings for the Harry Nilsson cover, 'Life Line'. The second song, 'Only a Dream', was inspired by my 4 year old son's obsession with the Dave Brubeck song 'Take Five', and by my first encounters with the fall rains of the Pacific Northwest. Fifteen different musicians contributed to this album. Marilee Hoard played violin on the third song, 'Tail Lights', a song about a recently departed friend. Dave Merritt (The Golden Seals) from Canada sang harmony on the third song, 'Blown Away', which also features Lewi Longmire playing a big beautiful bass-ass Hammond B-3 Organ. Harry Nilsson, a boyhood hero of mine, wrote 'Life Line' the only cover song on the album . It features Susannah (Little Sue) Weaver and I doing some boy/girl harmony, and Paul Brainard (Richmond Fontaine) wrote the string arrangements. Cellist Collin Oldham and Marilee played the strings. Paul also did the string arrangement for the next song, 'On Our Way to the Show', a nod to another boyhood hero, Randy Newman. I was really thinking of his album 'Good Old Boys' when I wrote this sitting on the bus one night. Jenny Conlee and I recorded our parts live together, and Angelika Furtwangler added viola to the string section. There are several more songs on the record, the last one being one called 'Be Peaceful'. I guess it's a Gospel Lullaby of sorts. It seems to capture the sense of hope and acceptance I'd like to give to listener. April Parker, a major force on this record, sang some beautiful harmony and played an 19th century Pump Organ on the song, and I'd like to thank her especially helping to make this record what it is. Thanks for taking some time to listen to the songs, and thanks especially if you find the record worthy to buy and add to your collection! Kurt Hagardorn.