I Am a Fool for You
The first question one might ask is, "Does the world need another disc of new music from Marc Gartman?" A fair question indeed. The short answer is probably 'no' the longer answer is probably still 'no'. Life is short however, music is fun to make and no one seems to be stopping him. The hope is that with each new product an artist puts out they are either getting 1) better at it or 2) have something new to say. In the case of this second Marc Gartband disc 'I Am A Fool For You' there is reason to believe that both expectations have been achieved. While Gartman still spends most of his musical time with his Two Many Banjos cohorts (with a double CD in the works for an early 2010 release) playing the banjo is not the only thing he is interested in doing. 2009 also saw the release of the debut from his Little Gray House project. On that CD Gartman wrote all the songs on the Irish Bouzouki, an 8 stringed instrument that had been hanging on his wall for quite some time before inspiration hit. The first Gartband disc 2008's Me And My Big Ego, written entirely on the acoustic guitar, is somewhat different from this sophomore effort; all these new tunes were bouzouki-born. Along for the ride is the core trio of Matt Mobley (Two Many Banjos, Emma Jo Ru) with his melodic and soulful bass playing and Greg Tiburzi (Solo, Group Too) and his minimal percussive inventions. Bree Taylor on vocals, Jill Lantry (Two Many Banjos) on fiddle and Tim Stratioti, Steve Rogers and Soren Tryggenstad round out a horn trio on a couple of tracks. It's a unique set of tunes and within the first few moments of the opening number 'Please Understand' the listener will hopefully be along for the ride. Produced by Eric Swanson (Low, Crash Test Dummies) at the Sacred Heart Recording Studio in Duluth, MN basic tracking was done live in a single inspired afternoon. Some sleigh bells here, a little electric guitar there - when making a record some overdubs are always inevitable. It's also worth mentioning the tracks were recording live to the house 24-track 2" tape machine. The acoustics of the building can best be heard perhaps on the solo electric guitar opening of track #10 'Buck and Hare'.