'These Arms' has history. What began as a simple project to put down acoustic versions of new material and some old favorites gradually grew into a fully produced record with a wide array of Austin studio players, all good friends and colleagues, who dropped by Viator's little studio space to add parts, drink scotch and tequila, or eat a home cooked meal. What emerged was a Louisiana-swamp, Texas-folk hybrid that could have only been recorded in Austin. Beginning with Viator's 'By The Riverside,' a slide guitar driven trip to a midnight soiree, featuring the Leroi Brothers' Steve Doerr on harmonica, and ending with a Susan Maxey & Slaid Cleaves duet on the classic 'I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry,' the album takes a tour of Americana roots styles. Owning to Viator's Cajun heritage, there's the swampy Louisiana original 'Queen Of The Bayou,' with it's slide guitar and fiddle driven melody. Maxey takes the Viator original 'These Arms' to Muscle Shoals soul territory before delivering a standout vocal performance on Robert Earl Keen's 'I Would Change My Life,' complete with string arrangement by bass master Ed Friedland and Beth Chrisman. Maxey's take on the Kate Wolf classic 'Across The Great Divide' is stunning, or as one listener commented, 'goose bump territory,' complimented by Viator's harmony vocal and acoustic guitar, and Jane Gillman's harmonica. 'Dharma Bums' is Viator's take on the Kerouac novel, a look at the gypsy lifestyle they and their friends can't seem to shake. 'Ain't Going Back' is his take on the changing coastline he grew up on, post hurricane Katrina, a rocking piece featuring Viator on National steel and Jim Stringer on electric guitar. 'Steal This Moment,' a catchy pop and blues original, features T Jarrod Bonta on piano; 'Where Do I Belong' packs a powerhouse vocal from Maxey accompanied by Viator on Hawaiian guitar. The production is to the point but evocative throughout, layered with guitars and vocals. Susan Maxey is the real find here, a singer with a voice that holds authentic roots country appeal, but is also powerful like Linda Ronstadt. Mark Viator continues to prove himself as a songwriter with southern soul and a literary approach. His guitar playing is rich and well arranged throughout, his slide work exceptionally well developed. Altogether, 'These Arms' delivers the goods, Austin style, with a collection of songs and arrangements that stands up to repeated listens. Album Credits: Mark Viator - Vocals; Acoustic, Electric, National Steel, and Hawaiian Guitars Susan Maxey - Vocals Ed Friedland - Upright, Electric, and Bowed Basses Richard White - Drums Ralph Power - Drums Peter Schwarz - Fiddle Beth Chrisman - Fiddle Steve Doerr - Harmonica Jane Gillman - Harmonica Mike Maddux - Accordion T Jarrod Bonta - Piano Chip Dolan - Organ Jim Stringer - Electric Guitar Slaid Cleaves - Vocal duet on 'I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry' Cover artwork by Judy Paul Design by Ana Amezcua.