of the finest acoustic instrumental albums of 2013, Heyday Maker
is a most promising first CD from the group Sleeping Bee.
Comprised of veteran music makers Andy Goessling (guitars,
mandolin, dobro, bouzouki) and Lindsey Horner (acoustic bass,
whistles), Sleeping Bee comprises a wealth of musical knowledge, encompassing
styles that skillfully draw on folk, Bluegrass, jazz, celtic, soundtracks
and more. The seven track Sleeping Bee Heyday Maker CD features
a number of memorable originals along with an intriguing cover of
a Keith Jarrett composition entitled "Spirits", as well
as a haunting, countrified jazzy instrumental cover of the Bob Dylan
Nashville Skyline classic I Threw It All Away.
Also on hand backing Goessling and Horner on the Sleeping Bee CD is
percussionist Randy Crafton, while in his February 2013 liner
notes for Heyday Maker, Horner cites bass player Jim Gilheany
as being an all around force for good that helped get the album
recording underway. Commenting on recording the album with Andy Goessling
in the CD liner notes, Lindsey Horner adds, We had talked for
years about somehow doing something together, pooling our talents
and ideas and musical experiences. An engaging spin from start
to finish, Sleeping Bees Heyday Maker is a fascinating
acoustic instrumental album that succeeds by crafting a fusion of
a number of instrumental music genres into a solid, cohesive whole
musical experience. www.LindseyHorner.com
mwe3.com presents an interview with
LINDSEY HORNER and ANDY GOESSLING of
The first Sleeping Bee CD, Heyday Maker is great. Your history
together goes back many years. When was the music for Sleeping Bees
first CD written and recorded and how did the album take shape?
LINDSEY HORNER: Thanks so much, were glad you liked it.
A lot of the music that we chose for this record came out of things
that we both enjoyed playing and that we felt worked well in a simple,
stripped down setting.
Fifth Wish is a tune I wrote some time ago and actually
wanted to include on my last record called Undiscovered Country,
but it didnt quite work for whatever reason. Actually, maybe
the reason was that it was supposed to be on this record. All
Hallows, the last track on Heyday Maker was written for
a holiday record, Through the Bitter Frost and Snow,
I did with the singer-songwriter, Susan McKeown back in the late 1990s
where its more of an interlude type of thing. Andy and I expanded
it for improvisation with gratifying results, I must say.
Andys tune, Moorish Melody is an infectious one
that Ive always loved playing while the two guitar tunes This
Not to Be/When I Saw You, showcase a lot of moods in a short
period of time.
Turlough OCarolan was a singular figure in Irish music and his
two compositions, OCarolans Draught and OCarolans
Cup are not only great melodies but also very cool structures
to play on.
Spirits is taken from a Keith Jarrett album of the same
name where he plays all the instruments, recorders, percussion, guitars,
saxophone and of course, piano. Its a very special work that
Ive always loved and Jarrett himself has named it as one of
the best things hes ever done; quite a statement from an artist
who has put out such a huge volume of genius level work.
And finally, speaking of genius, I Threw it All Away is
a relatively little known gem by Bob Dylan from Nashville Skyline.
Again, I thought it was a great melody that would be good to play
ANDY GOESSLING: Thanks for listening! I think the album is
made up of all those orphan songs from other projects
that didnt quite fit their mold. I used to do my tune Moorish
Melody in my rhythm and blues band and it was the only waltz
we did. This Not To Be and When I Saw You
I was doing in my solo shows but couldnt get them to fit in
anywhere else. When we got the idea for an album, we realized we had
a body of work that went together finally on its own instead of the
odd song out somewhere else.
Percussionist Randy Crafton is already credited on the album notes
as is Jim Gilheany. What did Randy and Jim bring to the table during
the Heyday Maker recording sessions? There seems to be a great
chemistry to the album that makes it special. How would you describe
the Sleeping Bee chemistry and were there others involved in the making
of the album and why did you call the group Sleeping Bee? Also can
you say something about that very cool dreamlike cover art for the
Sleeping Bee CD?
LINDSEY HORNER: I think a lot of that chemistry can be attributed
to the fact that Andy and I have known each other since we were teenagers
and have always had a lot of mutual love and respect for each other
and the way we each approach music. We finally got around to doing
something wed wanted to do for a long time and I think that
joy and relief shows through on the recording.
Randy Crafton owns and runs a first rate studio called Kaleidoscope
Sound located in Union City, New Jersey, just the other side of the
Lincoln Tunnel across the Hudson River from New York City. The motto
of the studio is no attitude, just music. It could be
Randys motto as well. We go back at least 20 years when I knew
him first as a percussionist who specialized in frame drums. Ive
done my last several projects there and have recommended the studio
to many other people in all styles of music. Randy has a great head
on his shoulders, excellent ears and is a joy to work with. He was
a natural to add percussion to what we were doing and he came up with
some original ideas: the bass drum sound on I Threw It All Away
is actually an empty drum case played with his hand. He knew it would
have just the sound we were looking for.
Jim Gilheany actually set the whole thing in motion. He had done a
project at Studio A in Philadelphia and brought Andy in to do some
playing on that record. In lieu of, or maybe in addition to, payment,
Andy was given some free time at that studio and we used that gift
to get some things down on tape in January of 2012. We actually ended
up using a few things from those sessions on the record and it helped
us to focus our ideas and realize that we had a lot more work to do
to really put an albums worth of material together in coherent
form. Jim is a fun cat to hang with, as well as being an excellent
bassist himself, and he was present at most of the sessions when we
continued on at Kaleidoscope; not so much as a producer but more as
an ear in the sky type of presence. Without him, we might
still be talking about it!
name Sleeping Bee came about from some random free-associating. There
is actually a song called A Sleepin Bee from an
early 1950s Broadway flop with music by Harold Arlen and lyrics
by Truman Capote, of all people. We think it conjures up an image
which combines a certain urban sophistication paired with a pastoral
simplicity, both of which are balanced in our music. In fact, I envision
a logo of a bee with headphones and sunglasses and a beatific smile
on its face so stay tuned.
As for the cover art, Andy will have to speak to that one.
ANDY GOESSLING: The cover art is a painting I found at a local
antique store in NJ. Ive always liked the surrealist era, especially
Magritte and Duchamp, so when I saw this, I thought it might be a
lost compatriot of theirs. Ive tried in vain to find anything
out about the artist, especially when I decided it was an image that
would lead into this music so well. Maybe Hell come forward
as the album gets out in the public eye more.
mwe3: In the Heyday Maker liner notes, you mention the
two covers on the CD written by Keith Jarrett and Bob Dylan. Can you
say something about covering I Threw It All Away, from
Nashville Skyline, which was kind of the first country rock
album and still possibly the greatest. That Nashville Skyline
song is covered by you and Andy in a quite laid back manner yet it
really captures all the nuances of Dylans original. How did
you approach the song? Also can you say something about the Sleeping
Bee cover of Keith Jarretts Spirits? What is it
about those two artists that you think makes them so universally loved
and are there other songs that you think would benefit from Sleeping
LINDSEY HORNER: Nashville Skyline is an interesting
record in Dylans output and he confounded a lot of people...
not for the first nor last time. I think of it and John Wesley
Harding as his two artfully simple recordings from the late 1960s
that contain many songs that have a lot more to them than at first
meets the ear. I had a trio for a number of years called Jewels and
Binoculars which specialized in improvised, instrumental interpretations
of Dylans music and for which I dug quite deeply into the music
of this great artist to find good vehicles for exploration. I
Threw It All Away has a certain melancholy and wistful quality
to it and we wanted to bring that out in our version. The rhythm that
we settled into could be described as country funk or
how a tune by The Band might sound like if played by the Jazz Crusaders
or something. At least thats what we were going for.
Spirits is just a great melody, period. I think it has
a certain Native American vibe to it. I dont know why, Ive
just always heard it that way. The record its from has 4 sides
of great music like that one... yeah, I still have it on the original
LP which came out in 1985, I think. Our version is somewhat slower
and more expansive than the original and its one of those songs
thats always great to play, you cant miss, really.
Bob Dylan and Keith Jarrett are two of the greatest artists of this
era and that is why their music is so highly regarded. I find inspiration
in their work constantly and am always learning more by listening
As for other covers, we are actually working on new material as we
speak, some traditional, some original, just trying different things
to see how they work and if they fit with what were trying to
express. The choices are endless when you get right down to it.
I think I listened to Nashville Skyline so much its just
in my DNA now. When Lindsey suggested it, it seemed natural from the
first time we tried it. I did the dobro track in one take and stopped
so I wouldnt over think it and lose the vibe. The Keith Jarrett
tune also seemed very familiar to already before playing it. One my
first bands was recorder and mandolin doing duets and improv, so that
tune seemed like going home.
mwe3: Can you say something about your growing up in the NYC
area and which artists and musicians were some of your earliest musical
influences and favorite musicians and albums? Where do you live now
and what do you like best about it?
LINDSEY HORNER: I was born and raised in New York City where
I still live. I always like to say that, its small, but
its home. Seriously, I heard everything growing up, the
eclectic force that was pop radio back then, Broadway shows, jazz,
rock and roll, folk music of all sorts. Ive always liked albums
that were unique unto themselves, ones that dont even sound
like other works by the same people. Native Dancer by
Wayne Shorter, The Inner Mounting Flame by Mahavishnu Orchestra,
Paul Brady and Andy Irvine, Natural Elements by Shakti, anything
by Bob Dylan, Chieftains 4 and on and on. Theres a lot
of great music in this world, thank god.
ANDY GOESSLING: When I grew up in Northwest New Jersey in the
1970s there was a huge bluegrass and country rock scene that
I started playing in when I was 13. I learned a lot from Tony Trishkas
early bands, David Bromberg, Leo Kottke, John Fahey, Poco, etc. They
were all playing in the area on a constant basis. I would just go
to the record store and devour all those small labels like Flying
Fish, Front Hall, Biograph and just learn every lick I could!
mwe3: Lindsey, are your albums all available on CD? What about
the albums you made before Sleeping Bee, can you say something about
that? What are some of your most memorable recording sessions and
live performances working with other musicians?
HORNER: Yes, all my albums with the exception of the first one,
Never No More, are available on CD. And Im thinking of
re-pressing that one as it is something of a cult favorite if I do
say so myself. They are all available through my website (www.lindseyhorner.com)
at the store section.
Ive been blessed to make many recordings as a leader, co-leader
and sideman. Here are a few that come to mind: Undiscovered Country,
Dont Count on Glory, Jewels and Binoculars Ships
With Tattooed Sails, Extrospection (with The Chromatic
Persuaders), Alive in the House of Saints (with Myra
Melford), When Juniper Sleeps (with Seamus Egan), Way Out
Yonder (with Andy Irvine) . And lest I forget, the Grammy Award
winning recording of Les Miserables, Original Broadway Recording.
mwe3: Andy, can you tell us about your working with Warren
Haynes, David Bromberg and Phil Lesh? What are some of your most memorable
recording sessions and live performances backing other musicians?
ANDY GOESSLING: I can say one thing they all have in common
is they are great band leaders. They know what they want to hear and
how to arrange it. That makes my job easier, freedom through structure.
Once, you know when to play, or in my case, what instrument to play,
it makes coming up with a part a lot easier. We had some great gigs
with them, David sat in with us at Bonnaroo, Phil has come to Fillmore
in San Francisco and learned some of our tunes to sit in with us,
and backing up Warren at the Capitol Theatre was amazing!
mwe3: What basses are you featuring on the Sleeping Bee CD
and what are your favorite equipment including other instruments?
How about your favorite amps, pics, strings and other gear?
LINDSEY HORNER: Im not much of a gear head. On Heyday
Maker, I play my 5/8 size bass from northern Germany which was
made in 1743. Well, most of it dates from then. Some of it is considerably
more recent due to a car accident or two. Ive been using Velvet
Blue strings which are a synthetic gut string and have a very distinctive
sound and feel. Ive just recently bought a modern Hungarian
bass which I really love and which I hope to be playing on the next
I have a bow made by Susan Lipkens about 20 years ago. Im glad
I bought it then because shes become quite in demand and I probably
wouldnt be able to afford one of her bows now!
mwe3: What guitars are you featuring on the Sleeping Bee CD
and what are your favorite guitars, mandolins and dobros? Do you also
play electric guitars and if so what are your favorite electric guitars?
How about your favorite amps, pics, strings and other gear?
GOESSLING: This could be along list! Lets just go with whats
on the album. Going into the studio is always a chance for me to use
instruments that I wouldnt subject to road use because of their
age. On the Dylan tune I used a 1936 0-17 martin, Moorish Melody,
a 1968 D-12-35 Martin 12 string. The nylon string you hear is a 1910
Washburn rescued from a junk sale. The mandolin is a 1980 Washburn
that was a demo model from the factory for the succeeding product
line that is still in production. I just lucked out on the tone of
it and never moved on to anything else. The dobro is a 1976, hot rodded
with new parts, tuned down to low C. It gives it a little airier vibe.
Finally, the fingerpicked guitar tunes started on a 1978 Martin M-38
and went into the second tune on a 1969 Guild D-44. It definitely
took more than one trip to get from the car to the studio! It really
cuts down on time to get the tone for a certain song, though. Just
put up a mike and the right guitar and from then on its just
a matter of getting the take, no doctoring a tone.
mwe3: Andy, can you tell us about your band Railroad Earth
and how does it compare to the Sleeping Bee sound? How long has the
band been together, how many albums have you recorded albums and whats
the future hold for Railroad Earth?
ANDY GOESSLING: Railroad Earth is a six piece band with vocal
tunes being the basis for expanded improvisation. With 7 albums and
12 years of gigs it feels like were just hitting our stride
as far as musical focus and ideas. We have a new album in the can
that should be out winter 2013-14. Id say Sleeping Bees
sound is a little closer down the chain to Lindseys and my original
influences as opposed to Railroad Earth using them all to create an
Americana/singer-songwriter type band format where influences are
hinted at, but not directly quoted. People always say of RRE: I hear
some Irish in there, or blues or bluegrass but we arent really
playing a lot of those styles directly. Weve got OCarolan
tunes right out in the open on the Sleeping Bee album.
mwe3: What do you like to do outside of music and what other
interests do you have as far as hobbies, causes and other activities?
LINDSEY HORNER: Wait, do you mean theres something else?
Joking aside, Im a big baseball fan and avid cyclist. As the
father of a 4 year old boy, I stay pretty busy with all kinds of things.
ANDY GOESSLING: I live right off of a lot of open land with
trails so I try to do a lot of biking, walking and reptile hunting...
also hanging out at antique stores, book shops. But I do that on the
road, too, so maybe there really isnt any life outside of music.
I sincerely hope you can record another Sleeping Bee album. Whats
coming up in 2013 and 2014 as far as writing, recording, session work
and performances moving forward?
LINDSEY HORNER: Were working on expanding the concept
and have been playing with Randy as well as with Timothy Hill who
is a unique and beautiful singer who specializes in harmonic singing
whereby two or more notes are sung at the same time, as well as the
more conventional kind. Wed like to do some playing live because
we think were doing something personal and heartfelt that people
will enjoy. Another album might be on the horizon, well have
to see how things unfold.
ANDY GOESSLING: Most bands form and then make an album of the
result. This is an album thats starting a band, so getting a
live version of what we have here is our first project. The tunes
that grow out of that will be the next step.
Thanks to Lindsey Horner and Andy Goessling