Monday Nite at Bill's
Sorry it's so long in between. After See My Freedom Come was released in '03, it seems we started talking about a new collection almost immediately; and still it took six years. We knew we wanted to do back catalog songs we'd loved but never gotten recorded - like 'My Friend Jesus' and 'Little Brown Bird'; songs we'd released from the live '98 collection, Broken Hearts Are Open Hearts, and wanted another crack at in a studio, like 'Somebody's Prayin' For You'; and of course the newer stuff we liked that inevitably shows up while you're recording... in their wornout tennis shoes, radiant smiles, just in time for dinner, songs are like that... big bad minor blues with big lyrics like 'Hold On Let Go', or the political folk poetry sting of the 'Tom Fox' tune. So this is Monday Nite At Bill's the fourth and last Derek and Friends recording. Doesn't April look smashing? That photo was from our very last gig together, a blazing hot August evening out at Newberg Friends Church, in Newberg, OR. That was the night I presented the men with cowboy hats, and April-my-dear with ... a toaster. Something silly to both express - and lighten - all the emotion we felt, knowing this was our last roundup. By the time we got these songs tracked - later that fall of '06 - it was time for me to go to Africa. And we talked about it all, a little, my desire to work solo, do a little more, do a little different, and lay down the ministry of the group. We talked about the practicalities / impracticalities of April and Rich and Bill trying to play out or tour much with small children, full-time jobs, et cetera. We talked, some, about the prisons, and colleges, clubs and churches we'd played. But what we were really up to was making music together, one last time, in the studio, together. Listen to the subtle harmonies Rich wrote into his bass line on 'My Friend Jesus', the big persuasion in Bill's drumming on 'One Cool Cup Of Water', the powerful ascending second lines April wrote for herself on 'Hold On Let Go'. Whatever I have to offer as a musician; a vocalist, an instrumentalist, I know how much is really because I worked with REAL musicians: Rich Vanderwal, Bill Norris-York, April Vanderwal. Thanks guys. I know we are Jesus' People of the Gift because I know the gifts you have given to me. Praise God, amen. Derek Lamson May 26, 2009 Elfrida, AZ - on tour for the Christian Peacemaker Teams.