Sunday evening, September 15th, 2019... we had just wrapped up a beyond-fun closing-session at the Folk Tent at ScotFest Oklahoma with the Flowers of Edinburgh, and packed up, made our goodbyes, piled in the van, and began the 4-hour drive back to Mary's house. In short order, a conversation ensued in which we addressed the elephant in the car - that we don't have an album that reflects the current line-up. And what a conversation it was!
From personal schedules to the band's performance-schedule, from production-costs to pending gig-revenues, from album-concepts to the selection of songs... we pored over each subject nearly to our arrival in Kansas City. The result was a working plan for what would become the band's sixth recording, "Bent On Rambling".
As the project evolved from a list of thirteen individual songs into one cohesive album, we began looking for thematic connections between the songs, and it took mere seconds to distill one from a common undercurrent. Each song involved going, or having gone, or returning from somewhere. A title-track was out of the question as there wasn’t a song among the lot whose title captured that exact theme. But one song, “Spancilhill”, lent us our title “Bent On Rambling” from its lyrics.
Over the next few days... and as our goal was to have the CD completed and available for sale at the North Texas Irish Festival in just under six months... we hit the ground running--perfecting the arrangements of the selected material, coordinating a photo-shoot with friend-and-master-photog Robbin Loomas, and scheduling studio-time with friend-and-recording-engineer-extraordinaire George Hunt. And just as editing completed, emergency surgery for George prompted us to call on good-friend-and-brilliant-engineer Scooter Muse to mix and master the CD.
As it turned out... not only did the title capture the theme perfectly, it also captured the band’s wayfaring ways. With nearly 250 performances that we’ve rambled to over the past 24 years… from California to West Virginia and from Austin to Chicago, across the Caribbean, and all the way to Ireland and Scotland six times over… "Bent On Rambling" describes the wanderlust of the band to a “T”. With this recording, not only have we compiled a collection of really great songs, we’ve unconsciously put our finger on who we are as a band.