The kids, and their cable, that is.....let's hope so, because we just spent the weekend cutting what should be some of the last tracks we'll need to declare this fORMER record ready for it's final mix. All that is left are a few of Patrick's embellishments and a rhythm guitar pass that got under our radar Sunday. We'll get to work on these finishing touches bright & early Thursday, and; with any luck, be well on our way to an ultimate mix within the following week.

 It's hard to believe we started this album almost 3 years ago, but looking back on it, I don't think I'd change much about the path we took to get here. There are still some hurdles yet to be cleared before this thing sees the light of day, and for those of you who have seen some of the early edits from the album photo shoot and wondered why there are only 4 of us in the frame, let me address the first of them.

 Lee is absent from the photos because, although he will likely always be involved with the band on some level, he is currently enrolled in pharmacy studies at MTSU, his schedule is hectic, to say the least, and even though fORMER isn't very active as a live act, we do need to maintain a consistent lineup in order to be able to deliver the show our friends and fans are accustomed to. This is next to impossible to do when Patrick & I have to un-learn and re-learn guitars parts on a gig by gig basis, as dictated by whether or not there will be 4 or 5 players on the stage. It also takes certain songs out of contention when assembling the setlist, simply because we don't have time to adapt them for a 4-piece to perform.

 With all of this and more taken into consideration, Lee agreed that he could not commit fully to any particular schedule going forward, and since we'll need to do our part to promote this record, and hopefully get these new songs into as many ears as possible, we need to either proceed without him, as we had been while he was abroad, or find someone to fill his shoes. For the time being, i think we'd like to carry on as is, and hope that Lee will be able to join us live as often as possible.

 Rest assured, Lee's presence is felt throughout the record, and he was in the studio with us all day Sunday, adding keys, guitars, and backing vocals to a handful of tracks, so I'd say he appears on more than half of the tunes. As long as he can make it work, we're happy to have him, and the door will always be open for him to contribute in any fashion he can. For now, his official status will be "Secret Weapon".

 This Friday night at The Rutledge, you will most definitely get all 5 of us for the Nashville Rock: Stripped show, and we'll be pulling out, as promised, a bunch of stuff you have never heard us do, and will probably never hear us do again. I'm really looking forward to presenting the songs in this setting for the first time, and taking some creative liberties with a few of our "standards", so please try to catch this set, because it really will be something unique.

 Our next show will be in Nashville on the 13th of August, when we'll be busting out a brand new set, including a couple of numbers from the new record that are guaranteed to adhere themselves to that part of your brain that instantly and permanently retains the good stuff. I'll dish the details on this hoedown as they become available.

 Again, if you haven't picked up the new digital-only "Happy Ender" EP from The Great Affairs, I urge you to do so, because it's great, I'm proud of it, and ultimately I get a cut of those dollars. If you don't have the other stuff that's out there, you might as well spring for that too, because you're gonna be jonesing for it if you don't...or at least that's what I'd like to think.

 At the end of the month, I'll be playing this big outdoor event with The Beauty School Dropouts, opening for 3-6 Mafia, in the lot across from Mai & 12th & Porter. This thing is gonna be insane, and I will probably be filming from the stage, because I have a feeling these goings-on will deserve being preserved for posterity....and it's Nick Colman's last show with the band, so if there was ever a better time for his bass to finally clock one of us in one of his "whirling dervish" moments, I missed it. Be there.

 Details on the album release soon, I hope....and stay tuned here for more rare audio to be posted, including plenty of stuff you can just walk away with for free.