There are a couple of new updates I have to share with you regarding the release plan for my next album, 'Right Where I Am.' If you have followed closely, you know I finished recording in late 2021. My initial plan was to release it in the fall of 2022 but touring, life, Covid, finances, time, and many other unexpected obstacles made me reconsider. Sometimes obstacles can be a good thing. After much thought and conversation with my producer, Gino Vannelli, we concluded that the best way to proceed is to make videos for each song on the album and then release some of them as singles with accompanying videos over time. Then once some headway has been made, we will release the complete finished version of 'Right Where I Am.' The plan is to make the album available on CD, Vinyl, and digital streaming. There will also be a Video Album consisting of all the songs on the album and possibly a couple of bonus videos. Naturally, being the old-school guy I am and firmly believing that everything comes back around, I will also make the video album available on DVD. So now, the ball is passed from Gino to his brother Ross, and his assistant and cameraman, Alex Lebowitz.
Ross Vannelli is a highly successful songwriter, producer, audio engineer, video director, and Gino's business and creative partner. Being very familiar with Ross's work, I am incredibly excited to have him in charge of this part of our ambitious project. The first song we decided to shoot was "Sunset On L.A." As luck would have it, the ABBA MANIA tour ended in Hollywood on March 13, 2022. Since Ross and Alex are based in Los Angeles, Kathy Mullen flew out, and we decided to stay a few extra days and shoot the video. I could not have planned a better experience without scripting it myself. Ross is a helluva guy with a beautiful soul, a keen sense of humor, and a creative genius, just like his brothers Gino and Joe. The weather was stunningly perfect, and we spent two days shooting in Hollywood, Malibu, and Ross's studio. I can honestly say that I have not had that much fun working in a very long time. Everything went smoothly, and we all worked together very well. Also, like his brothers, he works very hard. Ross completed the video in less than two weeks, and we are thrilled with the results.
On July 17, we headed back to Los Angeles to start work on the following video and the album's title track, " Right Where I Am." While we shot some footage in a nearby park in Thousand Oaks, most of the performance footage was shot in Ross's studio. Having the incredible opportunity to watch Ross and Alex work is much like it is while watching Gino work on our music. Their astute knowledge and expertise in what they do make the process incredibly fascinating from which to watch and learn.
Even at its best, shooting a video is time-consuming, exhausting, and draining. Since we only had four days to spend in Los Angeles before returning to Atlanta for some A1A shows, I fully expected to go home empty-handed and await an update from Ross. We were amazingly surprised when we returned to Ross's studio for our last day together, which was an off day, to find that he was halfway completed with the video. So we put off our relaxation plans and sat with Ross while he finished the video. We were floored at how quickly he finished the video and how stunningly beautiful the results were. I still can't believe it.
The following weekend, when we were getting ready to disembark our airplane in Las Vegas, my phone rang, and it was Gino. He was highly excited and gushing with compliments about the video and more creative ideas for the marketing and creative elements of the growing creative aspects of the project. His phone call made my day, and the text he sent afterward reminded me how lucky, grateful, and blessed I am.
Right Where I Am gave me a chill, Jeff. Congrats. Your sincerity is the glue. - G"
August 20, 2022
Caribbean Steel at The Bus Bar and Grill
Sponsored by The Atlanta Parrot Head Club
The Bus Bar and Grill in Ocoee, Tennessee, is one of the most unique and fun clubs I have ever played. It is entirely outdoors and made from two empty school buses. There is a covered bar area and a lovely covered stage, and a big yard which to enjoy it all.
Once a year, the Atlanta Parrot Head Club plans a rafting weekend near there and invites Caribbean Steel up to play. It is an excellent time for I get to see a lot of old friends, which, sadly, I only get to see about once a year. It was raining a lot yesterday, but it had all gone away by showtime. Once again, a wonderful time was had by all!
What a wonderful time I had performing at the Village Co-Op in Clinton, Iowa. The audience was wonderful and very appreciative. Since the onset of Covid, I rarely perform solo shows anymore. I miss it terribly and feel I need to return to doing more shows like this. Thanks to Nancy Rockwell, Annette Conzett, and Kathy Mullen for making this event happen. I look forward to returning.