Wyman opens Newpark concert series
June 15, 2012
In the song "100 Years," the opening track to Rich Wyman’s new CD, "Good Company," the singer and pianist quips about having the "faces of my family smiling, staring back at me."
When Wyman opens the free concert series at Newpark on Thursday, June 21, his family, at least most of his immediate family, won’t be staring at him, but performing alongside him.
At least his wife Lisa Needham and their 14-year-old son Ian have committed.
"I’m still working on Ian, my 17-year-old son," Wyman said during an interview with The Park Record. "He’s starting to get a little nervous and has told me he’s not sure he wants to do it."
Everyone else is gung ho.
"We’ve already gone out and looked at the stage and Ian’s pretty excited," the pianist said.
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In addition, the concert will feature Wyman’s band guitarist Terence Hansen, bassist Rehan Jacob, drummer Eric Munoz and saxophonist George T.
Fittingly, the group’s show will consist of songs from "Good Company," the pianist’s ninth album.
"We’re going to play all the songs from the album from start to finish," Wyman said.
"Good Company," which was released a few weeks ago was recorded over three years in various studios in the United States and the Netherlands.
Instead of Wyman flying halfway around the world when he wanted guitarist Marcel Singor to lay down some tracks, the two musicians utilized the Internet to complete the tasks.
"I recorded the tracks here and the sent him the files through email and he would go into his studio and record the guitars and send them back to me," Wyman said. "It was a nice little system we had."
Other artists who participated in the recording lived closer to home, he said.
They include Joy Tlou and Eric Sopanen from the duo Joy & Eric, horn players from the band Shaky Trade, percussionist Ricardo Ramirez and renowned string players Monte Belknap and Leslie Harlow.
"There is so much talent on the album," Wyman said. "It was a fun project and I was able to work with all of these great musicians."
"Good Company" was recorded with money Wyman collected through http://www.kickstarter.com , a website where artists ask for donations for projects.
"I gave myself a two-month window to raise $15,000 and explained on the page how the money would be spent," Wyman said. "The website allows you to keep people updated and I was able to send perks to those who donated."
Perks included an autographed CD, handwritten lyrics, a personal outgoing message on their voicemail and other unique items, he said.
"I had already raised $6,000 from friends, family and fans and that’s where I hit a plateau," Wyman said. "The thing about Kickstarter is you either raise all the money you set the goal for or you get nothing."
With a week left in the campaign, Wyman received an email from a fan in the Netherlands who wanted to help.
"It was one of those things where an angel dropped out of the sky to help," he said. "This guy said he had been a big fan for a long time and offered to fully fund my Kickstarter project.
"So, now when I go to Holland, we write songs together," Wyman said. "It’s a great agreement."
With the funds in hand, Wyman was able to finish the CD, which was actually started in the winter of 2008.
"I had just come off from my European tour and there was no work. No one was hiring any musicians, so I took the whole December and cranked out all these songs."
Wyman worked with producer David Rolfe, who had just moved to Park City from Atlanta, Ga.
"I gave the songs that I had recorded to David," Wyman said. "He’s got magic ears and fingers, because he made the songs sound incredible. He took everything to such a high level."
The two sifted through the remaining songs and chose the 11 that are on "Good Company."
After all the songs were recorded, Wyman sequenced the album.
"It took forever to put the songs in the right order," he said with a laugh. "I mean, it took me three years to make the album, but then I literally took a month putting the songs in every conceivable order until I found one that worked."
Sequencing the tracks was important to Wyman, who grew up listening to albums and not just singles.
"I believe in albums, even though they are a dying art form," he said. "I still believe in a beginning, middle and end in an order of songs, and I still envision people sitting down to listen to and album from beginning to end, like we did when Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ came out."
Wyman said he would be happy to use http://www.kickstarter.com again for future projects.
"It was a great experience," he said. "The album wouldn’t be completed if it weren’t for that website."
The Rich Wyman Band will perform a free concert at the Newpark Town Center, 1476 Newpark Blvd., at Kimball Junction on Thursday, June 21. The music will begin at 6 p.m. Admission is free.