I am really thrilled to announce that Helium Taxi, my first-ever album of original music, is available to buy today.
The album is a collection of eight instrumental tunes, in the newgrass / jazzgrass / progressive-acoustic / whatever-you-want-to-call-it genre(s). It was all recorded live, no overdubs, on Cinco de Mayo 2012, with a string-band lineup including some of my absolute favorite players in Austin, or anywhere, really: Noah Jeffries on mandolin (who also co-produced), Dennis Ludiker on fiddle, Matt Mefford on bass, and Trevor Smith on banjo (I’m on guitar for this record). Those first three guys are in MilkDrive, and Trevor’s main gig is with Wood & Wire.
The cover art is by Joonkyung Shin, a buddy I worked with at frog design, where she was generally revered by her colleagues for her versatile but always-compelling illustration style. The album title is just a little phrase I loved in the last verse of the perfect-little-gem-of-a-pop-song title track from The Weepies‘ debut album Happiness.
I have been writing music ever since I started playing guitar (obsessively) back in high school, but have never really had much of an outlet to play the material I’ve stockpiled over the years. It only took 10 years of hanging around Austin to take notice of the players who could really bring out the potential I saw in these tunes, and realize that they could be rounded up to work on such a project as long as we could figure it out among their busy schedules.
There are many more tunes where these came from, so I really hope you’ll buy a copy and tell 1,000 of your closest friends to do the same so I can do this all over again as soon as possible. Over at my Bandcamp site, you can stream all eight tracks from the comfort of your browser, purchase the 8-track digital download for only $6 (or more; it’s pay-what-you-wish), or pre-order a CD (includes instant digital download) for $12 (or more, did I mention that yet?).
Oh, and if you’d like to keep up on announcements specific to my original music activities, please head on over to the new roblifford.com and sign up for the mailing list.