House of Sky  
Musicians and Production Credits
All Songs Produced by Michael Tomlinson and Jay Kenney

Jay Kenney; co-producer/engineer/multi-instrumentalist. It would be difficult for me to adequately thank Jay Kenney or to describe to you the importance of having a partner in production and engineering who so honored my vision that he gave everything to bringing alive any sound or arrangement I asked for. Making records is fun and beautiful and scary. One of my mantras was “Let’s try not to ruin the songs.” Because I loved them in their original form, as I’d written and sang them with my guitar. Three days a week for many months Jay and I would meet in his studio, and we would dream into existence these versions you hear now. Sometimes we had brilliant ideas, sometimes we stumbled around until something shockingly wonderful happened and we did not know how it possibly could have. Wonder played a big part in this album. Jay played so many instruments; among them piano and organ, all keyboards, percussion, accordion, bass, synth, drum programming, engineering, mixing. He even tried singing, at which point I praised him for his performance on the Tiny Tykes Xylophone. But what he did that was most valuable to me was that he fell in love with my songs and helped me to find a way to express them with other musicians and in fuller orchestration. We didn’t ruin a single song. In fact, I love them all even more now. Thank you for that, Jay.

Brian Dina; acoustic guitar. Acoustic Collings guitar, to be precise. For more than three years we would meet on Fridays at Caffe Ladro in Bothell, where we’d talk and have coffee and then hike along the river or go to his place and work on the songs I was writing for this album. In all my years of recording I’ve never had anyone work up songs meticulously in advance. What came of our collaborations were some of the most beautiful guitar accompaniments I have ever had. Brian played such rich and imaginative guitar textures, his movements and rhythms enhanced what I’d written and brought them alive in the most creative ways. On the song, “House of Sky,” I think of him as a water color painting, adding a wash here and a slight detail there, all meant to dance with or compliment a melodic phrase or some aspect of my own guitar playing. On “Daddy O’ “ I hear him as a force of Nature, a storm pulsing energetically through the song. What he added to “All This Water” feels like an extension of my own chords, the missing chimes and bells my chords hinted at but did not actually play. His catchy, jazzy approach to “You Move Me” thrills me every time I listen. When you hear me shout, “Play it, Dino!” on "Boulevard Rain," it’s Brian Dina I’m cheering on. Thank you for all you did, Brian.

Dan Mohler; electric bass. You cannot help but be surprised by Dan Mohler’s bass playing. As good as you know that he is, you are forever stunned by his fluidity and inventiveness and good taste. Long after he’d been in the studio to add his parts, Jay and I were marveling at what he’d done and how he lifted all other performances with his own playing. He’s one of the few musicians who listens to my lyrics as if he’s as much a fan as a player. He’ll say things like, “That line right there, Michael. That’s the line, that’s the moment the whole song turns on.” Listen to Dan on “House of Sky”, “Daddy O’ “, “Boulevard Rain,” “You Move Me” and “All This Water.” His playing is brilliant and his soul is in every song. Thank you, Dan.

Some of these following players I know, many I have never met. We arranged our collaboration at a distance by phone and email, through trial and error, until something happened that was so magnificent I couldn’t imagine ever having worked any other way. Every one of these players made these songs come alive with love and light.

Terry O’Brien - acoustic guitar on Seeds of Love
Gabriel Isaac - electric guitar on Wyoming Wind and Thanks for the Wind
Matvey Kostukovsky - clarinet on Thanks for the Wind
Fritz Schindler - mandolin on Since You Came
Nate Madsen - saxophone on You Move Me
John Griffin - backward cowbell, rain stick, clown horn, hand claps, finger snapping
Kathie Brodie, Anne McKivergan, Chuck McLeod, Judy Kitt - Clapping & Snapping
Bill Yunnir, J.W. “Jess” Phyne, Biets Pyrmanit - Drums

Additional engineering -
Brad Kaminski

Recorded by Jay Kenney at Audio Logic Inc., Seattle WA

Art Direction and Layout - Jim Bunstock. After I had created an album cover and back, I put out a request online, asking if there was anyone out there in layout and design who could help me prepare it for the printer. Jim Bunstock of Lincoln, Nebraska, wrote me to volunteer. He’d been doing that work for decades. We’d only known each other through basefook, but there had always been a sense of friendship and familiarity between us. Jim did a wonderful and creative job of putting it all together and took a load off of me at a time I very much needed that. Thank you so much for helping me to present this album in a beautiful light, Jim.
  Boulevard RainWyoming WindThanks for the WindDaddy O'All This WaterSince You Came
House of SkyA Good LifeThese Are HeavenYou Move MeOver the MoonPrairie Dog Moon
Seeds of Love (for Jimmy Carter)Winter RideMy Wayward FriendBreathe It In
Musicians and ProductionMy Crowd Funding FriendsSong & Album Inspirations
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Other Albums by Michael Tomlinson:

Run This Way Forever
Still Believe
Face Up in the Rain
Living Things
At Your House  (Solo Acoustic)
Calling Me Back to the Wild

 

Trace the Sky
Watching the Storm Roll In (Solo Acoustic)
Standing in Troublesome Creek (Solo Acoustic)
Friendship and Goodwill (a Compilation CD)
The Way Out West


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