Perhaps best described as "Progressive Americana", Commander's self-produced, genre-busting debut album borrows from classic rock, country, bluegrass, and jazz to create a sonic tapestry that expands far beyond the traditional singer/songwriter paradigm.
“Seven Cities” represents a sort of musical road trip across North America and back, exploring love and loss against the backdrop of urban skylines, small towns, and scenic western vistas. The name calls to mind the expedition of Coronado, who searched far and wide for the fabled Seven Cities of Gold but ended up finding only a rich and beautiful land, a treasure far more valuable than gold. In the same way, the songs in “Seven Cities” tell stories of our own personal searches for gold and how we rarely find it but sometimes find ourselves in the process.
"Seven Cities" was mastered using traditional (pre-"loudness war") techniques and has been given a rating of DR12 (dynamic range of 12 dB) by the Pleasurize Music Foundation (www.pleasurizemusic.com
released 17 April 2013
D. R. Commander (Piano, keyboards, electronic drums/percussion, vocals)
G. Pat Harris (Upright and/or electric bass)
Aaron Goldfarb (Guitars)
Graeme Francis (Drums on "Atlanta" and "Hill Country Rain")
Lloyd Maines (Pedal steel guitar on "Atlanta" and "The American Dream")
Andrea Whaley (Backing vocals on "Atlanta", "Jennifer", "The Blacksmith Shop", and "One-Way Line")
Akina Adderley (Backing vocals on "Dead to the World")
Drums on "One-Way Line" by Drums On Demand
Recorded by D. R. Commander at Spare Oom Studio, Austin, Texas except:
"Atlanta" and "Hill Country Rain" recorded at The Congress House Studio (www.congresshouse.com
), Austin, Texas (engineer: Andre Moran)
Andrea Whaley's backing vocals and vocal on "Hill Country Rain" recorded at The Zone Recording Studio (www.thezonerecordingstudio.com
), Dripping Springs, Texas (engineer: Mike Morgan)
Produced by D. R. Commander
Mixed by Pat Manske at The Zone Recording Studio
Mastered by Nick Landis at Terra Nova Digital Audio, Inc. (www.terranovamastering.com
), Austin, Texas
Cover Artwork: "The darkness lifted in a blaze of deafening flame, and with that silence was all that remained" by Roy Moore (controlimages.zenfolio.com
-- David Gignac, for helping me find the sound (careful that you don't dink the vinyl)
-- Pat Harris, for always having just the right bit of sage advice that kept me from thinking I was crazy to attempt this
-- Maxwell McDaniel, for always managing to find those hidden gems of New Orleans culture
-- The late, great Johnny Gordon. I may have sat at your bench, but I could never fill your shoes.
-- Dad, for infecting me with your love of bluegrass
-- Mom, for lighting the fire under my butt to finish the project
-- Liz Reeder Neubauer, for the stories that inspired more than one of these songs, and for giving them a sounding board when they were still in their infancy
-- Marshall Frech and the cast & crew of "Flash Flood Alley"
-- All of the bands to which I belong or have belonged, including Peter Rowan's Twang an' Groove, Flounders Without Eyes, Akina Adderley & the Vintage Playboys, The Harmony Theory, Laredo, and Hot Flash. Each and every one of you has contributed an important piece to the patchwork quilt of my musical identity.