As we were finishing up the first American Hill session, JC and the band members agreed to another session to take place a couple of months later. So, I had two months to come up with five new songs. Under the pressure of a deadline I got the job done. They include some of my favorites.
Desert New Year (Cogley)
I wrote “Desert New Year” just a few days before the second recording session. I had filed away a yellowed Fotomat envelope of photos of a long ago road trip with my good friend Bob. I sorted them out on a tabletop and from there the song seemed to come to me with little trouble. The video shows the photos that inspired the song.
In An Empty Playhouse (Cogley)
I began writing “In An Empty Playhouse” as soon as we wrapped up the first session. That year my wife and I saw “Death of a Salesman” on Broadway with Philip Seymour Hoffman. When the play ended we sat in our seats in stunned silence by his incredible performance. We sat until the playhouse was empty except for the ushers cleaning up. Hoffman would die his sad death two years later.
Ten Bills Folded In My Pocket (Cogley)
I wrote this in Nevada City after the first American Hill session. Just by being in my hometown different feelings can come up about earlier times. When I heard the playback of this song at the recording session I decided right away it would lead off the album.