You can't say much about Gleeson's third full length, "Curse My Lucky Stars," without first mentioning some line-up changes: The fruitful ad-hoc working relationships on "II" (Michael Crow and Channing Lewis from Grand Champeen; Phillip McEachern from Mandible) became a little more 'official' for the new album. Elyse Estrada (Ty Chandler's former Saratone bandmate) was also brought in as a band member, providing lead and backing vocals on several songs.
Ty Chandler and the two Rauls Vela are still manning their posts -- Gleeson lifers.
Without question, a major shot in Gleeson's arm for this effort came from Phillip McEachern, who essentially split songwriting duties with Chandler. With Phillip on board, a very important box could confidently be checked -- the new album, aside from not following too closely in the previous album's footsteps (if at all), would not be boring. The other arm got a big shot of Elyse Estrada. Heavenly singing. Check. Finally, Channing Lewis gave Gleeson and its fans something special -- maybe the first song he's written that's been featured on anything other than a Grand Champeen record. Channing Lewis in any capacity. Check.
Oh, and the Tosca String Quartet and Tijuana Train Wreck Horns get a nice workout on this record.
If this sounds like "Curse My Lucky Stars" might be an 'all over the place' affair, good. If it sounds like Gleeson is still a band in search of an identity, then it's an opportunity to listen, start checking your own important boxes, and realize that none of them are labeled "band has an identity."
released April 12, 2016
Ty Chandler – Vocals, Guitar & Bass
Raul Vela III – Guitar
Michael Crow – Bass, Accordion & Vocals
Phillip McEachern – Vocals, Piano & Keys
Elyse Estrada – Vocals
Channing Lewis – Guitar & Vocals
Raul Vela IV – Drums, Percussion & Vocals
James Stevens – Vocals
Drew LeClair – Percussion
Jeff Johnston – Saw
The Almost There Choir (“The Gleeson Victory March”):
Elyse Estrada, James Stevens, Ty Chandler, Phillip McEachern, Channing Lewis, Chepo Pena, Michael Crow, Raul Vela IV, Danny Dunlap, Brandon Gentry, Greg Vanderpool & Mike Nicolai
String & Horn Arrangements:
Michael Crow, Phillip McEachern & Ty Chandler
Strings performed by: Tosca String Quartet
violin: Leigh Mahoney
violin: Tracy Seeger
viola: Ames Asbell
cello: Sara Nelson
Horns performed by:
trumpet: Tiger Anaya
baritone saxophone & flute: Mark Wilson
trombone: Matt Price
tuba: Rob Hargrove
Additional Song Arrangement:
Robin Myrick on tracks #4 & #12
Recorded & Mixed by:
James Stevens @ EAR Studio in Austin, TX
Additional Recording & Mixing by:
Michael Crow @ Stu Stu Studio in Austin, TX & EAR Studio in Austin, TX
Jim Wilson @ Jim Wilson Mastering in Boulder, CO
Tracks 2, 6, 8, 10 &11 written by:
Ty Chandler (kickinlikechicken melodies) [ASCAP]
Track 5 written by:
Channing Lewis (Publishing Schmublishing) [ASCAP]
Track 7 written by:
Ty Chandler (kickinlikechicken melodies) [ASCAP] & Phillip McEachern (McCreature Music) [BMI]
Artwork Design & Layout by:
Matt Thompson at Sturdy MFG Co.
Cover & Insert Photography by:
Gleeson would like to thank:
John & Janie Chandler; Vickie, Jim, Katie & Jennie Vela; Robin Myrick, Jamie Roadman, Sally Taylor, Jeff & Andy McNeff; Blythe, Lucy & Arthur Crow; Kelly, Calder, Wright & Rivers Lewis; Desi Estrada; Laura Swartz; Brandon & Anneke Gentry, James Stevens, Carolyn Somes, Alex Livingstone, Jeff Johnston, Rob Hargrove, Drew LeClair, Jim Wilson, Lance Davis, Reed DeAngelis, Ali Korte, Joleen Lidstrom, Blake Ibanez