I met Joe Fajen back in the mid-90s when we were both living in the bay area. I met him through our mutual friend Linton Hale. Linton, Joe and I played together in various musical projects around this time. When I first started working on this album, an important part of my vision was to have no drum kit on the record. I started recording numerous rhythm tracks with Linton and Joe on duel Djembe’s. These tracks became the rhythmic “bedrock” of many of the tunes on the record. Joe also played tablas on “Flesh of the Land” and “Shadow” as well as a trombone track on “Beast”.
Currently, Joe is best known in the local Nevada County music scene as the trombonist for The Earles of Newtown. The Earles play an infectious brand of Americana music they describe as “Swingin Dixie”. In this band Joe plays Dixieland inspired improvisations which interweave with improvisations from the trumpet and reed players.
Joe is also an accomplished tabla player who has studied Indian classical music for years. He has performed on tablas in both traditional and non traditional settings with many fine artists including Matthew Montfort (Ancient Future), Ludi Hinrich’s Chicken Bones, Simirit, and Pandit Binary Pathak.
I have the great fortune of playing with Joe currently in both of my current bands, Tumble and Robert Heirendt’s Sea Creatures. He is a dear friend and brilliantly sensitive musician!