Once upon a time, music was awesome. Before the age of auto-tune, automatic light shows, and lip-synched concerts, musicians played from the soul and kicked you straight in the teeth with shameless jams.
Most music doesn’t sound like that anymore.
These days, it’s rare that musicians get to play original tunes with no agenda, no soul-sucking deadlines, and no record company execs breathing down our necks.
So we decided to make Swamp Thing differently. This album is art for the sake of art. And something magical happened – the whole project came together in 2 days because we were having so much dang fun.
We wanted to capture the sound of blues and rock music at its peak – with fat vocals, swampy grooves, and a honkin’ horn section. It sounds like a live 8-piece band shaking the walls of a dingy club sometime in the late 1960’s. You can almost smell the stale beer and cigarettes.
The musicians who joined me in the studio are legends. Denny, our guitarist and producer, has been the bandleader of the Tim McGraw Band for nearly two decades. Our bassist, David Santos, has toured with Billy Joel, Elton John, John Fogerty, and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Singing backup, the Grammy-nominated powerhouse, Wendy Moten has recorded with Eric Clapton, Kenny Rogers, Alice Cooper, and Buddy Guy.
As for me, I don’t know why a white dude from the backwoods of New Hampshire sounds like this. It doesn’t make any sense. But somehow the magical, swampy grooves of New Orleans seeped into my veins. Buckle up – you’re about to hear the Fat-Burning Man scream like a rockstar, croon like Johnny Cash, and wail on the sax, guitar, and even the clarinet.
I’ve said it before and I stand by it: if I didn’t have music I’d be certifiably insane. Music is therapy - it nourishes the soul. Just listen to “Thank God for the Blues” if you need proof!
We sincerely hope you enjoy the tunes. Thanks for listening.
Thank God For the Blues was selected as a Top 5 Winner in the R&B category of the 17th Annual Great American Song Contest, and was awarded an 'Outstanding Achievement In Songwriting.'
Judges praised 'Thank God For the Blues' for its “strong chorus, consistently engaging lyrical story and smartly designed melodic composition.”
Judges went on to say, "It’s not often that we are presented with a blues tune as well-crafted as this one. The vivid and relatable premise is sharply etched, right down to the flip of the latch on the smelly musty case. And you bring it home with the obvious yet simple and personifying title/hook. Outstanding work! This song has also achieved finalist status. CONGRATULATIONS!"
About The Musicians
Lead and Background Vocals, Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet, Guitar
A modern-day Renaissance man, Abel James is a multi-instrumentalist, bestselling author, and award-winning host of the hit podcast, “Fat-Burning Man.”
As a musician and songwriter, Abel has toured internationally, jammed with country superstars, and won several awards for vocal performance.
Electric and Acoustic Guitar, Lap Steel, Resonator Guitar, Baritone Guitar
Denny Hemingson has been the bandleader of the Tim McGraw band for nearly 20 years.
This all started when Denny, a listener of Fat-Burning Man, got in touch with Abel.
Denny, a past guest of the Fat-Burning Man Show, and after following The Wild Diet for just over year dropped 46 pounds (from 240 to 194).
Shawn Fichter doesn't need a metronome. He is a metronome.
Shawn has toured with Peter Frampton, Faith Hill, Barbara Mandrell, Trisha Yearwood and many others. You can hear Shawn's deep grooves on albums by Alabama, Trace Adkins, Lee Brice, Brooks & Dunn, Brett Eldridge, and Tim McGraw.
Shawn lives in Nashville and is currently playing drums on tour with the Tim McGraw Band.
Electric Bass, Upright Bass
David Santos is a world class musician, primarily known as a touring and recording bassist, but also known as a guitarist and pianist.
David has toured and recorded with Billy Joel, Elton John, John Fogerty, Crosby Stills & Nash, The Neville Brothers, Tommy James and The Shondelles, The Rascals, Billy Preston, Toby Keith, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and many others.
Piano, B3, Accordion, Additional Keys
Billy Nobel is currently on tour playing keyboards and singing harmony vocals for Tim McGraw. He's been featured on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and the CMT Music Awards.
Billy Nobel grew up in Baltimore and went to college in Pittsburgh, where he studied piano performance and conducting at Carnegie Mellon University.
Billy is also a huge fan of Abel and Alyson's coffee cake.
Wendy Moten, a multi-talented American singer-songwriter and Grammy nominee, has thrilled audiences on stages around the world.
Wendy has recorded with top selling artists, including Eric Clapton, Kenny Rogers, Alice Cooper, Michael McDonald, Julio Iglesias, John Oates and Buddy Guy. Her recording of the Stevie Wonder hit, All I Do, is featured on the Grammy award- winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum’s CD For You, produced by Grammy-winning producer Paul Brown.
Her voice tells a deeply soulful story that touches and inspires all who hear it.
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