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“My goal for Black Rock was pretty simple: I wanted to make the feel good record of the summer. No joke. My last album, The Ballad Of John Henry (2009), was kind of heavy. I'm still very proud of it, but it’s sombre and serious in places. This time out, I said, 'OK, let’s do something young, that has lots of grit and guts and just grabs you by the throat.'
“Surprisingly, we were able to accomplish this in Santorini, Greece, at a studio called Black Rock, thus the album’s title. As opposed to working in Malibu or London, it was a terrific spot to really focus on the music. Cellphones, computers… We were cut off from a lot of typical distractions. After a few days, I didn‘t even know what was going on in the world. I found it very easy to channel my energies on record making.
“Greece is so beautiful and inspiring. The sunsets are spectacular, the street sounds are lively, the people are friendly and genuine - the whole vibe was very conducive to feeling reckless and having fun.
“I got my usual gang together - the amazing producer Kevin Shirley, Carmine Rojas on bass, Rick Melick on keyboards, and Anton Fig and Bogie Bowles on drums and percussion - but I was very happy to welcome some local Greek folk musicians who added different flavours with instruments like the bouzouki and clarino.
“Best of all, I was honored to have my great friend BB King play on a track. How many people get to say that? Not many. I‘m a lucky guy, and I know it.”