first gig at a Starbucks in summer 1999
last gig at a Starbucks in summer 2000
2003-2004 Lee Jacket project in the making
developing songs in Ruidoso, New Mexico in March '04
August 2004 - Welcome to the Santa Monica recording studio
- Andy's half-renovated living room. The Lee jacket was always
nearby for inspiration. We bought the recording software the
first night, laid down our first song by the next afternoon,
and had ten songs in the can (we're talking "rough"
cuts) by the time Craig left after his 2 1/2 day stay. Let's
just say there was a steeper learning curve than the software
salesman led us to believe. After that, music files were sent
back and forth from Missouri to California for the next couple
of months, and the recording was finished. The mixing process
took two solid evenings with the software and mix master tom,
and wala! Lee Jacket had CD's in hand 3 days prior to their
Lee Jacket CD-release gig - Oct. 23 - Waco, TX
tuning up for the first show
Gig #2 - November 27, 2004 - Branson, MO
practicing in Springfield several hours before the Branson
showtime in Branson, Craig's hometown. played for a lot of
Gig #3 - December 22, 2004 - Ruidoso, NM
Andy drove 13 straight hours from California to make it
45 minutes before the gig started.
Gig #4 - December 29, 2004 - Houston, TX
Gig #5 - December 30, 2004 - Dallas, TX
This was the last gig on the 2004 Unbuttoned Tour. We
lost all of our powered equipment a few songs in, so we went
acoustic the rest of the way. Who knew when the next "tour"
would come about...?
There was no official gigs this year, but Amy (Craig's
wife) and Anna (Andy's wife) had a big surprise in store for
the guys' shared birthday of Sept. 29. Amy and Craig headed
to an airport and ended up flying to California to see Andy
and Anna, who had two extra tickets to see Josh Ritter opening
for The Frames.
If you look past us in this picture at the piano against
the wall, that is where we recorded most of the Lee Jacket
CD. If you scroll back up to the pics of us recording, you
can see the "unfinished" resemblance.
another gig in 1999 - joined by a drumming barista
the Craig & Andy Band signing off - so we thought
The months prior to March, we emailed a lot, sent a couple
of cassette tapes through the mail, and talked on the phone
some. We had one shot to actually work on the music in person
in Ruidoso. Craig had virtually no voice on that weekend,
which made song development interesting. But, it was decided
that there may not be a better place anywhere to create music
than Buena Tierra Ranch.
we had quite the sales and promotion specialist on our side
(Craig's sister) - the obvious reason for all the CD's still
sitting there is that the show hadn't started yet.
this practice was at the house of Andy's wife's grandparents
for the entire Newport clan
Craig raided his 4-year-old daughter's playroom for a tamberine
and a stuffed birdie that provided some homemade percussion
for one of the songs.
The concert was awesome! Craig and Andy already knew and played
many Ritter songs and got introduced to The Frames, one of
Ireland's finest rock bands. While in CA, Craig and Andy got
a lot of guitar time in, including some time on Santa Monica
On the beach, we played for all the passers-by: walkers,
joggers, jugglers, roller skaters, frisbee throwers, yoga
doers, etc. Great times!