No Pressure is a special addition to the HCS catalog, featuring a guest appearance from mandolin master David “Dawg” Grisman. The cover art was painted by Tracy Grisman, who also sings the final song. A few years ago, the band spent a few winter days together, improvising a recording studio in old boarding house on the Olympic Peninsula. The occasion yielded fourteen songs recorded fireside. In addition to playing mandolin on half of the songs, Dawg offered creative advice for crafting arrangements.
Grisman’s composition “Swang Thang” leads off the record with twin mandolins on the melody. “Winter Rain” and the title track, “No Pressure” were composed by the band’s seasoned guitarist Ray Wood with his songwriting partner Vann Cantin. Hoagy Carmichael’s “Rockin’ Chair” precedes a Peruvian waltz from the same era. Also see this preview article in No Depression about Blackpot Coozie.
The fourth release from Seattle-based Hot Club Sandwich takes place squarely in Hicksville with a guest vocal performance by Dan Hicks (Charlatans, Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks) on “I Can’t Believe that You’re in Love with Me”, and “Cow Cow Boogie”. From there, And If Only takes listeners along a winding musical road filled with yodeling cowboys, a band of Mexican violinists, and spirited Django jazz guitar slingers. The Hot Club Sandwich sound blends reverence for traditions with vibrant acoustic interplay, which shines in the group’s many original compositions, including the title track composed by Ray Wood, “And If Only.”
Below are two videos of our group performing with Dan at DjangoFest Northwest 2007.
Listen to songs from Green Room (2007):