Modern West really got its start when my wife (Christine) encouraged me to reconnect musically with John Coinman.
I wasn’t really sure after all these years how it might work. I wasn’t really sure what to say. But if life has taught me anything it was not be stopped by the question or the unknown. F… it, what did I have to lose but maybe some of the best times of my life?
I made the call to Tucson. “John what do you think?” He never hesitated, willing to explore the idea. But it was always more than just an idea for me. It was a feeling that I had been unable to articulate. For a long time now I have felt the need to connect with people in a more meaningful way than just the autograph. I have found myself here and around the world in different situations where the only exchange has been just that…a quick signature on the run usually followed by a “gee, he’s taller than I thought.”
I always thought that music could build a stronger, more personal moment for me. It would create the opportunity for a genuine exchange much greater than the movie, TV interview or magazine. It would be real, full of mistakes and without apology. But most of all there would be the chance to have some fun. The question was, would it work? I thought it could but I wasn’t really sure. I had been out on creative limbs before, and this felt familiar.
I asked John to get some guys together starting with Blair Forward who was in the first and only band I was ever in. John would pick the rest. If we were to play together the majority of our music would have to be our own compositions. What ever else we played would be old favorites of mine. They would come from friends, some famous and some who probably should be. The rest would be from artists that I have enjoyed over the years. If we played it would be Live, Loud and Long. The idea was simple. Don’t stop the party. Everybody understood and everybody went to work.
Teddy Morgan out of Nashville is our lead guitarist and producer. Larry Cobb from Tucson keeps the beat. Park Chisolm on vocals and guitar covers all my mistakes and hails from Nashville.
Bobby Yang, from Atlanta, and Luke Bulla, from Nashville, burn fiddle for us when they aren’t killing it with their own bands.