A look inside the making of the Bobby Vee (my father-in-law) record "The Adobe Sessions" chronicling his career, first filling in for Buddy Holly after the fateful crash, having Bob Dylan as the band's first piano player, and as a pop/rock superstar when he was a fixture of radio and record during the JFK Camelot era. It continues thru his 2011 Alzheimers diagnosis when he and his family dealt with the news by bundling into an RV, driving from Minnesota to Tucson, setting up in the adobe garage of his winter place, and recording simply as much as they could. Songs not from his career or stage repertoire, but rather family favorites from the likes of Townes VanZandt, Bob Dylan, Carole King, Daniel Lanois, Hank Williams, Gordon Lightfoot and more.
CD description below
His garage band got it's start filling in for Buddy Holly the night after the fateful crash, and a few months later even boasted a young Bob Dylan as it's piano player. Soon after, in that window between Buddy Holly and the Beatles, Bobby Vee's voice was everywhere, a fixture of JFK era record and radio, unabashedly pop, but with a rock and roll pedigree. Fast forward 55 years to the day and you have this new (and final) release. In 2011 Bobby Vee was diagnosed with Alzheimers and soon retired from the stage. As a way to cope with this sobering news, the family bundled into an RV and drove from Minnesota to Vee's adobe hacienda in Tucson and set up shop "back in the garage again" to make one more record. There they played and recorded only the music most precious to them. More their "campfire set" than "stage set". Songs from treasured old family road trip mix tapes ("Walls" by Gordon Lightfoot), songs by old band mates ("The Man In Me" by Bob Dylan gets a hypnotic garage groove reading here), songs by old touring mates (Rick Nelson's "Never Be Anyone Else") even songs from the woman who custom wrote some of his biggest hits (Carole King and Gerry Goffin's "In My Baby's Eyes" a relative obscurity that first came to Vee in the same stack of acetate demos as "Take Good Care of My Baby". "Tucson Girl" is a hooky horn infused original that seems to have absorbed some musical textures from Vee's winter home. The gentle lovelorn ballad "Love Must Have Passed Me By" an original from Vee's first Minneapolis session in 1959, is recast as a duet with country/rockabilly journey woman Rosie Flores. Perhaps most out of character on a Vee record is Daniel Lanois' "The Maker", an ambitious reading of a spiritually searching song is understandable in it's inclusion considering where Vee stands at his stage of life, and it works. A group of Benedictine monks from St John's Abbey (near Vee's home) even add a chant to the mix.
With Vee's 3 sons as the band, daughter Jen as occasional lyricist, son Robby penning some tunes, these folks learned their craft from the first generation, and it shows with warm, rootsy readings, deft playing and for people more accustomed to Vee's 17 year old pipes, these 70 year old vocals are a rich and real surprise. An obvious labor of love, a tribute to a father and family that stands on it's own musical feet. The moral seemed to be - "Who knows what tomorrow holds, so lets make music and memories today"
Bobby Vee's "Adobe Sessions" is testament to that.
The digital release of the album should hit CD Baby and iTunes on Bobby's 55th professional anniversary February 3rd, 2014 with hard copy CDs available at CD Baby later in the month