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Long Way to the Bottom COVER theartofmann
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Long Way to the Bottom

Produced by Larry Campbell. Recorded, Mixed and Engineered by Justin Guip at Milan Hill Studios (Woodstock, NY). Mastered by Dave McNair. Written by Chris Castle. Performed by Campbell, Castle, Guip, and Brandon Morrison.

"A multi-faceted diamond in a Kentucky coal mine. Chris Castle is a hidden gem that shines with diverse life experience. Great songs, and great singing; all deeply connected to the earth in which he was formed.”

- Larry Campbell

Larry Campbell square image
Guip at Milan Hill Studios
Campbell at Milan Hill Studios

A dozen years ago, Chris Castle was self-producing his Last Bird Home LP at the famed Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY. Those sessions featured cameos by Garth Hudson (the Band), Tommy Ramone (the Ramones), and Justin Guip (Hot Tuna). They also introduced him to string wizard Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson).


Fast forward to 2024, and Castle's return to Woodstock - reuniting with the 3x Grammy-winning duo of Campbell and Guip. This time around, it would be just the three of them and bassist Brandon Morrison. No famous cameos, and no photographers- just four musicians with a roomful of instruments and a tight schedule.


"We basically locked ourselves in Milan Hill (Guip’s studio) for five days" explained Castle. "I’d thrown a bunch of tunes to Larry that spring, and he had it narrowed down to ten by the time we started tracking in June". While he has self-released eight albums since 2000, this is the first time that Castle has asked someone else to produce a record. “I knew if anybody was going to understand my tunes, the structures and hooks, it’d be Larry” he said. “The guy has supported some of the greatest song-builders of all time. And I grew up with all the same influences that those guys did: Hank, Buddy Holly, the Everly Brothers”.


Somehow it doesn’t seem out of place, hearing an artist of Castle’s age cite those influences. He was born the same year that the Band was performing The Last Waltz, but his knowledge of early post World War II song form is on par with artists twice his age. He has spent years honing his craft, and it shows in this batch of songs. "He's got some mighty fertile soil here" said Campbell. Now it's just a matter of nurturing the seeds they've planted till harvest time. 

The Long Way to Long Way

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