Welcome, we’re not the days virtuosos; not pedigreed with years of playing with more famous established stars; we’re not even what we were. Perhaps you find yourself in similar circumstances. You’re not what they say you are, but you’re not quite what you want to be either. We see our goal clearly. It’s just a wisp out of reach. We don’t know the full answer, but we ALMOST do.
On the cusp of their seventh release SaltmanKnowles returns with ALMOST. Melodic, groove oriented compositions are the record’s cornerstone. ALMOST is inspired by writer Dan Barry’s book about the longest baseball game, Bottom of the 33rd, which details the lives of the people associated with the game. The most compelling part of the story is the players’ commitment to their dream. Year after year they uproot their families’ lives to play baseball. They’re always honing, practicing, and playing. Some went on to be household names others faded. Regardless the pursuit of the dream was relentless. There’s something special about the ones who didn’t quite make it. They ALMOST did it, and still found it to be worthwhile and rewarding. It’s the work itself, the process builds character even faith.
Its been ALMOST five years since our last release, (Yesterdays Man 2011) shortly after we lost our drummer, close friend and mentor Jimmy Junebug Jackson. He was one of the keepers of the faith. ‘Bug’ always told it like it was, and the joy in his swing and the depth of his groove was infectious. He was sort of the Yang to our Yin, completely fearless, uncaring what others thought of him and damn the consequences. His loss silenced us for a bit. Other keepers of the faith that inspired us are; our teacher, the great and humble Dr. Yusef Lateef, and singer Mark Murphy. Dr. Lateef taught us both to seek our own voices compositionally, to imbue the process with spirituality, and to be open, aware and explore. Mark Murphy’s free-wheeling, searching, gritty, sliding, rambunctious way of singing is an inspiration as well. We salute these gents with this release.