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Recognized as “one of the most prolific cultural influencers to come out of Nashville” (Bright Revolution), Grammy® award-winning record producer Charlie Peacock adds another chapter to his diverse musical story – When Light Flashes, his 4th jazz recording (2/16/18). The album features saxophonist Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews Band, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones), Jim Black collaborator Hilmar Jensson on guitar, bassist Felix Pastorius, drummer Ben Perowsky and trumpeter Matthew White.
As the sonic architect behind best-selling music duo The Civil Wars, Peacock is largely known for his deft and moving productions, including “Misery Chain” by the late Chris Cornell from the soundtrack of Twelve Years a Slave and “Hush,” the title theme to the AMC drama Turn: Washington’s Spies featuring Joy Williams and The National’s Matt Berninger.
Though it’s been decades since legendary impresarios “Bill Graham and Chris Blackwell plucked him from the San Francisco punk/pop underground and pegged him for stardom” (Keyboard), Peacock has forged a varied career propelled by his curiosity. In 2014, Peacock explained it this way:
“I’ve always been after a lasting career – one that never peaks – just gets better. Artists I admire, like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Herbie Hancock have that kind of career story – basically a life of making music rooted in America, and that’s a music I know and love.”
Peacock’s special guests on When Light Flashes include Nashville neighbors Jeff Taylor on accordion (The Time Jumpers, Elvis Costello), fiddler/mandolinist Andy Leftwich (Ricky Skaggs) and A-Team session phenom Jerry McPherson on electric guitar. Bassists Matt Wigton and Scott Mulvahill, synthesist Tony Miracle and drummer Jordan Perlson also contribute. By featuring Grammy® award-winning bluegrass fiddler Andy Leftwich on When Light Flashes, Peacock reaffirms the eclecticism expected from him.
“I was raised by a California-born, improvising trumpet-playing father whose grandfather was a Louisiana fiddler. Maybe that explains a little of my ability to move fluidly between several varieties of American music, whether it’s rooted in Hank Williams or Miles Davis.”
Born in rural northern California, Peacock at various times has listed everything from agriculture to the late pianist Andrew Hill as influences.
In honor of his northern California roots, When Light Flashes includes a Peacock composition titled “Automatt” dedicated to producer David Rubinson and pianist Herbie Hancock. The Automatt was a Rubinson-owned studio in San Francisco where Hancock was based for several years. Peacock gives a nod to his mid-south Nashville roots, too, with “Wendell Berry in the Fields at Night,” a tribute to the celebrated southern agrarian-poet of the same name. Six more songs round out the collection including two covers, “Still Water” by Daniel Lanois and “Masters of War” by Bob Dylan.
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