Inspired by accounts of the making of Van Morrison's brilliant Astral Weeks, Simon Snaize (who had produced an earlier CD of mine) had an idea for a new record. He wanted to go for more of a live vibe than we had previously and was willing to give up some degree of studio clarity in favor of greater immediacy and groove. I had as usual far more songs than we could possibly work with, so we winnowed down from about thirty to thirteen. We chose several political ones. Several re the travails of relationship. Some philosophical ones, too. My standard themes. All had to work in the live vibe context. And as usual the CD would feature arrangements in a variety of modes. Pop. Folk. Jazz. Rock. Country. We enlisted the usual gang of miscreants (David Cragin, Kevin Zoernig, Paul Groetzinger, Ben Wright, Michael Grimes, Coral Cadman, Kanoa Kaluhiwa, Cesar Bauvallet), had a few rehearsals, and tracked the tunes while they were still molten and fresh. We added some minimal overdubs, and that was that. Our initial inspiration turned into a swift gurgling stream of a disc that sweeps you along. I think it feels like you're there with us as we play semi-live. I hope you enjoy it. 'Stories' was selected Best Pop CD at the 2008 New Mexico Music Awards.