Spellbound "Brighter Days Ahead"

SRCD-11 ©2008 [Sunyata Publishing/BMI]

1) Rhythm Of Mi Corazon (3:51) featuring Plas Johnson (Tenor Sax & Sax Solo), Johnny Polanco (Tres Guitar, Guiro & Backing Vocals) and Mike Daigeau (Trombones and Vocals)

2) Que Palo Es Ese (3:25) featuring Candi Sosa (Vocals & Percussion) and Mike Daigeau (Trombones)

3) Sweet Temptaion (4:14) featuring Artie Webb (Flute) and Mike Daigeau (Trombones)

4) California (No Aguanta Mas) (4:42) featuring Candi Sosa (Vocals & Percussion), Mike Turre (Tenor and Bari Saxes) and Mike Daigeau (Trombones)

5) Brighter Days Ahead (3:04) featuring Mike Daigeau (Trombones)

6) Never Never Gonna Give You Up (4:48)  featuring Plas Johnson (Tenor Sax) and Mike Daigeau (Trombones)

7) The Peacemaker (3:39) featuring Mike Daigeau (Trombones)

8) Greasy Kid Stuff (3:54) featuring Jackson Moon

9) Faithful Fate (4:40) featuring Mike Turre (Tenor & Bari Saxes) and Mike Daigeau (Trombones)

10) Island Lullaby (2:44)

All Songs Written and Produced by Paul Thomas and Bobby Moon 

Copyright 2008 Sunyata Publishing (BMI)

Except Que Palo Es Ese by Juan Formell (Caribe Productions Inc./EGREM and Never Never Gonna Give You Up by Barry White Copyright 1973 (Sa-Vette Music/BMI & Unichappell Music Inc./BMI)

Album Credits:

Bobby Moon: Lead & Background Vocals, Keyboards, Harmonica & Percussion

Paul Thomas: Guitars, Keyboards, Background Vocals & Percussion

Mike Daigeau: Trombone, Tuba, Background Vocals & Percussion

Rudy Mangual: Congas & Percussion

With Very Special Guests:

Johnny Polanco: Tres Guitar, Guiro & Background Vocals on tracks 1 & 2

Candi Sosa: Vocals & Percussion on tracks 2, 3 & 4

Plas Johnson: Tenor Sax on tracks 1 & 6

Artie Webb: Flute on track 3

Mike Turre: Tenor & Bari Sax on tracks 4, 8 & 9

Desiree Coleman Jackson: Background Vocals on tracks 3, 7 & 9

Jackson Moon: Background Vocal on track 8

Bryan Marye: Trap Drums on track 4

All Tunes Recorded, Mixed & Mastered at World Champ Studio

Engineer: Bryan Marye

All Photos & Booklet Art: Steven Kates / CD Design & Layout: Yvette Mangual

Spellbound "Brighter Days Ahead" Booklet (Front & Back)

Liner Notes:

Brighter Days Ahead. What can be said of this new release from Spellbound, undoubtedly the longest-running independent Latin Funk-Fusion act on its own label in Los Angeles? Technically , at this point Bobby Moon and I should either be pulling knives on each other ala Sam & Dave, no longer on speaking terms, perhaps in rehab, or at the very least on some long hiatus from the whole project. After all, why continue in a field that is dominated by nepotism and payola, whose corporate circles have continually shunned us?

Well, we've come some distance from our humble beginnings in Los Angeles where we began as a struggling recording duo...well, actually...that's exactly where we are now, too. It just seems a bit better at present, with a slightly higher profile and more artists going the Independent Route that we have tread for the past two decades. More people tell me that Spellbound is appreciated in the musical universe, and appreciation is a wonderful thing. So it really is "Brighter Days Ahead." 

This recording bears the distinction of being made at the brand new World Champ Studios facility, where the paint was still drying as we began laying down basic tracks. It had a nice "new" smell to it, and we really liked that. Also, Bryan the owner was surprisingly permissive as various members ducked in and out to smoke, imbibe, procure women, and God knows what else. In fact, he never mentioned anything until after the third session or so, when we received an email requesting only that all members do their smoking beforehand. I replied that it was fine. Sure enough, the following session arrived with no smoking breaks, and Bryan was pleased enough to verbalize his appreciation.

"Thanks guys, y'know, for understanding about the smoking, "he smiled. "No problem," I said, "we'll only be bringing heroin from now on." Bryan laughed uneasily. The sessions resumed without further hitch. Actually, there is a very little time for anything at Spellbound sessions other than recording and just plain working. The process generally runs at a fairly furious pace. Nonetheless, I could not control all of the abuses. Yes, unfortunately, many of the players and guests could not restrain from using (gasp) cell phones!

Once we were really rolling, we added some new twists, like bringing in Bobby's young son Jackson to do background vocals on the song "Greasy Kid Stuff." Unbeknownst to many Spellbound fans, Bobby had a son at the age of 15, as the result of an illlicit affair (with a beautiful wife of a Korean Pear salesman). Jackson did a great job, almost sounding too slick for the "greasy kid" sound we were aiming for. After a warm-up run, he was behind the mic like a regular pro, barking out cues and self-producing ("punch me in at the top of that third bar - it was a little pitchy"). Fun stuff.

Also, our storm trooper trombonist Mike Daigeau has stepped forward on this recording giving a hand with production and arrangements, and has added his own voice to some of the tunes. He's also responsible for bringing in a new guest vocalist, the amazing Desiree Coleman Jackson, who brings her talent to "The Peacemaker" and "Faithful Fate."

Oh, did I mention Bobby's new keyboards? Well they are all over this album. Notice the fresh arpeggiator sound on "Que Palo Es Ese?" That's Bobby. The organ solo on "Island Lullaby?" Yup, Bobby. For better or worse, I played very little keyboard at all this time around, instead delving deeper into guitar arrangements. Besides, Bobby sounded great, and if he decides to take over, I can always pull that knife on him and straighten things out.

Hasta, la próxima,

Paul 'Pablo' Thomas

Inside Booklet Photos of Bobby & Paul

Inside Booklet Photos of Mike & Rudy