From Kabul, Afghanistan, using random quiet time, personal recording equipment bought and scavanged from everywhere, and a strong love of music, my friend Vince and ten of his comrades in arms have recorded an album of simple, heartfelt music.
Fittingly released today, Memorial Day 2011, Tracks in the Dust: Songs from Afghanistan has ten tracks from eleven indie muscians representing five countries. And all the proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior project.
I’ve known Vince for three decades, from when he was a skinny kid that his brother and I used to slide into barely open car windows, to the veteran of tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa and many other places that he has become. In a few months, he’ll come home to Texas. In the meantime, he is not only making music, but making a difference.
You can buy it as a CD or MP3 download:
I first became aware of this music when Vince started posting videos on Facebook of he and a few fellows who would get together at night for impromptu jam sessions. After one such session, they starting talking about an album…could they put such a project together, out in the dust of Afghanistan, with little to no Internet access?
Of course they could. Putting a benefit album together is a helluva lot easier and safer than what they do everyday.
The first track, Dusty Tracks, features all of the artists, and has the sound of a great garage band, lots of energy, ready to hit the clubs.
The next track, Love That I Seek, reminds me of U2 (and the recording quality sounds like it is in a studio, not in a tent in Kabul!).
The two tracks following, Apologize and Help Me Out by Sean O’Brien, have a Jack Johnson sound to them, though I can’t place Sean’s accent.
Stephen Flanagan’s In Your Eyes is a gritty, heartfelt song, reminiscent of Waylon Jennings.
My favorite track (ok, besides my man Vince’s) is It’s Always Been You from Damon Betz, excellent recording and a Steely Dan ring to it. His next track, Things I Miss, bounces out with a Reggae beat.
Childhood Memories (Judy’s song) by Tim Bristow and friends, is a story of what’s missing, things forgotten, very fitting for the time and place.
I’ve heard Vince’s two tracks before. With crystal clear acoustic guitar, Never Alone and Leaving are ballads to and about his family, and the time he spends away from them serving his country. We are looking forward to having you all home in Texas, young man.
Have you bought the album yet?
A list of the artists and links to their biographies is below.
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