The Desert Experience:
This release started as a collection of desert-themed tracks sequenced for summer road trips between Arizona and California, sometimes in dark of night cloaked from the heat, other trips in the broad searing rays of the Summer sun. Drawing from over three decades of desert music, this magical blend creates a set that places one directly into the dramatic and emotive, immersive Southwest landscapes.
The Land Of Extremes:
My daily life and creative motivations are constantly infused with the relationship that has evolved for me within this land of extremes. The expansive beauty, harsh and dramatic, still and quiet, it's all here. While much of my music is not directly about the desert, the constant influence of this land that is my spiritual home is the calibration tone I set my life to. It continues to burn away the insignificant and illuminate with a perfect light what matters.
The Desert Collection:
Since before I was making music, I was making mix-tapes (first on 8-track and then cassettes) of road music for drives through the SoCal desert and mountain backroads. The music soundtrack to these drives would somehow play to where the dynamic pieces would time out with dramatic shifts in the landscapes, most always by chance and always making the moment larger than ordinary life. I love the freedom of driving—alone, in the Southwest with music. It unfurls the knotted mind and cleanses the palette for new creative thoughts to emerge over the drone of the engine mixed with a well-crafted set of music. It seems to propel the car towards the horizon as the sun sets or rises. Countless numbers of my albums have been evaluated, mapped-out and road tested over thousands upon thousands of miles over the years. It's true to say this mix-tape was 30 years in the making.
When I hit play on this soundtrack on the way out of Gila Bend recently heading west, thermometer at 105 an hour before sunset, the sky was bleeding orange and red. The first track on THE DESERT COLLECTION emerged. and so did the chills and wet eyes as I was feeling those non-motorized Western travelers from not so long ago -- like me -- looking to "go west". On-board the Ghost Train indeed.
The cover: Elephant Head Dreaming
The images, taken by Steve's wife Linda Kohanov, are about ten minutes from the where a portion of The Timeroom sits. Often Steve and Linda hike out to this area to take in the sunset. It's close to home yet eons away from the things we take for granted every day. The massive rock guardian, Elephant Head, is the archetype of the Cathedral in its pure and essential form; a stone Ganesh of multi-symbolic radiance. The afternoon light upon this icon is always a marvelous spectacle.