SESSION PHOTOS: In the late 1990s, my friend Michael Manring was kind enough to put in a good word for me at The Noe Valley Ministry in San Francisco, and they booked me as the opening act for an Alex de Grassi concert. Alex is among my favorite guitarists, and though we had met before, it was a pleasure getting acquainted with him for the show. Near the end of his set, we played together on a new song, which led to him, several weeks later, recording on the same piece, “Read The River” for my CD escapesilence. (You can download the song here: http://snd.sc/O6k6lr) It was an honor to have Alex in my humble San Francisco apartment studio, though my neighbors unfortunately were less welcoming. It was after 9pm when I snapped this photo of Alex as he was tuning up. Behind the wall next to Alex was my neighbor’s bedroom. The couple apparently kept early hours, and during one take, I heard a rumble. When I pulled off my headphones, the neighbors were banging on the wall, “Turn it down!”. I cleared things up with them, but I felt bad for Alex. Here was a world class musician who performs for thousands of people every year, and yet my neighbors complained that the (god forbid) acoustic guitar was too loud. In any case, Alex was a trooper, and wonderful, and the session went great. “Read The River” includes Michael Manring on bass, Robert Powell on pedal steel, Alex on guitar, with myself on dobro.