Thunder's Mouth, CD by Scott Ainslie

Thunder's Mouth Personnel

This recording features the extraordinary gifts of dear friends Eugene Friesen, Sam Broussard, and T-Bone Wolk, recorded with the advice and help of Corin Nelsen. We mixed and mastered it at Will Ackerman’s Imaginary Roads Studio in Windham County, Vermont, in the winter and early spring of 2008.

Eugene Friesen

Eugene is a multiple Grammy award-winning cellist who has been with the Paul Winter Consort since 1978. He also performs with Howard Levy and Glen Velez as Trio Globo has an active teaching and touring schedule. I met Eugene at a benefit concert in the fall of 2007.

A graduate of the Yale School of Music where he studied with Brazilian cellist Aldo Parisot, Eugene is active internationally as a concert artist, composer, conductor and teacher. He has worked and recorded with such diverse artists as Dave Brubeck, Toots Thielemans, Betty Buckley, Will Ackerman, Joe Lovano and Dream Theater.

Eugene's passion for the responsive flow of improvisatory music has been featured in concerts all over the world. He has performed as a soloist at the International Cello Festival in Manchester, England; Rencontres d'Ensembles de Violoncelles in Beauvais, France; the World Cello Congress in Baltimore, Maryland; and the Rio International Cello Encounter in Rio de Janeiro.

A love for children and music education led Eugene to create his popular program for young audiences, CelloMan, and has fueled his work teaching new cello techniques and improvisation in the United States, Asia, Europe and South America.

Recording credits include five albums of original music: New Friend, Arms Around You, The Song of Rivers, and two recent discs, In the Shade of Angels and Sono Miho.

Eugene is an artist-in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, and on the faculty of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He lives in Vermont with his wife Wendy and four children. His latest CD, Pure Water, features Coleman Barks reading translations of Rumi. Visit Eugene at

Sam Broussard

Sam is a Lafayette, LA native, who – besides being an inventive, fearless and exacting genius of the guitar – is like a Cajun Richard Thompson. His songwriting rivals his guitar playing for its range, drama, and craft. I met Sam on my first visit to Lafayette in the early Spring of 2000. We’ve been friends ever since.

Sam was signed to Capitol Records in 1971 as part of the adventurous acoustic quartet of Louisiana boys called Manchild. As a teenager he shared the stage with the likes of Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee and Dave Van Ronk.

He went on to do studio and roadwork with Michael Martin Murphey, Nicolette Larson, Foster and Lloyd, Jimmy Buffett and countless others during his stay in Nashville. During his Colorado days he often played with Robben Ford.

In the mid-90’s, Sam toured Europe, recording, filming and writing with million-selling franco-swiss star Stephan Eicher.

Over the years, Sam developed a broad style of playing that drew from both acoustic and electric repertoires, culminating in the alt-tunings and slide work of his solo record Geeks, winner of several awards from New Orleans’ prestigious Offbeat Magazine, and the unique guitar inventions for his current band, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys.

This innovative Cajun band’s most recent CD, the 2004 Grammy-nominated Bon Rêve (for which he wrote the title cut), prominently displays Sam’s work on electric, slide and acoustic guitars. His writing, arranging skills can be heard most effectively on the cut Vini Jilie.

T-Bone Wolk

T-Bone Wolk, side-man extraordinaire on this project, plays upright and electric bass, keyboards, guitar, hand percussion, and accordian. He is a touring veteran who has logged many miles with Hall & Oates, among others, and is a gifted producer and welcome member of Brattleboro’s rich musical community.

T-Bone has been playing bass guitar with Daryl Hall and John Oates since 1981. Now, 23 years later, T-Bone is their resident musical director and often times co-producer of their records.

T-Bone was also the on-camera bassist with the Saturday Night Live house band (1986-1992).

In those years, Tommy Mottola, (former Sony Music CEO) was managing not only Hall and Oates, but Carly Simon as well, which led T-Bone to his first co-producing job working on the title track of her Epic cd Tired of Being Blonde, as well as signing on as music director/co-music producer of her acclaimed HBO Special Live from Martha’s Vineyard, re-released on DVD in 2004.

Always busy as a sideman and producer, a small sampling of T-Bone’s Who’s Who goes like this : Hall and Oates, Carly Simon, Shawn Colvin, Elvis Costello, Roseanne Cash, Cyndi Lauper, Harry Nilsson, Amanda Marshall, Grey Eye Glances, Paul Carrack, Diane Ziegler, Charlie Musselwhite, Jewel, Ivo, Jellyfish, Avril Lavigne, Billy Joel, Joe Pesci, Leslie Miller, John Eddie, Chynna Phillips, Eileen Ivers...

Corin Nelsen reinforced my inclination to see if T-Bone would play bass (among many other things) on Thunder’s Mouth and engineered our session with T-Bone in my studio. We unloaded a truck load of instruments into the living room and came down to fish out what we wanted throughout the day. They got more done in one day than I could have done in a week. It was breath-taking. And the beginning of a new friendship.

Corin Nelsen

Corin Nelsen is a Grammy award-winning engineer and producer. Alongside Will Ackerman, of Windham Hill Records fame, Corin literally designed, built and wired Imaginary Road Studios – as in hammer, skillsaw, nails – and successfully morphed into the manager and chief engineer.

Managing the studio and producing his own sessions, Corin stays busy: 4 of the top 5 discs listed in the Top 100 Airplay Chart by New Age Reporter in 2007 were albums Corin recorded, mixed, mastered, or co-produced. He has four Grammy nominations on top of the Grammy he won for Best New Age Album of 2004 (Will Ackerman's Returning).

In addition to his work on Thunder’s Mouth, Corin recently mastered tracks by Barenaked Ladies, Shelby Lynne, Cyndi Lauper and other pop bands as well as the Broadway Cast album of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Corin gave me valuable support for the tracks I recorded as the Thunder’s Mouth sessions proceeded and came to record my day with T-Bone Wolk, getting more done in one day than I could’ve done in a week. Learning that Eugene Friesen was coming over to track a couple of tunes, Corin offered me mic placement suggestions and sent over the reverb settings that allowed Eugene to feel at home in the headphones and the tracks. These sort of details betray his generosity and skill.

We mixed and mastered Thunder’s Mouth together at Imaginary Road in the late winter and early Spring of 2008. And here, I’m going to testify: Corin’s skill and sensitivity as an engineer is only rivaled by his patience and kindness. I’m having trouble imagining doing a project without him.