Pedal-steel ace Jon Rauhouse, a mainstay in Neko Case’s band and a Phoenix native, spent some time at Wavelab Studio in Tucson in October to record material for his fifth album. It was a rare spot of downtime for Rauhouse, who was on the road for much of the year playing for Jakob Dylan and Billy Bob Thornton.
Thanks to Notable Music Co., we have our first taste of the Tucson session. Damon Booth, VP/GM of Notable Music – an independent music publishing company founded in 1962 by composer and jazz musician Cy Coleman – asked Rauhouse to do a cover of Witchcraft, a song composed by Coleman and then released as a single by Frank Sinatra.
Rauhouse took it a step further – recording a version with vocals by Rachel Flotard of Visqueen and backed by his Sestet. Rauhouse told me in an e-mail that he’s polishing off the instrumental, but the vocal version is available on eMusic and iTunes.
I’ve always loved the pedal-steel guitar for its emotive strains, and combined here with Flotard’s stunning voice, the song takes on a moody vibe, like something emanating from a smokey noir-style lounge.
The players on this track include:
Jon Rauhouse: pedal steel
Rachel Flotard: vocals (Visqueen)
Tommy Connell: guitar
Jacob Valenzuela: trumpet (Calexico)
Kevin O’Donnell : drums (Andrew Bird)
Will Lovell: bass
Jeff Livingston: piano