Daily Courier Review
For his work over the past three decades, Jeff Pevar deserves the Academy Award for best musical actor in a supporting role. The guitarist has toured or recorded in the bands of Ray Charles, Rickie Lee Jones, James Taylor, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and many others.
Yet, he’s never released an album of his own.
“From the Core” is a collection of 12 acoustic-based songs, all of which display the virtuosity that has kept Pevar busy through the decades.
He’s always enjoyed being a supporting player — on Tuesday, he opens a month-long Australian tour as a member of Rickie Lee Jones’ band. But he’s been apprehensive about stepping into the limelight himself.
“I’ve wanted to put out a record my whole life, but to do a Jeff Pevar CD has always been daunting to me,” he says.
Maybe the only way it could have happened was by accident — or, possibly, by cosmic intervention. At the beginning of this project, Pevar had no idea he was recording his first album.
Nearly three years ago, when his musical colleague Greg Frederick invited Pevar to record music for a PBS documentary about the Oregon Caves National Monument, he jumped at the chance. He went to the session in the caves with no prepared material.
“I just went into the caves and started to improvise,” Pevar says. “All of this music just kind of poured out. As I suspected, I was influenced by the spirit of the caves … this is a very spiritual place.”
Pevar’s session in the caves was, indeed, used in the soundtrack of “The Marble Halls of Oregon: Exploring the Oregon Caves National Monument,” which first aired on Southern Oregon Public Television in June 2011.
An added bonus was that he was invited to keep the recordings, which he took to the studio at his Ashland-area home. Many instruments were added to the original solo-acoustic recordings. While most of those instruments were played by Pevar himself, others were recorded by musical friends here in the Rogue Valley. He strived to retain the organic, acoustic feel of the original three-hour session in the Oregon Caves. A fretless bass guitar is the only instrument on the CD that required electricity.
Only one song, “River of Dreams,” has vocals, and those were provided by Jon Anderson of the iconic 1970s band Yes.
“On a whim, I sent “River of Dreams” (attached to an email) to one of my favorite vocalists, Jon Anderson,” Pevar says, explaining that he and Anderson had met only once, several years ago. “To my delight, Jon wrote the lyrics and sent back a recording of his vocals within a few hours.”
In some ways, Pevar ponders, it seems like events stretching back nearly a decade have led him to the Oregon Caves and his debut album.
It was in 2004 that Pevar, playing on tour with David Crosby’s band CPR, performedat Medford’s Ginger Rogers Craterian Theatre. On a day off, he was exploring the Rogue Valley and met Inger Jorgensen, an Ashland-based artist and singer. It was love at first sight, and when the CPR tour ended, he rushed back to Ashland. He and Inger have been together ever since.
“I’m from Connecticut, but I believe I was called to live in this region. Call it divine intervention by my Yiddish angels,” he says, bursting into laughter. “And now I know it was so I could do this (project).
“When I was in the caves, I had no idea I was doing my record. It just kind of appeared. It seems to have chosen me.
“To have the caves invite me into Mother Earth to do this all feels very cosmic. It never would have happened anywhereelse.”
By Kevin Widdison of the Daily Courier
Original post at: http://www.thedailycourier.com/articles/2013/02/28/front_page_news/news01.txt