Starting as a whimsical idea I had at a coffeeshop in 2018, Airport Hookers has blossomed into a full-blown project highlighting wonderful collaborations by five musicians from very different disciplines.
Tim Koelling had played sax on many of my solo recordings (as well as guitar & sax in my live shows), but I really wanted to work with him in a compositional capacity. I use jazz chords often in my songs, but Tim is more in touch with the jazz ethos when it comes to overall chord progressions. Check out the tune “Stars (in the Sky Aren’t as Beautiful as Your Eyes)” from Tim’s band, Pink Monkey, and you’ll see what I mean. It’s the lead-off track of the Control Tower playlist below, which features the individual talents of each of the Airport Hookers.
We began recording, and I pulled in trombonist Alex Leong to fill out the horn section. Alex is a satellite member of the High Hat Rhythm Section, Don’t Speak (a No Doubt tribute band), as well as a frequent touring member and co-writer for Mike Maimone (hear the songs Garbougie and Roll Big River in the playlist). Alex is also my go-to trombonist, and he’s featured on my song Rookie of the Year.
I knew all along that 1) I didn’t want to be the voice or lyricist of the project. 2) I thought female voice & energy was key for the sound I had in my head. In March of 2019, my Reality Jockey album was reviewed along with Kate Schell’s album in New City Chicago. I fell in love with Kate’s record Past Present Future (listen to Darkroom and Shoeboxes), and reached out to see if she’d be up for Airport Hookers. I sent her some rough mixes, and I was thrilled when she jumped on board!
Fast forward a year and change to today. We’ve got three songs finished, and we’re releasing them as singles over the next few months. First off is a song called Carousels. It hits your favorite streaming service this Friday… Pre-save the song on Spotify NOW and you’ll be entered to win a cool hand-screened Airport Hookers t-shirt.
Here I am in the studio with Kate working on her vocal part to Carousels. Enjoy the music, pre-save the single, and I’ll see you on the other side!