Jefferson's Tree of Liberty

Jefferson's Tree of Liberty

Infobox Album
Name = The Tree of Liberty
Type = studio
Artist = Jefferson Starship

Released = September 2nd, 2008
Recorded = March 16th - 30th, 2008 and May 14th - 18th, 2008 at Renegade Studios in San Rafael, California
Genre = Folk, Folk rock, Psychedelic Rock
Length = 67:08
Label = The Lab Records / Varèse Sarabande Records / Universal Music Group
Producer = Michael Gaiman
David Freiberg
Paul Kantner
Reviews = *Blogcritics (favorable) [ link]
*Boston Herald (C) [ link]
*Philadelphia Daily News (B+) [ link]
*Yahoo! Music (favorable) [ link]
Last album = "Across the Sea of Suns"
This album = "Jefferson's Tree of Liberty"
Next album =
Misc =

"Jefferson's Tree of Liberty" is a 2008 studio album by Jefferson Starship, released on September 2nd, 2008.Billboard Magazine:] It is the tenth studio album recorded by the band under the Jefferson Starship name, the first studio album since 1999's "Windows of Heaven" and the first on a major label by the band since 1989 when Starship's "Love Among the Cannibals" and Jefferson Airplane's reunion album, "Jefferson Airplane" were both released. The new album includes cover songs from Irish, American, and Latin-American traditions.The Providence Journal:] The title is a reference to Thomas Jefferson's quotation, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."cite album-notes |title=Jefferson's Tree of Liberty |bandname=Jefferson Starship |year=2008 |format=CD booklet|publisher=The Lab Records |publisherid=3020617382 |location=] [] The idea began in 2003 as "The Cuba Project",] which was to include classic protest and folk songs recorded in Cuba. In 2008 the album was finally recorded but in California. About half of the songs planned for The Cuba Project were used on the final cut, with other songs coming from Jefferson Starship's previous repertoire and another project band member Paul Kantner had planned called "On the Threshold of Fire."cite book |last=Kantner |first=Paul |year=2003 |title=Lyrica - Paul Kantner's Theory of Everything |publisher=Little Dragon Press |isbn=] The promotional tour for the album began in late June with shows at Larkspur, California followed by tours in the US and Europe before the album's release, and now continues through the end of 2008 with a further tour in the US and a tour in Japan.]

The Cuba Project

In 2003, Paul Kantner published a book of Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship lyrics, entitled "Lyrica - Paul Kantner's Theory of Everything." In the book, a new album is mentioned as "es posible?", entitled "The Cuba Project: Flores de la Noche." Marty Balin had been pushing for a classic style Jefferson Starship album, but Kantner and manager Michael Gaiman pushed for the idea of recording older protest songs in Cuba. A song list and Gaiman's notes were published along with the Lyrica book, which included 21 songs selected by Kantner, Balin and Gaiman. However, the financing could not be put together to record in Cuba and the project was left in limbo as the band continued to tour.

Personnel changes

In 2007 Marty Balin began to tour less with the band, and Prairie Prince decided to leave after being with the band since 1992. Diana Mangano also left around the same time and was replaced by vocalist Cathy Richardson. Gaiman and Kantner decided the time was right to record the album in 2008, partly to have an album ready in time for the 2008 US presidential elections. The album would be recorded in California. As the band's personnel continued to change, it was uncertain who would participate in the new album. At the time studio sessions began, the band consisted of Paul Kantner, Slick Aguilar, Chris Smith, Cathy Richardson, Donny Baldwin, and David Freiberg. The band made the decision that the album would be mostly acoustic, so band member Slick Aguilar did not contribute on most of the songs included. Although Donny Baldwin now handled the drums on tour, Prairie Prince returned for the studio sessions. Marty Balin was to have recorded lead vocals for a cover of Bruce Cockburn's "If I Had a Rocket Launcher" and Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" but his art touring schedule conflicted with studio sessions and he could not attend. Instead, manager Gaiman took the track "Maybe for You" that had appeared on the German version of "Windows of Heaven" and substituted it for Marty's contribution. Richardson and David Freiberg recorded vocals for other songs that had been planned for Balin. Jack Casady appears on "Maybe for You" but did not participate in the recording of the album. Grace Slick contributed to the album but is uncredited.] Previous Jefferson Starship vocalists Diana Mangano and Darby Gould also contributed vocals to the album.

Bill Thompson / Grace Slick lawsuit

Around March of 2007, the band performed some concerts to advertise Microsoft's product, Windows Vista and were paid $100,000.] Although Kantner had been using the name Jefferson Starship since 1992, it was in fact a violation of the agreement he had signed in 1985 when he had left the band. Bill Thompson as manager of Jefferson Starship sued Kantner for using the band name. Grace Slick was named as plaintiff along with Thompson. The album was in production at the time the case was going to court, and Slick remains uncredited on the album. The case was however settled in April of 2008, with Kantner agreeing to pay a license fee to Thompson and Slick to be able to use the name Jefferson Starship indefinitely. [San Francisco Chronicle -]

Final cut

The final cut of the album includes about half of the songs originally planned. Other material included on the album include songs that Jefferson Starship has been performing since 1992 but had not commited to an album previously, including "Frenario" and World Entertainment War's "In a Crisis." Also included are several songs that Kantner had learned from The Weavers, adding his own lyrical twists to them, "Wasn't That a Time", "Follow the Drinking Gourd", "Santy Anno", and "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine." "Santy Anno" had been planned for a solo project entitled "On the Threshold of Fire." Kantner folded several songs he had been writing together to create his new version of "On the Threshold of Fire." "Cowboy on the Run", a song from Freiberg's previous band, Quicksilver Messenger Service is also included. "The Quiet Joys of Brotherhood" was not intended for the album until Darby Gould on the first day of mixing wanted to redo her vocals for "Genesis Hall." Gaiman instead suggested that she record another song, but it would have to be a cappella. They settled on covering Sandy Denny's version of "The Quiet Joys of Brotherhood." In a nod to the band's past the album features a small image of the cover art to the 1974 Jefferson Starship album "Dragon Fly" on it's rear cover.

Promotion and tour

The album is being promoted in several different ways. In addition to the band's own website, a myspace page was started with several tracks from the album available for listening.] The band also posted a live performance of "Chimes of Freedom" to YouTube. [Jefferson Starship's YouTube user page:] In June, 2008, 3 days of concerts featuring Kantner, Freiberg, Richardson, and Smith were held in Larkspur near San Francisco with performances of Kantner's previous albums "Blows Against the Empire", "Baron von Tollbooth & the Chrome Nun" and all the tracks from the new album. In addition, several "listening parties" were held where fans in attendance along with press could hear the album in its entirety before the band itself performed. After the June concerts in Larkspur, several concerts in California and New England including listening parties followed. In late July, a tour of the United Kingdom and Italy began. Slick Aguilar could not tour outside of the US, so Jeff Pevar and John Ferenzik took over guitar duties. The European tour ended shortly before the album's release and the American tour resumed on the release date of the album, with Aguilar returning and with Marty Balin scheduled to join the band for several of the American concerts. The tour continues throughout 2008 with a tour of the East Coast, West Coast, and Midwest of the United States. At the end of October, the band leaves the mainland and will perform in Hawaii followed by a tour in Japan.

Track listing

Track listing and author list from liner notes
#"Wasn't That a Time" (Lee Hays, William Lowenfels, additional lyrics by Paul Kantner) – 2:38
#"Follow the Drinking Gourd" (Traditional) – 3:04
#"Santy Anno" (Traditional, arranged by Kantner) – 3:14
#"Cowboy on the Run" (Dino Valenti) – 4:34
#"I Ain't Marching Anymore" (Phil Ochs, additional lyrics by Cathy Richardson) – 3:13
#"Chimes of Freedom" (Bob Dylan) – 3:54
#"Genesis Hall" (Richard Thompson) – 3:14
#"Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" (Paul Campbell, Huddie Ledbetter) – 3:30
#"Royal Canal (The Auld Triangle)" (Brendan Behan) – 3:17
#"Rising of the Moon" (J. K. Casey, Turlough O'Carolan) – 2:08
#"Frenario" (Traditional) – 4:07
#"In a Crisis" (World Entertainment War) – 4:45
#"Maybe for You" (Terry Terrell) – 2:51
#"Commandante Carlos Fonseca" (Carlos Mejia-Godoy, Tomás Borge) – 3:24
#"Pastures of Plenty" (Woody Guthrie) – 3:22
#"Imagine Redemption" ("Imagine" by John Lennon and "Redemption Song" by Bob Marley, from an idea by Michael Gaiman) – 3:13
#"On the Threshold of Fire" (Kantner) – 4:49
#"The Quiet Joys of Brotherhood" (Traditional, Words by Richard Fariña) – 2:58
#"Surprise" (Jack Traylor, Grace Slick) (hidden track) – 4:53


Personnel information from official page and liner notes

The Main Ten

*Paul Kantner – vocals, 12-string acoustic guitar, banjo, glass harmonica, 'George Harrison' lead guitar, 12-string electric guitar
*David Freiberg – vocals, acoustic guitar, washboard guitar
*Cathy Richardson – vocals, harmonica, acoustic guitar
*Chris Smith – piano, bass, squeezbox, drone, pennywhistle, string synthesizer
*Slick Aguilar – tremolo & 'Soldano' electric guitar on "Genesis Hall", lead guitar on "Maybe for You"
*Prairie Prince – drums, snare, kick, bodhran
*Donny Baldwin – drums (supporting tour)
*Darby Gould – vocals on "Genesis Hall", "In a Crisis", and "The Quiet Joys of Brotherhood"
*Diana Mangano – vocals on "Royal Canal" and "Commandante Carlos Fonseca"
*Marty Balin – acoustic guitar on "Maybe for You", vocals on "Maybe for You"


*David Grisman – mandolin on "Frenario" and "Pastures of Plenty"
*Grace Slick – background vocals, vocals on "Surprise" (uncredited)

Additional Personnel

*Jack Casady – bass on "Maybe for You"
*T Lavitz – keyboards on "Maybe for You"
*Jack Traylor – acoustic guitar on "Surprise", vocals on "Surprise" (uncredited)
*David LaFlamme – violin on "Wasn't That a Time"
*Michael Gaiman – flat-picked acoustic guitar on "Wasn't That a Time"
*Michael Eisenstein – acoustic guitar on "Wasn't That a Time"
*Barry Sless – pedal steel guitar on "Cowboy on the Run" and "In a Crisis"
*Alexander Kantner – electric bass guitar on "On the Threshold of Fire"
*Paul Lamb – french horn on "On the Threshold of Fire"
*The Wailin' Cowgirls (Cathy Richardson, Linda Imperial) – vocals on "Cowboy on the Run"
*The I-Jays (Paul Kantner, David Freiberg, Darby Gould) – vocals on "Imagine Redemption"


*Michael Gaiman – manager, producer, mixer, art & booklet design, layout & direction, liner notes
*David Freiberg – producer, mixer, additional recording, liner notes
*Paul Kantner – producer, mixer, liner notes
*Paul Lamb – engineer, mixer
*Glen Doggett – 2nd engineer
*Cathy Richardson – additional recording
*John Ovnik – additional recording
*Recorded by at Renegade Studios in San Rafael, March 16th - 30th and May 14th - 18th
*Additional recording at FreeMountain studios and in Chicago
*Paul Stubblebine – mastering
*Rebecca Baltutis, Jesse Obstbaum – art & booklet design, layout & direction
*Mike Thut – photography

Release history

External links

* [ Official Jefferson Starship - Jefferson's Tree of Liberty on myspace]


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