You may recognize that song as a great Bob Dylan tune from the “Wonder Boys” movie. Curtis Stigers has stopped in before, but this is the first time we’ve done an audience session. Joined with a couple members of Bill Coffey’s band, we took our time getting the right sounds and replacing cables to get it right. Before going live, I noticed blood on his hand. I’d walked up to ask for a sound check piece, and Curtis was focused on stopping the bleeding and finding a couple of Band-aids. I had wondered what we could possibly have laying around that might cut someone like that. I asked Tim about it later, he tracked Curtis down and asked what had happened. Tim texted me, “Opening a 12 pack of ale. His direct quote.” I felt bad that the guitar player “shaky Dave” and I broke the news to Curtis about the death of Levon Helm. He was really saddened by this, reflecting on it while he doctored his hand.
This was a fun session. Curtis has been a name in Boise music for years, and if you’ve lived here forever, you remember the Hi Tops. He used to jam with Gene Harris. His talents soon reached way beyond Boise, he’s performed with Clapton, Prince, Elton John, Bonnie Raitt, and many others. You can catch his mother, Maragaret Montrose Stigers occasionally at a performance of the Boise Divas.
His newest release is called “Let’s Go Out Tonight.” It is available soon, and if you pre-order at the Record Exchange, you’ll get tickets to his performance there this Saturday night for Record Store Day. This CD is amazing, the label sent us all advance copies. Many great covers are found on this release.
Curtis jumped on an elevator with Teddy Thompson, Richard Thompson’s song. He told him he’d wanted to record one of his dad’s songs, Teddy told him to do this one.
Curtis Stigers’ new album was produced by Larry Klein, former husband of Joni Mitchell. He has produce albums for her, Madeleine Peyroux, Tracy Chapman, Shawn Colvin, and many others. Curtis loved working with him, Larry told him to “sing less and feel more.” He also instructed a seasoned guitarist to play less, and Curtis seemed to very much respect the suggestions and changes. David Poe wrote this song for Curtis to sing. Many different songwriters contributed to this new release, and Curtis says, “For better or worse, this story is me.”
Curtis spoke with great respect of producer Larry Klein, he joked that as a young singer he was a cross between Cher and Al Green. Larry told Curtis, “Try to think about singing these songs to one person, maybe even lying in bed with that person.”
Curtis wrote the theme song to “Sons of Anarchy.” Local producer Don Cunningham has a great ear and is a pleasure to work with. This was originally recorded in 2008 at Boise's Cunningham Audio. "This Life" received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Main Title Theme Music in 2009.We are grateful to Curtis for stopping in for these amazing performances!