Imagine that you discover an album that includes Bill Lloyd, an artist that you admire greatly and cover regularly. Then, as a Cheap Trick Fanboy, you see that Tom Petersson is in the group. Well, add to that go-to studio guitarist and songwriter Adam Shoenfeld and Straight Outta Nashville comes Project: Ghost Outfit.
With Keith Brogdon on Drums, the quartet have quietly released one of the surprise albums of 2019. There are, as expected, hints of Cheap Trick and Bill Lloyd's Power Pop excellence, but more than that, these seven songs combine to provide one of the best melodic Pop Rock albums of the year.
I was intrigued to find out more about the band and how this came to be and so I talked to Adam and asked him for more details. Interestingly, it was Bill Lloyd that came up with the band name. Shoenfeld tells us more :
"Here’s some unnecessary Nashville incestuous factoids. I met Keith Brogdon (Drummer and Thinking Out Loud Design owner) through his wife and then we had a band named Stroller together
It was through Keith, if I recall, that I met Tom Petersson and his wife Alison. Ironically, before marrying Tom, Alison lived straight across the parking lot in an apartment complex from me, but we didn’t know each other..
Anyway, we all started having babies at the same time. So we all became really good friends and hung all of the time. I met Bill Lloyd at one of Tom and Alison’s holiday parties. I knew who he was, as I had played with his ex-duo partner from Foster & Lloyd, Radney Foster. (Keith played for Radney at one point too)."
So what made you get together and record?
"It wasn’t uncommon at a Petersson party, that the musician folk would end up in Tom’s music room talking music, oogling at his very eclectic collection of guitars, and sometimes accidentally jamming.
I’m sure it was one of those parties where one of us said, “Hey, we should get together and write sometime.”
So Tom, Bill and I got in the room and did just that. We felt a cool magic between us as a writing team, so we did it 6 more times. When it was time to record, Keith was the obvious choice. He was our friend and we all had played with him in other bands. (He even sat in with Cheap Trick to cover a show (maybe more) for Bun E!). I believe Bill played with Trick for their Beatles thing in Vegas too.
It took several years with our schedules to get them all wrapped up, but I know we’re all super proud of these songs."
The album will catch many by surprise. Could you tell us who does what on it?
"Somebody's Heart has me on main vocal, then Bill comes in with the harmony. When it hits the chorus, Bill switches to the double vocal approach. I love how all of the sudden, on the hook, Tom’s vocal pops in on the low harmony and Bill jumps back up high. Left Side Guitar is Bill, Right side is me and I play the main lick and solos."
"Hang On starts with Bill’s brilliant guitar sound on the Right Side. I do the Left Side Guitar and solo. I am lead vocalist and with Bill on the Harmonies."
"Mess My Mind has the unmistakeable Bill Lloyd on main vocal and Mr. Petersson’s killer Bass part. I play left side Guitar and Piano. Bill plays Right Side Guitar."
"What Are You Looking For has a bit more stuff going on. The bulk of the Keyboards and Strings are Dave Cohen, with the exception of high intro and turnaround piano part. I played that and the Wah Wah keyboard sound as well.
Acoustic Guitar and the amazing Guitar solo are Bill, who is also Right Side Guitar. I'm Left Side Guitar and Lead Vocals. Bill is also on Background Vocals."
"Ups and Downs is me on Vocals Right Side Guitar and the Guitar Solo and Bill on Left Side Guitar. I love Dave Cohen's haunting B3 on this and Bill’s chorusey sounding Guitar. Bill is on Background Vocals and I love how how we’re both kinda singing lead in the bridge."
"Never Remember has who else, but Tom Petersson on lead vocal? Tom plays Bass on the album. Bill plays Electric Guitar, I play Acoustic Guitar. Both Bill and I are on Background Vocals."
"Buying Time is really a reflection on getting older and going back to the old stomping grounds….I remember personally reflecting on the club, 12th & Porter…..The difference 10 years makes, who’s hangin' where….and kinda wishing you could go back to when you walked through the door of club and you knew all of the faces.
There's almost a double lead vocal, as it starts with me, but Bill kinda takes over in the pre-chorus and then we join. Bill plays Left Guitar and I Play Right. Personally, I think Bill’s guitar solo on this is one of the best I’ve EVER HEARD! He blows my mind! The Outro Guitar line is Bill as well…of course. Great B3 again by Dave Cohen.
You can buy the album at Amazon here and i-Tunes here. It's also available on Google Play and to listen to on Spotify and Apple Music. You can also listen to the songs in full here. You can find out more information on Project: Ghost Outfit's Facebook Page here.