WESTMORELAND is a group that was born in the studio while recording John's 2019 album, Cast Fire. Without a single rehearsal the group showed up at Mitch Easter’s Fidelitorium and got to work under the guidance and direction of engineer/producer/magician extraordinaire Jason Richmond. The results are pure alchemy. Building around John’s masterful guitar playing and Leonard Cohen like voice the other band members added further depths of color and texture to his compositions. Drummer Kobie Watkins who has recorded and or toured with Jazz giants such as Sonny Rollins, Jim Hall, Brandford Marsalis, and John Scofield provides a rhythmic foundation that ranges from intricate delicate touches to heavy hitting grooves. Combined with Bassist Lance Scott, a pillar in Durham’s Jazz and Gospel scene, they provide the heart beat of Westmoreland. Winston-Salem’s Kevin Timmons joins the ensemble on Piano, Organ, Moog and an array of synthesizers creating ocean like pads of sound as well as haunting melodies and motifs. This quartet of seasoned musicians stretches the boundaries and blurs the lines between genres such as Folk, World, Rock, Americana, and Jazz.
Cast Fire, also features many notable guest musicians including: Renowned pedal steel guitarist Eric Heywood of Son Volt and Tift Merritt, classical violinist Jennifer Curtis, Diali Cissokho and Will Ridenour of Kaira Ba, Daniel Chambo on bansuri, Alan Thompson on alto Saxophone, and vocalists Tamisha Waden, Patti Thompkins, and Elizabeth Jackson.
Live video! From Westmoreland's debut performance at The Living Arts Collective in Durham NC, 11/26/17