Over the past 2 years I’ve been collaborating with Will Crewdson in the UK and Grog in LA in a trans-atlantic musical consortium we call The Black & Blue Orkestre.

The sound is a little dark and cinematic with a strong groove. We’ve done 2 covers and 3 originals. I record the vocals and a very basic arrangement and send the tracks to Will. He lays down all the guitars, percussion and synths and solidifies the arrangement. He sends this to Grog who writes and records the bass line.

It’s a pretty amazing process. There is no boss. Everyone gives each other respect and freedom. I enjoy this trans-global collaboration. I’ve met Grog once. We’ve never been in a studio together. Will has been over to my apartment for an hour and actually recorded some guitar for Will Been Done, another track of ours, but he started over when he got back to London and we threw it all out. Interesting what happens when ego disappears.

16 Tons This is the first song for The Black & Blue Orkestre. I recorded the basic tracks when the money fell through on Delirious for the 7th time. The middle verse/primal scream came right after the phone call from the last financier saying he was pulling out. Thus, the graphic of the naked man pushing the giant reel of film up the hill–a reasonably accurate portrait of the day to day experience of an independent filmmaker. The guitar is entirely Will Crewdson. The background vocal is by Geeta.

1 More Whiskey Promise This is one I wrote. I sent Will my vocal and drum track and he added all the guitars, percussion and synths. He sent it to Grog in LA and she dropped in the bass.

  St. James Infirmary An old standard Black & Blue-ified. In other words considerably updated by Will Crewdson on guitars, Grog on bass and DiCillo on vocals.

Will Been Song audio link Another one written by me. Guitars, percussion, synths and arrangement by Will Crewdson. Bass by Grog. Vocals, Tom DiCillo.

Rapture by The Black & Blue Orkestre  I suggested Grog sing on this one as well. She’s got an incredible voice. Both she and Will have major projects elsewhere. Grog and her band Die So Fluid have just released a new album and Will recently spent several months recording with Adam Ant.

Slide On This is a kind of a funk, gospel rocker that I wrote as a semi-instrumental. Grog suggested I write some real lyrics and it ends up she was right. I played some guitar on this one; Will played a lot more.


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