Central PA songsmith Paul Loomis, known for award winning “Susquehanna (Here It Comes Again)” has asked me to work on his next project, Warm Light. Paul is known for his humorous, down to earth songwriting. It’s a pleasure to work with him again.
Basic tracks are being recorded at Green Valley Recording in North Central PA. After adding bass and some other overdubs in my own studio, we recently finished mixing all 10 new songs.
Warm Light is Paul’s 4th album of original folk songs.
It has been almost eight years since World Famous in Bloomsburg, Loomis’ last album, came out, and this album has songs written over the past ten years. It was recorded with Richard Rupert at Green Valley Studios, in a barn outside Hughesville, PA; additional recording and mixing was done by Jeremy dePrisco in Norristown, PA.
Recording started in August 2021; COVID delays made rehearsals and recording sessions few and far between, and the album was finished in early April 2022. The album photos are mostly by local photographer Oren Helbok, who helped with graphic design as well.
As usual, Loomis sings and play guitar and harmonica and, occasionally, banjo and xylophone. His cousin Katie Loomis-Adams, who has been playing violin at family gatherings with Paul since she was little, plays on 8 of the 10 songs. Jeremy dePrisco plays bass on lots of those, Safa Saracoglu plays percussion on several, and Audra dePrisco sings backing vocals on one. And one song – Moogly – was recorded with the local band The Superlatives (Mike Hickey on guitar, Kurt Smith on bass, John Sweeney on harmonica, Urie Kline on drums). As a result, Moogly sounds like a blues song. The rest of the album leans toward folk and bluegrass, with the fiddle and harmonica working together on many songs.
Three of these songs were written during the pandemic: Super Stretchy Arms, which is about picking berries down near Town Park; On the Internet There’s No Smell, written during long Zoom office hours in 2020; and Good Morning Chickens, a grateful thank you to some friends’ chickens, who kept Loomis company as he harvested onions in the field at a time when social interaction was hard to find.
Some are much older; Teleferico is about the cable cars that cross the city of LaPaz, Bolivia, where Loomis lived with his family for half of 2016. Little Song has been a staple at farmers’ markets since about 2012, and We Will Get There When We Get There is about a family road trip to Indiana and Tennessee around Christmas 2015. Mason Jar is a fictional song about a grandpa who loses little pieces of the car every time he fixes something; Peggy Day is a song about someone in love with a creative and adventurous young woman; Yellow Frisbee is a more pensive song remembering a long-gone former partner. And Moogly, mentioned above, is sort of about finding a pair of comfortable pants in which to dance. A lot of them have funny parts; some are more serious, but they all have Loomis’ off-kilter but warm way of seeing the world.
Paul Loomis has been playing guitar and writing songs since 1992; his previous albums are Dry Ridge, from 2005; Yuspe, from 2009; and World Famous in Bloomsburg, from 2014, which includes the song Susquehanna (Here It Comes Again), which won 3rd prize in the 2011 Pennsylvania Heritage Songwriting Contest and was played (by Loomis) in BTE’s Flood Stories, Too in 2013.
More information can be found at paulloomis.com. All of Loomis’ songs are available on itunes, spotify, and most streaming or downloading sites. Physical CDs are for sale for $10 at Endless Records on Main Street in Bloomsburg, or by contacting Loomis directly via his website.