This past weekend a friend 0f mine, Steve Hamrick, shared with me a new album which a mutual friend of ours had help record. The album is entitled "Backporch State of Mind". I knew our friend Ronnie Jackson could sing and play guitar but I was a little surprised about him being involved with an album. The music was good but the story behind the album was even better, so I called Ronnie to get the whole story.
The story goes that for years David Celaya of Mayfield would gather his friends and family on the back porch to share their musical talents. Good friends, good drink, good music. A 1972 Mayfield graduate, David Celaya was a known photographer in the area. Having worked for the Mayfield Messenger, the Murray Ledger & Times as well as a couple of photography studios. David had also served on the Mayfield City Council and founded the Mayfield-Graves County Animal Shelter.
David Celaya passed away at the age of 53 on July 5, 2007. Leaving behind not just a wife and two daughters but a music venue and lot's memories for his friends and family. A backporch- a place gather, to play, to fellowship and now also a place to remember.
"I would have quit playing guitar a long time ago if it had not been for David providing me a venue to play," said Jackson. I asked Ronnie how the album came about and he explained that they wanted to do something to honor David's memory and so the idea came about to produce an album to raise money for two art scholarships in David's name. The hope is to raise enough money to provide two $500 scholarships for a student at both Mayfield HS and Graves County HS.
As the process evolved Jackson said that a member of the group had Polycystic Disease. David Passmore of Bentonville, Arkansas and a native of Union City, TN was able to receive a kidney transplant just a few short weeks ago.
So with the passing of David Celaya and another member of the group fighting Polycystic Disease they had plenty of incentives to try to produce and distribute an album. "Everything that went into producing this album was donated", said Jackson.
Steve Holshouser who owns McIntosh Road Studio in Boaz, Ky. produced the album. Jackson stated that Holshouser was even able to retain the assistance of Grammy Award winning producer David R. Lehman. When Lehman heard the story and that David Celaya had played harmonica that was enough for Lehman who also plays harmonica.
Everyone who sat and continues to sit on that back porch helped in some manner to produce this album. There are 12 songs from the cover song "Backporch State of Mind" by Rachel Holshouser & Leandra Celaya to songs like "California Dreamin'." I have to admit that I really liked the Songs Ronnie Jackson did which include singing Dylan's "Wagon Wheel".
Other than Ronnie Jackson I don't know any of these folks but I liked the music and their cause. I guess having a father and grandfather who were professional photographers and a Grandfather who was a city councilman I can relate a little bit.
The proceeds all go to help two worthy causes, The David Celaya Art Scholarship & The Polycystic Disease Foundation. If you would like to know more or purchase the album I have attempted to provide some links and information. Many of the songs and live recordings are on U-tube. The album was just released about a week ago.
Better Together, Inc.
101 Arbor Crest Dr.
Mayfield, KY 42066