by W.B. King –
While Michael Quattrone has been writing and performing music for more than 25 years, June 1, 2018 marked the date that his debut solo album, One River, hit the airwaves.
“I have been singing, playing and songwriting since I was teenager, but I have not been gigging a lot or making the rounds,” said Quattrone.
A Tarrytown resident, Quattrone, along with his wife, Kala Iversen, operate a not-for-profit retreat center, Hearthfire, located in a refurbished carriage house nestled within Rockefeller State Park. The couple lives in an apartment above the center with their three children.
With a vocal resemblance to Warren Zevon, Quattrone, 41, explained that the 10 original tracks on his album are “musical outgrowths” of his work with Hearthfire. The center encourages “the myth-making potential of creative spirits by offering rituals and retreats” to a diverse community of artists, leaders and seekers.
“Magic happens when we gather in a circle to mark life’s passages with song,” he noted. “And sometimes you invite a record producer who brings a magic of his own.”
One River was produced by Hugh Christopher Brown and Quattrone for Brown’s independent, artist-driven label, Wolfe Island Records. The two met during a retreat at Hearthfire in 2015. Over the next two-and-a-half years, the album was recorded in various studios; including Brown’s, which is located in an old converted post office on Wolfe Island, Ontario.
“The first time I heard Michael’s voice, I was knocked out,” said Brown. “Having benefited from his talents in spiritual and social practice, his songwriting feels to me like plaintive, literal extensions of his soul. It has been a trip translating it all to tape.”
With a degree in theatre from Northwestern University, Quattrone’s poetry study and writing include a fellowship and Master’s degree from the New School as well as an award-winning chapbook, “Rhinoceroses” (2007). He also served for a period of four years as a curator of the KGB Poetry series in Greenwich Village where he hosted more than one hundred emerging and established poets.
The album’s third track, “Sun Son, Moon Son,” underscores Quattrone’s yearning for love, peace and universal acceptance. “You can be the mother of peace. I will be the father of love,” he sings. “We will raise our family. They will shine down from above. They will be the children of light. We will keep them warm in the dark.”
Veteran musicians contributing to the album include several who back up well-known singer/songwriters and musicians: Tony Scherr (Bill Frisell, Norah Jones, Kate Fenner), Jane Scarpantoni (Lou Reed, Patti Smith), Rocky Roberts (singer-songwriter, guitar tech for Neil Young) and Michael Blake (Lounge Lizards, Ray Lamontagne).
“This record arrives now, after 40 years of life, as a humbling reminder of how much I still have to learn and how much more fully I want to devote myself to love in the time I have left,” Quattrone reflected.
For more information on One River and upcoming performance dates, visit www.onerivermusic.com.