CD Project in Wales (UK), October 2016


We’re producing an amazing acoustic,
Americana album and we need your help!

The Red Planet, the world’s most unlikely Americana group, is looking forward to going into Martin Levan’s Red Kite Studio in autumn to record a very special album. We – the Americans John Cable, Billy Gewin and Stephen Ferron - will be joined in Wales by some of the finest musicians in the British roots-music scene including Julie Murphy, James Mackintosh and Tim Harries among others, as well as John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

We’ll also be welcoming some other very special guests – watch this space for further announcements to stay in the loop!
Want a little taste of the music?
The Bayou Le Fourche  Where Do You Go?  Come Home
 Dancing Shoes  Whiskey And The Waves  Climb So High
 Travel And Go  Stars  The Levee
More demos coming soon.
Imagine what the final versions will sound like when we’re joined by our brilliant friends in the studio!

You can also check out our booking video:

Here’s how you can help

  ...and at the same time, make yourself happy! Friends helping friends!

To be able to produce this genre-bending (and blending) intercontinental album, we need your support.
You’ve been dying to be part of a great CD project, right?
That's why we're starting our...
    Billy and John  

Crowd Funding Campaign

Goal: $10,000 (USD)

Where's the money going?

  • Transportation to the studio in Wales (flight tickets, car rental, meals)
  • Guest musicians (fees, travel costs, meals and accommodation)
  • Photographer (The album will be recorded not only acoustically but optically.)
  • Graphic Design
  • CD printing
  • Piles of postage stamps to send you all of the CDs that you pre-order. :-)

Here’s how it works

 As is generally the case with crowdfunding projects, you can support us with a financial contribution and will receive a reward. Below you can see a list of options. However you are able to help, you have our sincere gratitude!

Our Team

Martin Levan and Red Kite Studio
Martin has distinguished himself as one of the world’s leading theatrical sound designers and original cast album producers (Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Sunset Boulevard and many others) and as a studio producer and engineer for an improbable range of artists (John Martyn, Leveret, June Tabor, Ralph McTell, Iron Maiden, Tristan McKay, Maggie & Terre Roche and more) over a career spanning more than four decades.

From the new world side of the ocean....

John Cable
John Cable is a veteran musician who began his career in the late 1960s. He was lead guitarist and vocalist for Colours, a Texas-based band that pioneered country-rock music. He later joined the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, who in 1976, became the first American band ever to perform in the Soviet Union. On that historic tour, John also became the first American to lecture at the Moscow Conservatory of Music on the history of western blues and rock music. He has performed on numerous national television broadcasts and at many of the world’s iconic concert venues.
John's Most Recent Album
No Depression recently wrote about John’s album Broken Knife, “Judging by the high level of his song craft, he clearly possesses a knack for affecting songs with a firm sense of purpose. ‘It’s alright,’ he assures on the song of the same name, further proof of the power of affirmation as wielded by someone with the proper combination of sentiment and savvy. One terrific album, Broken Knife proves that point emphatically.”

Listen (audio montage with still photos)
Billy Gewin
Billy Gewin, who works regularly with John in the Atlanta area and who co-produced and engineered Broken Knife, is a Georgia-based producer/engineer/studio musician/ singer-songwriter who has built a reputation for his intelligent songs, his keen production values and his mastery of guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin and keyboards.
Billy's Most Recent Album
‘Billy Gewin is eminently likeable on River Of Stone, using a solid, charming voice and easy to hear Americana arrangements...the music will keep you coming back. River Of Stone is a treat.’ - Wildy Haskell, Wildy's World

Listen to excerpts on CD Baby

Very special guests

John McEuen
We’re particularly excited that John Cable’s old friend and former band-mate John McEuen will be contributing his unmatched instrumental prowess to some of our songs. A founding member of the iconic Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, the virtuoso has also distinguished himself as a solo artist and award-winning producer. Will the Circle be Unbroken, which he recorded with the Dirt Band in 1972, is often cited as one of Americana music's landmark recordings. John McEuen's newest album, the high-definition Made In Brooklyn, will be released at the end of september and features a number of brilliant musical friends including david bromberg, steve martin and john cowan.
Sam Sweeney
We are happy to be able to confirm that Sam Sweeney will be joining us in the studio in Wales. We can hardly wait to play with the 2015 BBC Folk Awards Musician Of The Year. He’s one of the most respected musicians in all of British folk and has distinguished himself as a member of Bellowhead and through his performances with Leveret, The Full English, Hannah James, Eliza Carthy and Fay Hield. Best known for his astonishing fiddle work, Sam is a multi-instrumentalist of great creative depth.
Photo by Elly Lucas
Pat Donohue
Our old friend Pat Donohue will join us on a song or two. Pat, a Grammy Award-winning guitarist and National Fingerpicking Champion, has been heard more than almost any fingerpicker in the United States thanks to more than 20 years spent as the house guitarist on A Prairie Home Companion. Also a songwriter of note, his songs have been covered by Chet Atkins, Suzy Bogguss, Kenny Rogers and others.
Julie Murphy
We’re particularly excited that Julie Murphy will be joining us in the studio. Julie was described in The Guardian as “a towering talent, both in traditional music and as a singer-songwriter.” Her fan base includes John Cale and Robert Plant (she’s recorded with both) and Eliza Carthy, who described Julie as her “favourite singer in the world.” She’s one of ours too and we can’t wait to see what she brings to the project.

...and from the UK and beyond

The core band in the studio will be rounded out by Swiss-based American bassist/guitarist Stephen Ferron, English multi-instrumentalist Simon Keegan-Phipps and Scottish drummer/percussionist James Mackintosh.

Stephen Ferron
Stephen first met John Cable in the late 1970s and is connected to practically everyone involved in this album: he works with John and Billy on the Red Planet project; when he earned his MA in world music studies at the University of Sheffield, Simon was his advisor; he has co-produced recordings with Martin at Red Kite studio that feature James on drums and Tim on bass. He also co-produced Pat Donohue’s first album.
Simon Keegan-Phipps
Simon is a lecturer in ethnomusicology at the University of Sheffield but long before he assumed his academic post, he had honed his chops on keyboards, a full range of squeezeboxes and all sorts of instruments with strings. He also plays a mean trumpet.
Pat Illingworth
Pat has distinguished himself with his groove-driven live and studio work with such artists and producers as Corinne Bailey Rae, Dave Stewart (Eurythmics), Colin Blumstone and Marcus Miller. He’s best known for his jazz and rock work but we know that Pat would secretly like to be more involved in folk and Americana and we’re thrilled that we can give him that opportunity!
Tim Harries
Bassist Tim Harries is a musician of prodigious talent and we’re thrilled that he’ll be adding depth (literally) to the album. Tim has mastered an improbable number of genres and music styles but is known particularly for his work with Katie Melua, Steeleye Span, Bill Bruford and June Tabor along with his performances on film soundtracks, West End musicals and electronic music productions.