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Ghost Town

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  • Bill Frisell Brings Multimedia "Disfarmer Project" to Europe

    Bill Frisell launches an 11-city European tour featuring the music of his last Nonesuch album, Disfarmer, in Hamburg, Germany, tonight. Joining him on tour are steel-guitar player Greg Leisz, bassist Viktor Krauss, and violinist Carrie Rodriquez. In the multimedia piece, inspired by the life, work, and subjects of eccentric photographer Mike Disfarmer, projected images of Disfarmer's portraits illuminate Frisell's musical perspectives on this fascinating character.

  • Bill Frisell Begins Two-Week Residency at New York's Village Vanguard; Film Featuring His Music Opens at Hot Docs Festival

    Bill Frisell is in New York City this week to begin a two-week residency at the Village Vanguard. This week's line-up features the Bill Frisell Trio, with Eyvind Kang on violin and Rudy Royston on drums. Next week, Frisell leads his 858 Quartet, with Kang returning on violin, Jenny Scheinman on violin as well, and Hank Roberts joining on cello. Tonight, Portrait of a Man, a new documentary film featuring Frisell's music, receives its international premiere at the Hot Docs film festival in Toronto.

About this Album

Guitarist, composer, and bandleader Bill Frisell marked his first-ever solo release in 2000 with Ghost Town, a project he considers a major personal milestone. The idea of making a solo record is one that had been simmering for a long time, “for as long as I’ve been playing,” recounts Frisell.

Frisell believes that one of the most important aspects of music in general, and certainly in his own music making, is interaction. An essential element of his creative process is responding to stimulus from other musicians, and so the prospect of playing alone was a great challenge, both technically and creatively. Finding a way to be comfortable with silence was one of his primary concerns with the truly solo performances. For the more layered material, through the use of loops and overdubbing, Frisell learned to rely solely on his own sound, creating an environment where he could feel the same sense of responding to other musical voices.

Much of the original material on the album (except for "Ghost Town" and "Poem for Eva") receives its first recording here. Rounding out the set of originals are several cover tunes that Frisell links to various historical periods in his life and different stages in his musical development. “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” by Hank Williams and “Wildwood Flower” by A.P. Carter reflect on some of the ideas he had been exploring in the previous few years. Frisell has been a fan of John McLaughlin ever since he started listening to jazz in 1969, when he heard McLaughlin on Miles Davis’ classic Bitches Brew sessions, and McLaughlin’s “Follow Your Heart” had been a favorite for some time. Frisell first heard “My Man’s Gone Now” (George & Ira Gershwin) the very first time he discovered Jim Hall on a recording with Bill Evans.

Ghost Town is Bill Frisell’s 13th recording for Nonesuch.


Bill Frisell, electric and acoustic guitars, loops and music boxes
Greg Leisz, pedal steel, Dobro, lap steel, Weissenborn, National steel guitar and mandolin
Wayne Horvitz, organ, piano, samples
Viktor Krauss, bass
Jim Keltner, drums and percussion
Ry Cooder, electric guitar, Ripley guitar (5)
Jim Keltner, drums (5)

Produced by Lee Townsend
Recorded at O'Henry Sound Studios, Burbank
Recording and Mixing Engineer: Judy Clapp
Assistant Engineer: Jeff Shannon
Mixed at Different Fur Recording, San Francisco
Assistant Engineer: Adam Muñoz
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, New York City
Production Assistance: Noel Grey and Louisa Spier

All compositions by Bill Frisell, except track 5 (traditional)

Design by Barbara De Wilde
Photographs by Michael Wilson

Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

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