Guest Artists on River To The Sea

"It's been a great pleasure and a huge honour to work with these terrific artists. We've been great fans of the 'well-known' guys for years. Personally, I've been a life-long fan... this is some of the music I grew up to...music that has inspired and influenced me. I essentially have every album (and many live bootlegs!) by ELO, BOC, Pat Metheny Group, Supertramp, and Peter Gabriel... To actually have these guys perform on our songs is a bit surreal, to say the least. But, they were all - bar none - extremely gracious and accommodating...very nice people. And I'm not just saying that. They were all so nice and generous...and their tracks speak for themselves - they sound incredible. Everything I hoped for and more. Everyone listed here - I can't thank them enough." –Jeff Miller (2004)


Buck Dharma - Guitarist, writer, singer, producer of Blue Oyster Cult. As a founding member of BOC, Buck wrote and sang some of the band's biggest hits, including Don't Fear The Reaper, Burnin' For You, & Godzilla. The band has several Gold & Platinum albums, selling millions worldwide. BOC is still an active band touring the world.


Tony Levin - Bassist with Peter Gabriel & King Crimson. Tony has been the recording & touring bassist with Gabriel since Peter's first solo album in 1977 (after Peter left Genesis). Tony still occasionally records & tours with King Crimson. He has played on hundreds of albums over the years including: John Lennon, Pink Floyd, James Taylor, Paul Simon, Stevie Nicks, Sarah McLachlan, etc. Tony is also a Grammy nominated solo artist, with several solo albums to his credit.


John Helliwell - Saxophonist & clarinetist of Supertramp. John has been with Supertramp since their 1974 hit album "Crime Of The Century". He's often the on-stage "spokesman" of the band, with his brilliant & dry sense of humour (think Monty Python). In 1979, Supertramp's "Breakfast In America" album was the biggest selling album of the year worldwide...producing the worldwide smash hits "Take The Long Way Home", "The Logical Song", "Goodbye Stranger", and the title song "Breakfast In America". His solos on "Give A Little Bit" and "Logical Song" are some of the most memorable solos in pop/rock history. In between Tramp duties, John has his own jazz sextet, Creme Anglaise, which gigs throughout Europe.


Steve Rodby - Bassist in the Pat Metheny Group. Steve has been with the PMG since 1982, and has become an integral part in helping to shape the sounds of those records with founders Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays. Steve and the band have been nominated for numerous Grammy awards and have won several Grammy awards. Steve has also performed with jazz greats Tony Bennett, Roy Haynes, Joe Henderson. In addition to being a world-renowned bassist, Steve is also an accomplished producer.


Hugh McDowell - Cellist formerly of Electric Light Orchestra. Hugh was with ELO between1973-1980, during their impressive string of over 20 Top 40 hits, world-wide massive arena & stadium tours (at the time, breaking attendance records at Wembley in London), plus multi-gold & platinum albums throughout the world. Hugh's cello solos were a highlight of ELO shows (sometimes stretching 5-8 minutes) - including bits of "Flight of the Bumblebee" and other various songs and improvisational moments, amidst the spectacular laser show (ELO was the band with the ground-breaking laser show, back in the day - to the extent that there were strange "reports" from LAX airport and the surrounding Los Angeles area of strange UFO-type sightings when ELO performed at the Hollywood Bowl!). Hugh is a gifted player and has done numerous session work post-ELO.


Dave Stahl - Trumpeter who hails from our Pennsylvania hometown area, has played with Buddy Rich, Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick Jr., Liza Minnelli, to name a few. Dave also has his own 20-30 piece big band (including vocalists) - The Dave Stahl Sacred Orchestra - performing jazz arrangements of sacred works. The Sacred Orchestra has released 2 albums to date.

David Leonard - Mix engineer. David mixed the album and also engineered the drum & piano tracks. A partial list of David's credits... David won a Grammy for his engineering contribution to Toto IV, which won album of the year and numerous awards that year (Rosanna, Africa, etc). David has engineered, mixed, and/or co-produced Rush, Paul McCartney, John Mellencamp, Prince, kd lang, Tony Bennett, Avril Lavigne, Chick Corea, Barenaked Ladies, Bruce Hornsby, Sugar Ray, Jackson Browne, Santana, Hootie & The Blowfish, etc.

Adam Ayan - Mastering engineer. Adam's partial list of mastering credits include Rush, LeAnn Rimes, Phish, Eric Clapton, Bob Marley, Linkin Park, Wynonna, Brian Setzer, Martina McBride, Bee Gees, Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams, Dave Matthews, Bela Fleck, Counting Crows, Mariah Carey.

Stefon Pizzuto - Stefon has been the live and recording bassist for the Apple since the early 90's. For those familiar with Genesis & Phil Collins, he's kind of the "Daryl Stuermer" of the Apple! Just for the record, to dismiss any myths, we did not ask Tony Levin and Steve Rodby to play on the album because Stef couldn't cut the tracks! Stefon can (and does) play these tunes just fine! It was simply a matter of style preference and texture... and besides... it's Tony Levin & Steve Rodby!! Even Stef admits it doesn't get much better than that! In addition to Stefon's Apple work, he is also an accomplished teacher - Stefon has published a wonderful instructional book/dvd, "Scales & Arpeggios for Electric Bass".

John Feldmann - John, of course, was the lead singer of Simon Apple on the From The Toybox album. He had to reluctantly leave the band because of his inability to tour with new-found family responsibilities. We have remained, however, great friends, and John is probably one of the biggest 'fans' and advocates for the band to this day. So, it was great having him cut some backing vocals on this album. It's amazing how John and Dan sound very much alike - the last chorus in A Lot Of Hope is all Dan & John doing backing vocals... try to distinguish the two... you can't!

Dave Miller - Dave has been playing on & off with the band since the very beginning when the Apple was just a cover band in the late 80's. Dave is another long-time friend... and long-suffering Philadelphia Eagles fan! It's always a fun night when Dave sits in on a gig! Dave graciously cut the sax parts on this album - and in record time - he smoked them! Dave also appears on a few tracks of Simon Apple's "Archives - Apples To Apples Dust To Dust" CD's.

Johannah Mackin - Johannah is a gifted vocalist and songwriter who, until recently, resided in Dan's hometown of Portland, Maine (she now resides in Nashville, TN). She has a few of her own albums out as well. According to Jeff, "When we were in Portland cutting Dan's vocals, Dan and I went to his church that Sunday morning. Johannah sang that morning and her voice stuck with me. A few weeks later, I was back home in PA editing the vocal tracks. While editing Weight Of The World I started to envision female voices in the chorus... and in particular, Johannah's texture. So, I contacted Dan asking him who that singer was I saw that Sunday, explaining what I was hearing for the chorus of Weight. So, Dan contacted Johannah, and she graciously agreed to cut the tracks. Dan then recorded her tracks and sent them to me... and it was exactly what I was hoping for! Not often do things come out exactly like you hear them in your head... this was one of those rare times. Johannah's vocal texture is perfect for that song."

Deirdre Masapollo - Deirdre is another talented vocalist who graciously lent her voice to For Every Loss. Ironically, Deirdre's voice blends so well with Dan's voice that it is often hard to pick out Deirdre's voice in the song! (She's generally singing the high harmony from the middle bridge to the end of the song). However, on the River Bonus CD's, you can hear Deirdre much clearer on the acoustic mix of For Every Loss. Deirdre has much experience in musical theatre, as well as doing commercial work, and also working as an on-air model for QVC. Jeff met Deirdre while playing piano for a Reading Civic Theatre production of "The Scarlet Pimpernel" in which Deirdre was one of the leads (Marguerite).

Kevin Checket - Kevin didn't appear on the River album, but he was a valuable part of the band in the 90's. He was the live drummer when Buzz took over vocal duties (functioning as the "Chester Thompson" of the band). He also doubled on guitar at some gigs. Kevin is a very talented multi-instrumentalist & composer...and one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. Some of his compositions can be found on YouTube...sort of a cross between Pat Metheny & Bill Bruford - but in a totally unique "Kevin" way!