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The Cold That Lasts All Winter - Back Home (2016)

2-04-2016, 18:57

Title: Back Home
Year Of Release: 2016
Label: Michael David Forgey / The Cold That Lasts All Winter
Genre: Progressive Rock
Quality: 320 Kbps
Total Time: 52:14 min
Total Size: 120 MB


01. The Grand Opening
02. To Bend Not Break
03. The Road
04. Come Back
05. Back Home
06. For Rent
07. The Moon
08. The Stars
09. The Sun
10. The Ride
11. Back Again
12. Days
13. Foreclosure
14. Closed
15. Home

'Back Home' is a deeply autobiographical concept album that proved to be eerily prophetic in many ways when songwriter and bandleader Mike Forgey (or 4G as he was known to his many friends and bandmates) was diagnosed with a rare type of inoperable brain tumor in May of 2015. The Cold That Lasts All Winter (more commonly referred to as CLAW) was a band that wasn't really a band even after recording the first batch of songs that became their first album (CLAW I). CLAW I was a bunch of songs- 'Back Home' (well, we still call it CLAW II) is an ALBUM. In true 1970's epic pop/prog/arena rock fashion, CLAW draws upon Pink Floyd, the Beatles, Ween, Oasis, and many others to craft a musical journey to share with the world.
Let's look back for a minute, to the early/mid 2000's. Stepping away from many years playing in metal bands in the Seattle area, 4G began crafting some songs on his acoustic. He enlisted fellow metal friend Hodgy (this is me typing, Hi!) to contribute some bass parts, and friend Zeb Wedell to come over and play drums. Over the course of many, many no-pressure Sunday afternoons, the music for CLAW I was crafted and eventually recorded, with friend Mike Cahill on lead guitar. There was no pressure to have to show up every week, no pressure to play shows, no deadlines- hell, we didn't even have a name for the longest time! It was literally ONLY about playing music with friends. Mike was able to spend time with his beautiful family and make music at the same time, just downstairs. CLAW played two(?) shows- one with Johnny Boyle on guitar after Cahill moved away, and the other with the recording line-up of Back Home- with Russ Knudsen on guitar and Josh Hays on keys. But am I remembering correctly? Did we play that second show? Anyway, Mike had a concept that became the album you are about to buy (subtle marketing, yes?). The arrangements grew and tightened up as the Sundays passed. In early 2008 we recorded the basic tracks. Once the original recording sessions were finished, the 'band' effectively went on 'hiatus'. Every so often we'd reach out to each other; one time Russ, 4G, and I even got together to listen to an early mix of the album. We thought it was fantastic. Just raw, just pure songwriting, just pure emotion. 4G always hated his vocals, but I thought they were perfect.
Mike got busy with his work at Monolith games, where he was a producer. Everyone else got on with life, love, and music on their own. When Mike was diagnosed with cancer in May 2015, one of his goals was to get this album finished and heard. He knew that he didn't have much time, so he passed the baton to producer/multi-instrumentalist/genius Nathan Grigg, who took the songs we recorded in Mike's basement in 2008 and turned Mike's vision into reality (so Mike could focus on time with his family and trying every treatment available to him).
Dayna Smith was enlisted to contribute backing vocals. One of the most beautiful moments of this album comes when Mike's daughter Bridget, who was just a rug-rat when these songs were first born, adds her voice in harmony with her father. Touching, haunting, and beautiful.
Additional production, mixing, and mastering was handled by Nathan Grigg, Lucas Carlyle, and Brian Pamintuan. The cover painting of 4G was supplied by Michael Cahill, and Philip Straub took care of the CD design, layout, and additional imagery.
Mike Forgey passed away on March 3, 2016, leaving behind his wife, April, his three children, Bridget, Brendan, and Finnegan, brothers, sisters, parents, and so many people who loved him. We were fortunate enough to have an album release party of sorts for Mike before he left us. He got to see the finished product and listen to it, (even though he'd been listening to final mixes just about every day for months so that his vision wasn't ever compromised!). He was so proud of the work that we did.
The big theme running through this album is 'Home'. You leave, you drive away, you get lost outside of yourself, but Home is where you want to be. Home is where you always want to end up. Home really is where Mike's heart is, with his family. At the end of the day, that is where the love is.
This is Mike Forgey's Swan Song. He put his heart and soul into it. He wanted to share it with everyone. We are lucky to know him, he has left us all this gift.
We hope that it takes you to the same places it takes us, driving down the Road, to the Moon, the Stars, the Sun, and we hope that you, too, make it Back Home. .

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