Happy New Year to one and all. Here’s hoping the new year finds you all well and swell.  This is gonna be a good year, I predict. At least, by Del-Lords standards. In a coupla weeks I head back to NYC to do some more work on the record we began last year. There is however one big change. From this day forward we proceed without Manny. Eric, Frank and I remain resolute and en point, but we must now do it without the services of Manny Caiati.

Manny has a very full plate, doing remarkable work we’re all real proud of, practicing family law in Houston, with particular attention to cases and situations involving children at risk. Tough, sometimes heartbreaking work, but also rewarding and vitally important. The world does need do-gooders, and Manny fits that bill. Besides his wife, Cassie and their two boys, Jeremy and Christopher, there’s now two young ‘uns that they have adopted. Yes, a full plate, indeed.

We have Manny’s blessings, as he has ours, and spiritually he will always be a part of this, as he has since the very beginning. Once upon a time there was an insecure, shy, songwriter, unsure of his worth, and even more unsure of the worth of the songs he had been writing over the previous year or so. Yeah, that was me. Then, along comes Manny Caiati, and Me becomes We. The Del-Lords were born at that moment, even if it still took another year or so to find Frank and Eric, thereby cementing the bond that we have found still holds to this day. Manny provided the companionship, a shared passion, the belief in me that I didn’t quite allow myself to that point, and he also had abilities as a bass player, a producer and an engineer, and a shared vision of what rock’n’roll was/is and needed to be. Without Manny, who knows if the Del-Lords ever happen at all. His support and talent and friendship has been one quarter of what this engine has always run on, and the Del-Lords will forever be touched and informed by his contributions, and although we carry on without him, as is the only option for us, Manny can never really be replaced. We are forever bound by shared experience. And, to once more quote the great philosopher, The Outlaw Josey Wales, “I rode with him, and I have no complaints”.

I’ve been working on a few things, including the reissue of my first solo record, TENEMENT ANGELS, recorded with America’s best kept rock’n’roll secret, The Skeletons a while back, and unavailable for about a month less than that. Thanx to my pal, Gary Borress, the Cool Rockin’ Daddy G, we got an LP, a cd, and even a .45 on the way, including a version of the Del-Lords Christmas tune MERRY XMAS, BABY!, that I recorded with The Skeletons, as well. Should be available by March 1st.

I’ve  been working on another batch of songs for the Del-Lords, including some stuff  I’ve been working on with Eric and I’ve also scoured some old notebooks and found a few that I was perhaps a bit hasty in discarding  for one reason or another back when they were new. So, with all that, we should have a pretty strong selection of songs to choose from, and then, of course, we must get out there and sell our wares, sing for our supper, raise a little righteous musical fury, and deliver the message to the masses.

So, it’s onward and upward for the Del-Lords. Despite some tough personal times for us this past year, and although we have withstood some heavy losses, there has only ever been one choice and one direction for us. Frank, Eric and I have a newfound appreciation and enthusiasm for our band, and the work we did, as well as the work that lies ahead. These posts will become more frequent in the weeks and months ahead, as well. I want to thank everyone who have supported the band in the past, and remain interested in what we’re doing now, and a big Welcome Aboard to all our new fans and friends, including those we will soon be meeting when we hit the boards once more. Stay strong, stay informed.

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