Bret L Thompson’s Dodging Bullets (feat. Carl Verheyen) was birthed from a dog attack, a mangled frettin’ hand, and a huge phone call favor. (See Pics below). After protecting his Aussie Shep from three German Shepherds, Bret’s hand and arm were so jacked that all his Act’s gigs (www.GenerationLandslide.com) gigs had to be cancelled. One promoter kept inquiring if Bret could please perform his Comedic Country songs on an Acoustic night at LA’s Viper Room. As Bret’s condition made him about the worst guitarist in town at the time, why not call the very best one to bail him out? Carl Verheyen took pity on the situation then accepted the assignment. This one-off gig proved such a good time that Bret and Carl promised to revisit the light-hearted dash of Country frivolity as a side project some later date.
A sizable spell later, Bret fell into some dough, re-organized his Rock/R&B combo around the drums of Derek Organ [Janet Jackson, Lionel Ritchie, Dr Dre., Generation Landslide], an Upright Bassist, Bret’s crazy party tunes, and Carl Verheyen’s axe. With the help and endorsements from Grammy Winning Engineer Steve (Churchy) Churchyard this makeshift Country combo found themselves in Village Recorders Studio D pumping out bed-tracks for a possible future EP. Once again, a good time was had by all. So much so that the very next day Carl Verheyen phoned Bret directly, “That was great! But where’s the other half of the Album?”
Over time, the other half of this rollicking record got written, often with Carl contributing compositional enhancements. Session musicians were culled from both respective camps. Notably: Carl tapped Bernie Dresel [Carl Verheyen Band, Brian Setzer Orchestra, BBB Orchestra] to provide Drums and Percs.; while, Bret recruited Nashville Electric Bassist Charles Glenn [Ozone, Motown, Little Richard, Billy Preston, Generation Landslide] to provide a proper low-end groove, as well as to make sure the final vocals were on point from a Tennessean’s perspective. Additionally, Tom Canning [Eric Clapton, Freddie King, T-Bone Burnett] played so brilliantly that Bret fired himself as Piano/Keyboardist. Our favorite compadre from another continent Philippe Brun [Youssou N'Dour, Salif Keita, Patty Smith, John Cale, Gong] fell in love with the sound, nominating himself to Mix the whole kit ‘n’ caboodle at his private facility on the outskirts of Paris, FR. (There’s a real shortage of good Rockin’ Country coming out of France.) Last but not least, at the eleventh hour Mastering Guru Brian (Big Bass) Gardner bailed out the whole gang via coming out of self-imposed semi-retirement; making sure these sounds you hear aren’t over-compressed or fall victim to any Loudness Wars.
Bret L Thompson’s wild-hearted, narrative-based, Urban-Cali-Country songwriting is un-abashedly nuts. This being duly admitted, Bret’s crazy tales provide unique bedrock for Carl V. to explore certain aspects of his fret-based virtuosity that even his most ardent fans would not normally be privy to. Most of all, Bret L Thompson’s Dodging Bullets (feat Carl Verheyen) was a labor of American love, fitted to be enjoyed. Preferably with a big grin on your face, and an adult beverage in hand.
…So, “Come on in, my friend.”
-Harry G. Lawrence