Better Late is the first studio album from singer-songwriter Joe Ledbetter. The album's production started in 2009 thanks in large part to Ledbetter's friend and then roommate Brian Davis (Glenn Labs, Hi Lo Ha). Tracking and overdubs were recorded at the now defunct Closer Studios in the SOMA district of San Francisco, CA, where Davis had a rehearsal space and access to the recording studio. Initial tracking was done with Brian Davis on bass, Tim Mooney (The Sleepers, Sun Kil Moon and American Music Club) on drums and Ledbetter on guitar. Brian Davis helmed production duties throughout this time.
Ledbetter's attention was pulled away from the project upon the birth of his daughter and further as he struggled with substance abuse issues. Both Brian and Tim proved to be supportive and sympathetic friends during this tumultuous time.
Worked commenced on the record after Closer Studios shut down and Tim moved his equipment to Ausgang Audio in Petaluma, CA. Tim oversaw additional tracking –including backing vocals with members of Chanticleer's Louis A. Botto choir (LAB)– and preliminary mixing. After only mixing one song, Tim Mooney passed away suddenly on June 13, 2012, leaving behind his wife, Jude, and had his daughter, Dixie.
The album was shelved until it was finally mixed and master by a engineer from Glasgow named Scott Ramsay (Audiopeak.net
Better Late is dedicated to the memory of Tim Mooney (October 6, 1958 – June 13, 2012). He drummed in the Sun Kil Moon and American Music Club. In the 1970s and 1980s, Mooney played drums for a number of San Francisco punk and rock bands including The Sleepers, Toiling Midgets, Negative Trend, and many others. Mooney became a member of American Music Club in 1991. His last album with the band was Love Songs for Patriots(2004), which he also produced and engineered. He was talented artist, a gentle soul and this album would not have been possible with out him. We miss you, Tim!
This album also wouldn't have been possible without the love and support of Joe's family, especially his partner Jenny and his daughter Zoe.
released February 1, 2016
Recorded at Closer Studios, San Francisco, CA & Ausgang Audio, Petaluma, CA
Produced by Brian Davis, Tim Mooney & Joe Ledbetter
Mixed and Mastered by Scott Ramsay - Audiopeak.net
Music and Lyrics by Joe Ledbetter*
*except Amsterdam by Mort Shuman, Eric Blau, Jacques Brel, Jean Bacri aka Claudric
Joe Ledbetter: guitar, vocals, piano, synths, percussion
Brian Davis: bass, backing vocals
Tim Mooney: drums
Paul Bonanos: electric guitar, lap steel, piano
Benjamin Reisdorph: electric guiar
Steven Sparapani: cello, backing vocals
Ruth Maurice: cello, backing vocals
Andrew Baglino: organs
Tom Griesser: saxophone
Ben Andrews: violin
David Wurzburg: mandolin
Jimmy Sweetwater: harmonica
William Weigel: backing vocals
Beth Chance: backing vocals
Dylan Hostetter: backing vocals
Ben Johns: backing vocals, bird whistles
Lila Atchinson: backing vocals
Patrick Atchinson: backing vocals
Avi Ballo: backing vocals
Felix Herbst: backing vocals
Juliana Woolums: backing vocals