Let's Call It Hope
Rich Agata has been gently knocking on the Music Industry's door for the past 25 years. Following inspired recording sessions at the legendary Skyline Studios in Topanga Canyon the singer/songwriter and his formidable band, are knocking a lot louder. Agata's 10-song CD entitled: 'Let's Call It Hope' is due for release by December 2006 on indie label R-Turn Records and features the immense talents of Peter Case and Greg Leisz. Case, is the founder of the legendary-band The Plimsouls, who in 1980 had the hit 'A Million Miles Away.' He ventured out on his own with a self-titled album released in 1986 on Geffen Records and produced by T-Bone Burnett. In 1989, Case released a second solo disc, 'The Man With the Blue Post-Modern Fragmented Neo-Traditionalist Guitar,' this time with the help of artists like David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, Ry Cooder, and Benmont Tench. The album was a favorite of critics and other musicians: Bruce Springsteen told Rolling Stone that he was listening to Peter Case more than anyone else that year. This past February, Hungry for Music, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, released a three-disc tribute to Case, entitled 'A Case for Case;' the set featured cover versions of Case's songs performed by various artists, including John Prine, Susan Cowsill, and others. Leisz is considered by most to be one of the best session players on the planet. The man's resumé is daunting, boasting spots with Joni Mitchell, Sheryl Crow, Peter Case, Paul Westerberg, Me'Shell NdegeOcello, Victoria Williams, Joe Cocker, Dave Alvin, k.d. lang, Wilco, Lucinda Williams, Bruce Cockburn, Shawn Colvin, Paula Cole, and the Ventures...to name a few. Not to be pigeonholed in just roots music, Leisz has also played with the likes of Beck, Matthew Sweet, Bad Religion, the Smashing Pumpkins, and Brian Wilson. Agata was born in Hollywood, CA and grew up in the San Fernando Valley, dude. He played in the usual high school rock bands, with one notable exception. His bass player back then was Taras Prodaniuk, who toured and recorded with Dwight Yokum for 14 years and for the past few years has been performing and recording with Lucinda Williams. Rich began his solo career in 1980, after graduating with a degree in Journalism from the University of Southern California. He has opened for Matthew Moore, who penned the song Space Captain which Joe Cocker sang in the film and album 'Mad Dogs & Englishmen.' He even opened for the legendary Etta James. Both shows were at the now defunct Blue Lagoon Saloon in Marina del Rey. A friend introduced him to A&M recording artist George Johnson of the Brothers Johnson, which led to numerous recording sessions, a sit-down meeting with then Asylum Records exec Dave Urso and industry heavyweight George Tobin selecting the tape at a pitch-a-thon. Determined to be heard, Agata released his first single, '100 to 1' b/w 'I Guess That's Happened To You' on the fabled Plug n Socket label, home of the punkadelic cult heroes the Droogs. College radio played it and the folk magazines praised it. Rich released his second single, 'Crazy Idea' b/w 'I'm Not Ashamed' on his own label, R-Turn Records. Brad Bradberry, reviewing the single in The Bob wrote: 'On his second single, Agata shows himself to be a classy folk-rocker and at this point I'm a bit surprised as to why he doesn't have an album or at least an indie contract. The A-side displays 12 string, keyboards and a bouncy, light beat to get across his mid-tempo rocker. 'The B-side is the real gem here, however. If you like cool, under the surface tension in your folk-pop, in a stripped down, urgent manner a la Chris Isaak, this one could wear our your needle.' Based on reviews like this and dozens of college radio stations adding and praising the single, Independent German label Still Sane Records inked Agata to a one album deal. Bob Saldana, Agata's long-time producer, is a fixture in the Los Angeles, Austin and Nashville music scenes. He has worked with Carla Olsen and the Textones, Dwight Twilley and Phil Seymour, to name a but a few. His long-running cable television show, L.A. To Nashville has featured a parade of who's-who in the music biz. Drummer George Dum has recorded, mixed, mastered and co-produced Agata's forthcoming CD: 'Let's Call It Hope.' George was born in Austria, graduated with honors from the Vienna Jazz Conservatory and has played drums on over 300 recording sessions. He has done session work for Killer Tracks (BMG) and various artists. He currently records, mixes, masters and produces a myriad of talents from his 'Liquid Fish' studio in North Hollywood.