All Wood and Doorsby
Cliff Eberhardt and James Lee Stanleywith Paul Barrere, John Batdorf, Scott Breadman, Laurence Juber,
Rick Ruskin, Timothy B. Schmit, Peter Tork, Chad Watson,
and special guests John Densmore and Robby Krieger.
ReviewsWhat folks are saying about All Wood and Doors:
"James Lee Stanley and Cliff Eberhardt are excellent pickers and what they did to our songs
is unique and refreshing. It was a pleasure to be part of the project." -- John Densmore
Taylor Guitar's Wood and Steel Magazine, Fall 2011 writes:
Reframing Doors (Soundings, Page 24)
A few years back we offered an enthusiastic review of singer-songwriter James Lee Stanley's collaboration with John Batdorf on All Wood and Stones (www.allwoodandstones.com) an album of Rolling Stones tunes reinterpreted as a collection of soulful acoustic tracks laden with fresh acoustic guitar and vocal arrangements.
Well, Stanley is back at it, this time with talented musical pal Cliff Eberhardt, and giving similar treatment to their favorite Doors tracks on All Wood and Doors.
The project couldn't have had a more authentic catalyst. Doors drummer John Densmore told Stanley he loved his treatment of the Stones tunes, and that if he ever wanted to do an album of Doors covers he'd be happy to play percussion. Game on.
Stanley and Eberhardt enlisted some talented guitar friends, including Paul Barrere (Little Feat), Laurence Juber (Wings), Scott Breadman (Lindsey Buckingham), Peter Tork (The Monkees), Rick Ruskin, and in another ringing endorsement, Doors alum Robby Kreiger. Chad Watson (Janis Ian) played bass and mandolin, while John Batdorf and Timothy B. Schmit added vocal harmonies.
As on the previous project, the songs here are artfully deconstructed and reimagined acoustically. Stanley, Eberhardt and guests slow down the song tempos and bring an earthy funkiness, beautiful harmonies, and gently swinging grooves to them. Eberhardt's weathered vocals inject a potent, bluesy grit to tracks like "Love Me Two Times," "Touch Me," "People Are Strange," and "Riders on the Storm," while Stanley's voice shimmers sweetly on tunes like "Light My Fire" and "Moonlight Drive."
With the inspired phrasing and vocal arrangements, the textures blend well together, yet leave plenty of space for the character of the acoustic guitars to resonate. It's often easy to forget that these are Doors songs, especially in the fresh acoustic context, and that's OK, because the guitar playing is tasty and sensitive, with the kind of economy and note selection you'll find when you hear seasoned musicians who understand the beauty of restraint. "All my solos were played on my 810ce with the Expression System," Stanley says.
Gary Hill for Music Street Journal writes:
This is an extremely interesting project. While it's listed as a duo there are a number of guests (some quite notable). These are all acoustic rock reworkings (basically deconstructions) of Doors songs. Along with the two starring players there are such notable musicians present as John Densmore, Robbie Krieger, Peter Tork and Timothy B. Schmitt. These recordings create new identities for well-known songs. This is an enchanting set that works extremely well.
Break On Through - This is cool. It's got a bouncy groove and a real blues element to it. It is, of course, a full acoustic guitar based treatment of the Doors classic. There is a bit of a reggae element in play here, too.
Love Me Two Times - They turn this classic tune into a smoking hot acoustic blues tune that works really well.
Take It As It Comes - Here's a tune that's got some psychedelia built into it. It's far less bluesy than the first pieces. It works really well in this acoustic guitar based treatment. The pace is leisurely adding much to the lyrical content. The vocal arrangement is involved and quite cool. There's some cool guitar soloing, too.
Strange Days - A slow moving, bluesy number, this is a cool rendition.
Light My Fire - We get some seriously intricate guitar soloing on this number. There is a bit of a Latin texture to it.
Touch Me - Here's another mellow acoustic rendition of a Doors classic.
Crystal Ship - "Crystal Ship" was always one of my favorite songs by The Doors. This rendition captures much of that magic, while deconstructing the number. The guitar and vocal performances are both spectacular.
Soul Kitchen - There's a bit more energy on this number. The vocal performance has a lot of style. It's a real smoking hot tune.
People Are Strange - The slow motif that starts this somehow resembles Led Zeppelin's classic "Stairway to Heaven" a bit. The vocals bring new sounds and there's a real bluesy element here. There's an awesome electric guitar solo on this.
Moonlight Drive - A slow moving tune, this has an intriguing musical texture. This rendition brings a bit of a jazzy flair to the table.
Riders On The Storm - Bouncy and bluesy, this is a cool rendition. Again there's a bit of a jazzy element brought to the proceedings.
The End - Multiple voices bring this in and as the instrumentation joins that chorus of vocals continues. There is definitely a bluesy feeling to this. Still, it's also rather psychedelic.
More of this review at: www.musicstreetjournal.com/index_cdreviews_display.cfm?id=103162
Janet Goodman for Music News Nashville writes:
Singer/songwriter James Lee Stanley has one of those insanely can't-believe-it backstories to the birth of his new CD, "All Wood and Doors." At lunch with a mutual friend, he met John Densmore, drummer for the Doors, who complimented him on his album of covers: "I love what you did to the Stones songs on 'All Wood and Stones.'" Densmore then landed a sucker punch by saying he would play percussion if Stanley ever did a CD like that of Doors tunes. Well! Where does the dazed guy sign up already?
Stanley, from Southern California, joined forces with New York singer/songwriter Cliff Eberhardt, and sharing lead vocals, they recorded twelve songs by the iconic '60s band, giving their own unplugged, fresh folk-rock take. The acoustic tracks, minus Ray Manzarek's keyboards and Morrison's prowling presence, are less intense, more organic and rolling than the originals. Emphasis is put on the warm earth tones of the Martin, Taylor and Collings guitars, as well as lush Crosby, Stills and Nash-like close harmonies.
Stand-outs are "Touch Me," with the lover-ly high harmonies of Timothy B. Schmit of The Eagles, and "Moonlight Drive," with its stripped-down, playful and smooth groove reminiscent of Clapton's "Change the World." A gypsy mandolin tosses a veil of carnival atmosphere over "Strange Days," and the addition of a dobro's swampy, delta blues gives color to many of the tracks.
Remarkably, other guitarists were drawn to this project, like moths to a flame, including the Doors' Robby Krieger, The Monkees' Peter Tork, Wings' Laurence Juber and Little Feat's Paul Barrere. The pressure to pull off something artistic and worthy of the hits they were covering must have been enormous, but there is no hint of nervous desperation to be heard.
More of this review at: http://www.musicnewsnashville.com/james-lee-stanley-cliff-eberhardt--all-wood-and-doors
The Alternate Root writes:
"All Wood and Doors is not simply a cover or tribute piece to the Doors. Like the caterpillar turns to a butterfly, they have delivered from the chrysalis a piece that has complex layers and a special beauty, which flies all on its own. The challenging part; respecting the caterpillar, and it is there, underneath it all. The poetry and melodies, brought forth through the ingenious arrangements on every track. Whether a Doors fan or not, then or now, you will marvel at how fresh and different, yet familiar it is."
From here The Alternate Root has a couple of great interviews with both James Lee Stanley and Cliff Eberhardt about the making of the CD.
You can read the interviews at: www.thealternateroot.com/news-and-reviews-in-the-alternate-root/
Phil Rainone for Jersey Beat writes:
What do Peter Tork (Monkees), Laurence Juber (Wings), Timothy B. Schmit (Eagles), John Densmore and Robby Krieger (Doors), all have in common-other than being musicians?- Give up? Well, among some other fine musicians that played on the album they all played on All Wood and Doors, the tribute album to, well, the Doors. The album is the brainchild of James Lee Stanley (he also did a tribute to The Stones, allwoodandstones.com) and Cliff Eberhardt.
. . . All the songs are bludgeoned of their rock 'n' roll vibe, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. What's left are somewhat stripped-down, bluesy, sometimes boozy, and cool-as-hell versions. The Doors were originally inspired by the blues (what band worth its salt wasn't), as they covered Willie Dixon among other basic blues originators on their first album. The original vibe of the songs is there-it doesn't take a lot to recognize "Break on through," "Moonlight Drive" or any of the other 12 covers tunes.
. . . They tackle The Doors signature song "Light My Fire" with the laid-back, somewhat manic flavor of Jose Feliciano (Yeah, dude- Jose rocks). Again, they deflate the originals rock coda, and balls-to-the-wall finale, but damn if it ain't super cool! Spirited and inspired, All Wood and Doors is a gem!
If Jim Morrison were still with us, and the Doors were a full, functioning band (c'mon guys get it done already, kiss and make up), this may have been the type of unplugged album they may have done to turn things a round a little, and shine a light on the meat 'n' potatoes of their music.
More of this review at: www.jerseybeat.com/philrainone.html
Mike Greenblatt for The Aquarian Weekly writes:
Totally odd yet mesmerizing, imagine 12 of the greatest songs by The Doors -- with no keyboards! -- reconfigured, re-imagined, rearranged and turned inside-out as backporch bluegrassy stringband jams. It's as if they sucked the innards out of such time-tested gems as "The End," "Soul Kitchen," "Break On Through," "Light My Fire," "Strange Days," "Love Me Two Times" while an array of world-class musicians sang 'em sweet and soft as folk songs. Vocalist/guitarist/percussionist James Lee Stanley has done this kind of thing before. His All Wood And Stones, with John Batdorf, was soothing 'n' satisfying, and so is this.
Add Doors drummer John Densmore and Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger. Then add Eagle Timothy B. Schmit is as one of four singers oohing and aahing up a lush cloud of Beatles-esque background voicings. The all-acoustic, rather rustic sound (like early Grateful Dead crossed with current-day Levon Helm) features nifty zig-zag curlicue lead guitar solos by the likes of Paul Barrere (Little Feat), Laurence Juber (Wings) and Peter Tork (The Monkees).
You wouldn't think "Take It As It Comes," "Touch Me," "Crystal Ship" and "Riders On The Storm" would prosper with this kind of treatment. You'd be wrong. Sometimes a song will start with a chorus instead of verse or a verse instead of a chorus, that's how jumbled and bizarre it all is... but that's exactly what makes it work.
Here's hoping James Lee Stanley does this to other bands. I suggest Credence Clearwater Revival, Pink Floyd and The Kinks.
More of this review at: www.theaquarian.com/2011/09/16/james-lee-stanley-and-cliff-eberhardt-all-wood-and-doors/
Jeffrey Morgan (official biographer of Alice Cooper & The Stooges) writes:
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: James Lee Stanley and Cliff Eberhardt - All Wood And Doors (MVD Audio) :: Already they're calling this one a CSN version of the Doors, but that's just lazy shorthand by so-called "music journalists" who never heard of the Kingston Trio. C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon now; trust me, Babe: can't you see that I am not afraid to say that this tastefully acoustic guitar session is nothing less than a bluesy stripped-down symposium that showcases how truly timeless their greatest hits really are? Bonus points for being accompanied by erstwhile Doors members Robbie Krieger and John Densmore; plus previous Monkee Peter Tork. Hey hey, they're the Doorkees!
Rob Weir for Valley Advocate writes:
A dozen Doors classics from folk music guitar pickers? Huh? How can this be so good? It starts with the wisdom to radically retool. Neither Stanley nor Eberhardt channels Jim Morrison, which was probably tempting, given that Doors Robby Krieger and John Densmore guest on several tracks. If anything, some arrangements evoke a trippier version of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young with Peter Tork (The Monkees), Timothy Schmidt (The Eagles), and Paul Barrere (Little Feat) adding depth. Nothing is quite what you'd anticipate. "Break on Through" has a late Motown vibe, "Love Me Two Times" feels like a country song, and "Light My Fire" is dreamy and slow. "Crystal Ship" as a folk ballad? Who would have imagined? Crisp guitar licks -- mostly done on the "wood" of the album's title -- help slap a fresh coat of varnish on The Doors.
Frank Kocher for The San Diego Troubadour writes:
Here's an idea: take the songs of the Doors, strip away their trademark keyboards and brooding vocals while reworking the arrangements, and recast them as acoustic guitar/harmony pieces. James Lee Stanley and Cliff Eberhardt team up to do it on All Wood and Doors, with surprising success. Eberhardt shares the lead vocal slots with Stanley, a prolific singer/guitarist who did a similar project in 2004 with John Batdorf (All Wood and Stones). Batdorf and Eagle Timothy B Schmit join the principals on backup harmonies. A squadron of eight lead guitarists includes Laurence Juber, former Monkee Peter Tork, and original Doors picker Robbie Kreiger; one of the drummers is former Door John Densmore.
The pristine recording sticks with the most familiar songs, all but two of the dozen are from the Doors first two albums. "Break on Through" shows the approach of the project, an acoustic guitar lick over a mid-tempo funky beat gives way to three-part, soaring harmonies ("Everybody loves my baby"), acoustic slide guitar accents, and an overall vibe that is closer to Steve Stills than anything ever recorded by Jim Morrison. "Take It as It Comes" approximates the original's melody and pace, but harmonies augment Stanley's strong vocal and lift it to the clouds. In "Light My Fire," a jazzy treatment that resembles (and is overshadowed by) Jose Feliciano's established cover is used to launch the best acoustic guitar soloing on the disc.
The Doors didn't record a lot of stiffs, but "Touch Me" is one. It's here, and not bad, since it is totally remade, mostly discarding verses until a fadeout, with a steady downpour of acoustic guitar notes. "Soul Kitchen" is a standout track, shifting gears like the original, not straying too far but filling the quiet spots with guitar and enhancing the song's punch with big harmonies. An unusual, baroque lick is used for "People Are Strange," then Kreiger's unmistakable, spooky-clear single string slide notes add a crowning touch.
Much of the Doors' music is dark, moody stuff for the most part, but the light and airy arrangement of "Moonlight Drive" makes it float as Stanley and Eberhardt trade lead vocals on the verses. "Riders on the Storm," minus keys, is still a haunting tale of dread. Kreiger adds some flourishes to a short version of "The End" that has enough deep harmonies that it calls to mind Crosby, Stills, and Nash's "Cathedral." It wraps the disc, and it's too bad this song doesn't continue its musical ideas longer.
. . . All Wood and Doors works for fans of both the band and acoustic guitar/harmony music.
More of this review at: www.sandiegotroubadour.com/2011/08/james-lee-stanley-cliff-eberhardt-all-wood-and-doors/
Andy Mesecher for Music Connection Magazine (August 2011, p. 46) writes:
With quite the deceiving title -- one might assume this is an instrumental cover album -- this cool collective of Doors arrangements sheds new light on some of the band's most respected tunes. Almost presented as '60s folk versions with stellar lead guitar work, many songs like "Break on Through," "Love Me Two Times," and "Light My Fire" would be unrecognizable without lyrical content. Stanley & Eberhardt bring in an all-star cast of Krieger, Densmore, Barrerre and more to create this great listen for Doors enthusiasts and easy-listening fans alike.
Top Cuts: "Break On Through," "Light My Fire," "Touch Me".
David Voigt for Toronto Music Examiner writes:
All Wood And Doors, is an acoustic guitar album like never heard before; 12 Classic Doors songs sung and played by Cliff Eberhardt and James Lee Stanley accompanied by an all-star list of musicians like Peter Tork (Monkees), Timothy B Schmit (Eagles), Laurence Juber (Paul McCartney & Wings), Paul Barrere (Little Feat), Scott Breadman (Rippingtons, Lindsay Buckingham), Chad Watson (David Arkenstone, Janis Ian), and very special guests John Densmore and Robby Krieger. Both Eberhardt and Stanley have long been purveyors of acoustic rock music and with this one of a kind set they've turned some classic Doors tunes and given them some new life.
These new arrangements with lush vocal harmonies and the properly used power of the acoustic guitar give these classic songs a soulful bluesy power to the point that these songs wouldn't sound out of place coming out of the mouth of a Bonnie Raitt or even John Lee Hooker. The vocal wail on "Love Me Two Times" sounds like an impassioned cry to a lover and "Strange Days" reimagined as a harmonious Gypsy-style song. "Light My Fire" boarders on lounge music at times, but it does suffer from being one of the most covered Doors songs of all time. With "Soul Kitchen" we get the genuine vibe of the set, top shelf musicians interpreting classic songs for the fun of it. This collection is a set for musicians by musicians.
At the end of the day James Lee Stanley and Cliff Eberhardt: All Wood And Doors is a charming set that is reinterpreting some classic songs from catalogue of an iconic band like the Doors. Despite its obvious self-indulgent tendencies towards Crosby, Stills and Nash/Buffalo Springfield territory there is enough quality musicianship at work here that you don't need to be a Doors fan to enjoy this music; a quality listen.
More of this review at: www.examiner.com/music-in-toronto/record-review-james-lee-stanley-cliff-eberhardt-all-wood-and-doors-review
Russ Paris for FolkWorks magazine, writes:
All Wood and Doors by James Lee Stanley and Cliff Eberhardt is one of those CDs that sounds both new and familiar at the same time, and for good reason.
The origins for the new All Wood and Doors collection go back a couple of years to when a mutual friend introduced James Lee to John Densmore of the Doors. John commented that he enjoyed the All Wood And Stones collection that was released back in 2004 by James Lee Stanley and John Batdorf. Densmore offered to participate in the project if James Lee ever did the same type of folk treatment to the Doors songs.
(All Wood and Stones is a collection of Rolling Stones songs that James Lee Stanley and John Batdorf lovingly created in an acoustic, guitar and harmony driven style. Imagine an early 1970s Crosby, Stills & Nash tackling the Rolling Stones catalog. The CD was well received and got great reviews.)
Not surprisingly, James Lee Stanley took John Densmore up on his offer. The mix of folk and acoustic rock elements works exceptionally well under some great stewardship.
James Lee Stanley has been a staple of the Los Angeles area singer-songwriter scene for more than 40 years, releasing 25 albums since his self-titled debut album in 1973. His 1998 album Freelance Human Being was listed by Fi Magazine as one of the top 200 recordings of all time. For this release project, he enlisted the participation of Cliff Eberhardt, a driving force of the Greenwich Village New Folk movement who is well known and respected among his peers.
Cliff and James Lee compiled a list of a dozen Doors songs that they felt were songs they could work with and then completely deconstructed them, boiling them down to the bare essence of the original songs, and then rebuilding them using their own new arrangements and guitars.
What's most immediately noticeable about the CD is the wonderful clarity and the beauty of production. The guitar work is the cornerstone of the album. Both James Lee Stanley and Cliff Eberhardt are true guitar virtuosos and the play between their two guitars lays down the foundation for each track.
Generally, the track selection consists of some well known Doors songs such as Love Me Two Times, Light My Fire and Riders On The Storm. Just don't expect to hear the songs you grew up with. The arrangements here are all wonderful and unique, but certainly don't sound much like the originals. (This was equally true on the All Wood and Stones CD.) This allows you to hear these classic and otherwise familiar songs in a whole new light. The Doors featured Ray Manzarek's keyboards quite prominently, so the lack of keyboards and the focus on acoustic guitars by themselves are quite a change in approach to these songs.
. . .  . . . You don't have to be a fan of The Doors music to enjoy this CD. This is a collection that will grow on you with each listening as the subtle nuances and stellar guitar playing shine through.
More of this review at: www.folkworks.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=40207&Itemid=81
Rob F. with Leicester Bangs, writes:
. . . It must have been a daunting task for singer-guitarists James Lee Stanley and Cliff Eberhardt to reinterpret such well-known songs, especially with Densmore and Krieger looking over their shoulders (it should be noted that John Densmore in particular is a fierce and vocal protector of The Doors' legacy -- ask Ray Manzarek...), so it's to their considerable credit that not only have they approached this material from an original direction they've done so in a way which breathes new life into songs that many will have lived with for forty-plus years.
The Doors were always a theatrical band, and in singer Jim Morrison they had a frontman who completely understood the drama. I suspect Stanley and Eberhardt are cut from completely different cloth. Their arrangements substitute rootsy, Americana craft for hippie pomp and ceremony, and the songs are allowed to escape their bonds. They take on most of the classics; "Break On Through," "Light My Fire," "Love Me Two Times," etc., but special mention must be made for that most idiosyncratic of all Doors tracks, "The End." Tagged on the end, and at 2:36, a mere fragment of the original, it somehow encapsulates their whole approach to the project. Try and hear it if you can.
More of this review at: www.leicesterbangs.co.uk/jun11-29.html
Steve Ramm, at Anything Phonographic, writes:
"Pulling the plug!" :The Doors hits in new acoustic settings. A great idea, beautifully executed
The Doors were a classic rock band and their songs are rarely "covered" well - the exception being Jose Feliciano's take on "Light My Fire" which may have actually sold more singles than the Doors' original.
Singer-songwriters James Lee Stanley and Cliff Eberhardt put their pens (or is it their PC keyboards these days?) aside for this project in which they strip down all the classic Doors hits to an acoustic production. And it works beautifully! There's not an electric instrument in sight and none are missed. Not only do the words shine through but there are new settings as well. Listen to "Touch Me". Its pace is showed down so the words take on a new meaning. All the songs are slowed down. The lead off track - "Break on Through" may be the fastest one here. And the twelve songs all average about 3-1/2 minutes in length - even the mega-hit "Light My Fire".
This is a follow-up to the CD "All Wood and Stones", which Stanley recorded with John Batdorf (and I have not heard). Original Doors drummer John Densmore heard it and suggested this project to Stanley, who - after hooking up with Eberhardt at the International Folk Alliance in Memphis - convinced Densmore to play percussion on a few tracks on the album. Densmore brought along Doors guitarist Robby Kreiger to the project as well. The all too brief liner notes list SIX different lead guitar players (including the Monkees' Peter Tork, Kreiger, Eagles' Timothy B. Schmidt and Little Feat's Paul Barrere, but do not identify which "lead" is on which track. Stanley and Scott Breadman are listed along with Densmore on "Percussion". You can probably spend all day guessing who is playing on each track but that's just a "celebrity guessing game". It's the music you are hearing that counts and all the tracks sound great to me. If I had to pick favorites it would be "Break on Through", "Love Me Two Times", "Strange Days" and "Moonlight Drive" (one of the Doors' lesser-known recordings. Eberhardt's raspy voice blends nicely with Stanley's smoother vocal tone, when needed, but usually they take turns on lead vocal.
Real ROCK fans may find this too toned-down but those into acoustic and Americana music will find this an album worth seeking out. And the style fits in perfectly for "folk radio" where you'd rarely (if ever) hear a track by Jim Morrison and the Doors.
Mark S. Tucker, for Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange, writes:
. . . Following James Lee Stanley and John Batdorf's critically and consumer popular All Wood and Stones. . . The choice of Cliff Eberhardt as co-lead was a great idea, but Batdorf, thank all the dakinis in nirvana, likewise returned to the fold . . . the treatment of Doors classics is a joy, as original as the Stones effort... and maybe even better. Fusing the mellifluous with a light soulful, somewhat jazzy approach tinged with laid back rock and the expected folk, each track is an exercise in stretching Morrison & Co.'s classic oeuvre. . . . The choice of cuts is tantalizing as well. Not only Light My Fire and The End, the latter heavily CSNYed, but also Crystal Ship (one of my all-time Doors faves along with Horse Latitudes), Moonlight Drive, and others. Take It as It Comes is particularly catchy, far more a fantasia here than when Morrison cut the original. The vocal harmonies are enchanting . . .
More of this review at: www.acousticmusic.com/fame/p07275.htm (Edited by Dave Pyles)
Jim Cherry, author of the Doors inspired novel The Last Stage, on Examiner.com writes:
This Examiner Rates "All Wood and Doors" CD: 5 STARS
. . . James Lee Stanley and Cliff Eberhardt give The Doors songs a rough hewn, rustic feel, and at moments feel as if they've transcended into acoustic psychedelic. The songs included on All Wood and Doors, aren't really covers of The Doors songs they're acoustic interpretations, and explorations that Stanley and Eberhardt allowed themselves to go on. The songs, while sounding familiar, have mysterious and exotic twangings that open a new door into The Doors. . .
. . . I'm not an audiophile so usually sound quality isn't a big issue to me, bit when it's outstanding it's worth mentioning. The sound quality on All Wood and Doors is so clear, and the clarity is so striking it impresses the ear as soon as you start to listen. . .
More of this article at: www.examiner.com/the-doors-in-national/acoustic-tribute-to-the-doors-review
Lee Zimmerman, a contributor to a variety of publications, including Blurt, M Music & Musicians, New Times, Goldmine and Amplifier, writes:
. . . The second in what's now become a highly anticipated series that touts reinvention of certain standards, All Wood and Doors picks up on the buzz generated by last year's All Wood and Stones, in which Stanley found himself interpreting classic Rolling Stones songs with acoustic guitar and a back porch sensibility. As the title implies, the current project applies that treatment to the music of the Doors, doing so in a way that's equally sympathetic but no less conspicuous in its drastic redesign. Purists might balk at some of the treatments - indeed, few of the songs bear anything other than a perfunctory resemblance to the original template - but having gained the blessings -- and in fact, the participation -- of former Doors Robbie Krieger and John Densmore, he easily deflects all charges of heresy. Fellow folkie Cliff Eberhardt helps at the helm, his gruff vocals adding the necessary insurgence in lieu of Jim Morrison's howl and croon, while a host of other familiar names - Peter Tork, John Batdorf, Paul Barrere, Timothy B. Schmit, among them - add their credence to the project as well. Although "Light My Fire" in particular has been opened up to all sorts of possibilities over the years, the takes on "Break on Through," "Soul Kitchen" and "People Are Strange" might put the purists off, but even they won't be able to deny the affection and attention Stanley and Eberhardt clearly invested in this endeavor.
Ron Olesko, of the long running and well-respected radio program Traditions on WFDU, writes:
Got the CD today. WOW. You made each song sound brand new and fresh. I love your take of "Light My Fire", which I was worried I would dislike because it is the one Doors song that has been done so much, and often so badly. My fears were unfounded - your version really catches the mood, your vocals were just what the song needs. Fanatastic! I also love Cliff's take on "Touch Me" - it has a Grateful Dead feel to it.
The Doors are such an iconic band, and the sound they made is so identifiable with the 1960's. You and Cliff really made it sound fresh and exciting. If someone who never heard the Doors before were to ask me what they should listen to, I think I would send them in the direction of this CD.
I'm VERY impressed by the supporting musicians - what an amazing gathering of talent! I guess you have made many friends over the years, and their support on this album shows a lot of love! I'm blown away.
Let me know when it is okay to start airing, I'm assuming in May after the official release date. Until then, I will enjoy this gem as a guilty personal pleasure!
Jim Cherry, author of the Doors inspired novel The Last Stage, writes:
. . . Stanley, along with John Batdorf had created a CD of Rolling Stone cover songs, "All Wood and Stones" (the wood in the title refers to the use of acoustic guitars). He was out golfing with a friend who mentioned he knew John Densmore. Stanley had a copy of John's book, "Riders on the Storm", and Stanley asked his friend if he could get John to autograph it for him? It just so happened the friend was going to have lunch with Densmore that week and invited Stanley along. Upon their meeting John mentioned that he liked "All Wood and Stones" and that if Stanley was ever going to do a CD of Doors songs he'd love to be on it. . .
. . . All Wood and Doors is a very unique sounding CD. I was able to listen to some sound samples at the All Wood and Doors website. Songs covered on the CD are "Break on Through," "Love Me Two Times," "Take it as it Comes," "Strange Days," "Light My Fire," "Touch Me," "The Crystal Ship," "Soul Kitchen," "People Are Strange," "Moonlight Drive," "Riders on the Storm," and "The End." I was very surprised at how original and fresh the approach was on The Doors songs. At first you might not recognize them as Doors songs but when the vocals start you find that flash of recognition and how The Doors might sound if instead of getting together with Ray Manzarek, Jim Morrison had formed The Doors with Don Henley and Glen Frey, although I think you may find they sound like no other Doors cover you've heard before. . .
More of this article at: www.examiner.com/the-doors-in-national/john-densmore-and-robby-krieger-on-all-wood-and-doors
Fan QuotesThe fans are talking about All Wood and Doors:
Tim Brough, "author and music buff," writes on Amazon.com:
Sometime in the mid 60's, a young James Morrison was walking along the Sunset Strip in California, frustrated that his musical aspirations were constantly hitting a brick wall. A girlfriend invited him out to the Canyon to rest and mellow out, and she mentioned that she had a few musician friends hanging out with her. Maybe Jim would like to meet them? He agreed and hitched a ride into the hills.
Once he was there, Jim's lady-friend introduced him to her friend Graham. Jim was familiar with The Hollies and told Graham that he liked his stuff. Would he liked to hear some of his own material? When Graham agreed, Jim picked up a guitar and began a frenzied version of "Break On Through." Graham smiles, he likes this young kid's assertiveness. Then he has an idea. "Jim," he says, "slow it down a bit and maybe add a shuffle to it?" Jim thinks a moment, works the chording out in his mind and plays it like Graham suggests. Both Jim and Graham light up; this arrangement sounds incredible. Telling Graham he has a ballad he really likes and thinks would be huge if people heard it, Jim strums the opening portion of "Light My Fire."
A friend of Graham's, Stephen, likes what he's been hearing from across the room. He picks up his guitar and began picking out some sliding, blues lines. Morrison follows Stephen's lead and bends the song into a slow, folky blues song. All three like what they hear. "What else have you got," asks Stephen. Jim, delighted, pulls out a notebook filled with poetry and opens it to "Riders On The Storm." As Jim begins to play, Stephen begins to improvise the vocal line. Graham is so stoked that he pulls his third friend, David, in to listen. By the end of few hours, the four of them decide to form a collaborative and call is CMNS, their initials in alphabetical order. Stephen hits the record button on his brand new home reel-to-reel and the four of them begin to capture the moment. They even work up an incredible harmony arrangement to take "The End" to a new level.
Well, OK, this never happened. But if it DID, then somehow, James Lee Stanley and Cliff Eberhardt found the reels. Like James' collaboration with John Batdorf did to The Rolling Stones on "All Wood and Stones," James and Cliff take The Doors' classic repertory and folk it out. The duo have an all star guest list that includes Timothy B Schmit of The Eagles), Peter Tork of The Monkees, Paul Barrere of Little Feat, Laurence Juber (who has played with Paul McCartney & Wings), and Chad Watson on Bass. Even more remarkable is that Doors members John Densmore and Robby Krieger pitch in. It was even Densmore's suggestion to Stanley to take on The Doors after he'd heard "All Wood and Stones."
With the blessing of the two Door-keepers, James and Cliff deliver a diverse and delightful reading of classics like the aforementioned songs, as well as classics like "People are Strange," "Crystal Ship" and "Touch Me." I love the way that the pair interchange vocal duties. Cliff is gruff and hardy, James is clear and full. They make great harmonies and trade leads. The guitar playing is wonderful (and having seen James live, up close, I can attest to his guitar prowess), and is captured in rich tone. With both the exceptional musicianship and full endorsement of the original creators, "All Wood and Doors" is how cover albums should be done.
ederBlog - Independent Music Discoveries, writes:
It's James Lee Stanleys latest project (you may remember his 2005 project 'all wood and stones' with John batdorf?), this time it's an album called 'All Wood And Doors'. James lee and Cliff Eberhardt has taken the songs of The Doors and rearranged them for acoustic guitars in a beautiful way... These two master-musicians play with such a delicacy that you forget the actual original version, it's that good. The time stops, and if you ever have wondered how wonderful an old Martin D-28 really can sound when played really really well, then this can serve as your new reference. it's an extremely fresh recording.
More of this review at: http://ederblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/cliff-eberhardt-and-james-lee-stanley.html
Ron Sarfaty, www.YouTube.com/SongWriterPerformers, writes:
The long awaited "All Wood and Doors" CD is as incredible as I'd imagined it would be! As one of the few people that had an opportunity to preview bits and pieces of this masterpiece along it's creative way I can tell you the wait was well worth it. My love of the Doors music goes back to the days of Laserium at the Griffith Observatory where I moonlighted as a Laserist. James and Cliff have created a magnificent 'Ear candy' CD. Their arrangements of "Touch Me", "Moonlight Drive" and "People are Strange" are just three of twelve tracks I'd pay cover at any venue in town to hear. Add 10 more wonderfully arranged and mixed tracks and you've got the making of a Platinum album. The mix of James' soft soulful voice with Cliff's smooth yet rock-edged voice are the perfect combination of harmonies. With additional incredible guitar work from Paul Barrere, John Batdorf, Scott Breadman, Laurence Juber, Rick Ruskin, Timothy B. Schmit, Peter Tork and Chad Watson this CD is at the top of my stack and will likely remain there for some time. Thanks to James and Cliff and their special guests John Densmore and Robby Krieger this CD should absolutely be your next purchase!!