Sincere Folk Rock Singer/Songwriter, Wayne Merdinger sheds the light of the present on his storied past on inspired new album, “Hidden Gems”, out April 1, 2023 on streaming platforms. “Hidden Gems” showcases Merdinger’s knack for turning common human emotions and experiences into multi-faceted melodic expressions and moving lyricism. From the warm reflection of the album’s title track to the ‘perfect storm’ of “It’s Raining Somewhere”, this release is full of potent real life stories.
Wayne’s most ambitious project to date, “Hidden Gems” is a hybrid collection made up of six previously unreleased tracks (produced by Danny Saxon and Mark Jaimes) six previously released singles (produced by Mark DeCozio), and a particularly special song, “Abbey Road”, remastered from the 2017 “Behold the Invisible Man” album (produced by Scott Leader).
“I wrote Abbey Road following a 2014 private tour I took of the studio, at which time I never imagined that I would have the chance to record there myself. But low and behold, I did record there, and it was only right to honor that experience with the remastered version of my 2017 tribute.”
All seven previously released tracks were remastered by Streaky (Ed Sheeran, Usher, Snow Patrol, etc.). The 6 unreleased tracks were partially recorded in Studio 2 at Abbey Road Studios in London. The album features, among other established studio musicians, long-time Simply Red guitarist and solo artist, Mark Jaimes, and includes multiple songs written by, or co-written with, Danny Saxon, British producer (Simply Red, Paul Young, Luciano Pavarotti, Jeff Beck, to name a few). Wayne also continues his resurrected 50 year-old friendship with songwriter, Carl Wilkenfeld (“depicted in the song from my 2022 Troubadour EP, Nebraska Bay”), with Carl’s delightful love song, All My Life.
Merdinger penned the opening lyrics of the title track, “Dust off the chords, break out the lines,” to portray the ressurrection of several songs written back in the 1990’s but that never saw the light of day until now. His cry of “Give me back the streets I can walk on” in the energetic “American Dream,” while composed decades ago, is as relevant today as it was in its infancy.
“Several of the songs on this album are truly “hidden gems,” having been written decades ago but never seeing the light of day until now. It was an immense privilege, and a dream come true to work with a group of esteemed producers, musicians, and engineers, at Abbey Road Studios in London, MaD Studios in London, and Brick Road Studio in Scottsdale, AZ to bring this collaborative effort to fruition.”
As much an avid Beatles enthusiast as the most dedicated of us, Wayne Merdinger shares the story of how he came to record at the legendary Abbey Road Studios.
“In 1999, I had the pleasure of working with Danny Saxon on trying to get him a record deal. He had written and demoed a number of amazing tunes but, unfortunately, he wasn’t a “boy band” and “boy bands” were what the record companies were signing at the time. I lost track of Danny shortly thereafter, but following the nostalgic ride of my Troubadour EP, I decided to reconnect with him.
I had recorded some demos of a few of the songs of his that we were pitching in ’99 and was eager to play them for him. I finally caught up with him and we arranged to meet up in London in September 2022. When he heard my demos, he was enthralled and agreed that I should not only record the songs, but that he would produce me, along with his production partner, Mark Jaimes. Since the album was to be partially recorded in London, it was the perfect opportunity for me to live my dream of recording at Abbey Road.
Danny flew to Phoenix, AZ in October for a week of sessions at Brick Road Studio in Scottsdale, and we finished tracking in Studio 2 at Abbey Road in mid-December. In the meantime, Danny and Mark worked feverishly at MaD Studios, outside of London, to prepare all the tracks for the Abbey Road sessions.
As an avid Beatles’ enthusiast, the opportunity of recording in that iconic room, in that historic building, was beyond my wildest imagination. It has an energy that captivates the soul and inspires the ultimate artistry possible. It was my honor, and the experience of a lifetime, to have recorded there.”