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Who Is “Shakespeare’s Cadillac”?

Over the past several years I have been fortunate to record with some GREAT musicians.*

Some of those musicians can be heard on the Parallel soundtrack. Some played virtually, i.e., I emailed them mp3 versions of the songs. Then they added their parts and sent those parts back to me. Other musicians recorded their parts in the studio with me.

Bass player John Burchett played on all the songs. He is a fantastic bass player with credits too long to mention (but you can access his music bio here). He has also become a close friend. Matt Podschweit is one of the best keyboardists I’ve ever played with. He plays on “Shakespeare’s Cadillac,” “Let’s Go Again,” “I Will Wait for You,” and “Worlds Apart.” Bobby Furgo played piano on “Glorious Charade.” He also played violin on “Oh Virginia” and “Crawling Through Glass” (songs not on this album, but located elsewhere on this site).  Bobby has played with some of the greatest singers and songwriters of all time: Frank Sinatra, Leonard Cohen (he played violin on the classics “Hallelujah,” and “Dance Me to the End of Love”), and Eric Burdon (former lead singer for many bands including The Animals, (“House of the Rising Sun”), to mention just a very, very few in his extremely long list of collaborations. Pete Templer, of the band Axiom, played guitar on “Echoes of the Apocalypse.” (Click here for more information on Pete Templer and Axiom.)

As of the release of this book/album, Shakespeare’s Cadillac has not played live as a band. However, I put together a “Storyteller Evening” and I’ve been trying it out locally. I play the songs from the book and talk a little about each song. There are two versions of the performance: Acoustic and full band. In the acoustic version I play solo or with another musician. The band version is a full rock and roll experience. If you are interested in either show, please CLICK HERE for more information.

I want to thank these talented musicians for their contributions to this album.

Stephen Smoke

*Garth Hudson, keyboardist for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band, The Band (who are also known for backing Bob Dylan), played on two songs on my “Trick of the Light” album (“Wild Child” and “Lemon Midnight”). Barry Keenan, founder of The Invisible Poet Kings, who is also a well-known songwriter, singer and musician, played on and produced parts of the “Trick of the Light” album. He also sang and played on (and produced) “Diamond Mind”–a song from the “Cathedral of the Senses” album.


John Burchett

John Burchett plays bass on all the songs on the “Parallel” album. 

“My earliest influence was Paul McCartney. When I saw The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show I told my dad that I wanted to play bass. He said, ‘We’ll get you a bass as long as you don’t look like them.’ Boots Collins, who played with James Brown, and Chris Hillman, bass player for The Byrds, were also influences.” (Picture at Left: John Burchett at Col Ballroom in 1975,)

“I really enjoy playing in the Palm Springs area. There are a lot of great players who played with some of the biggest-name singers and bands. I love hearing their stories from back in the day. Plus, they’re great musicians, which keeps me pushing to make myself better.

“Also, there are lots of places to play in the desert with the Snowbirds coming from Canada durin the winter, and so many hotels, resorts and clubs.

“Also, it’s been fun recording this album, ‘Parallel.’ Working on original material gives me the opportunity to be creative. To create a piece of music where there was no bass part before. I like that.”

Bands Through the Years

Tanos Headband (1966-1968)

Willie Newman and the Del Rays (1968-1970)

West End Power System (1974-1976)

Funk Fever with Pete Templer (1975)

Jade (1976)

Atoms Family (1977-1979)

The Blue Collar Band (1979-1982)

Jim Schwall (1982-1985)

The Blue Collar Band (1985-1990)

Noble Spirit (recording projects) (1988-1998)

The Ellis Kell Band (1990-2016)

Wooz Dads (2012-2016)

Mighty Sweet Nothings (2018-2020)

The Desert Suite Band (2020-present)

River Music Experience 2017

Mississippi Valley Fest 2009

Biz Street Fest 2017