In My Soul
A brief personal passage of time
by Carli Muñoz—Artist/ Producer
They say that if you can remember the 60s you weren’t there—and I must confess that I don’t remember most of it.... I was there! The latter part of the 1960s had been for me among other things, a time of uncertainty and confusion. But in retrospect, I believe it all culminated in a world of new possibilities and soul transformation that shaped the way of things to come. I often thought of it as a decade of “maybes,” which in my view had pretty much had crushed the illusion of certainty that had been embedded in our society from previous generations. On the other hand, some people may see the 60s as self-indulgent or as a breeding ground for moral relativism. But in all as I perceive it, having challenged the status quo resulted in character growth, spiritual depth and a major leap in creative thinking, even with its risks and losses—we did what we did and we are here now— for the better… Maybe.
All this transformation, as a result of the 60s social and spiritual revolution, gave way to the possibility that maybe It’s not too late, that change is possible and more than that, necessary. Ominous events that were present at the time, such as the Vietnam War and the possibility of pushing "the big red button" at the peak of the cold war certainly gave humanity a wake-up call—it was time to meet again, regroup and focus on peace or at least on the necessity, if not urgency of surviving as humans. Events like this made way to a critical mass which lead us inward, stirring up big questions that we had been afraid to ask ourselves before, such as “Who am I?” “What am I here for?” These questions for many of us actually became an all too familiar “voice,” an inner voice that became our Constant companion....
But of course back at the ranch it still remained to be seen if along with this unprecedented social and spiritual transformation, the political climate was to evolve. What did remain a constant was the cry of the American people: Wake up America! The American dream bubble had burst—it was time for a new slate, for a fresh canvas to paint a new and brighter future and create new dreams. And new dreams came in different shapes and forms and sizes. Once, I dreamt that I was a rock’n roll star Under the moonlight!
Rock’n roll and moonlight happened to mix well for me because I was a child growing up during the early rock era and at the same time a hopeless romantic dreaming of dancing with the girl of my dreams to Guy Lombardo under the moonlight! But dreams wither, new seeds are planted and human emotions remain as fragile as they were in the beginning of time. There isn’t a more gut-wrenching experience and simultaneously a greater lesson than one of love going From red to blue, I’m telling you from my own experience! It is a space where no in between can exist; so adieu, if taken with resignation and self-introspect—it can lead to the mastery of our own emotions, but not without the pain.
Speaking of pain... whether we are aware of it or not, we are surrounded by pain. I often find myself focusing a little too much on self-preservation without looking sideways or much further. At this time, there are nearly 650,000 homeless people in America and 100 million worldwide. The trail of misery and grief goes on and on, along with hunger, disease, war and every imaginable and unimaginable perpetration among us humans.
How easy it is to forget that we live in a world of crumbling stones! And at that inexorable moment in time when we gasp for our last breath of air-—how ephemeral, a life of merely gathered possessions! The Egyptian Pharaohs believed they had access to their possessions in the afterlife. Shouldn’t we have cleared that notion long ago? And yet, how sweet is the smell of home—however humble—when our loved ones are there to greet us! But how stale and lonely, however sumptuous, when No one is there.
So shit happens, as we say, but never out of the blue... we reap what we sow, call it Karma, but what remains true is that at some point in our lives we find ourselves All alone. So we hit bottom... how I long to rescue my sense of joy! How low can I go before I become The dean of elation? Maybe I’ll become a lunatic for a while... and indulge myself in some Lunaressence? Will I then be in my sanctum? Could that be the way it’s all written In my soul?
Old Friends Making New Music
by Fred Vail, Co-producer of In My Soul, Treasure Isle Recorders "Music City, USA," -- Nashville, TN
Carli's and my friendship goes back 42 years. At the time, he was just beginning his 15 year association with The Beach Boys, as a percussionist and keyboardist, and I was their Touring and Marketing Manager. Our mutual friend, the late Dennis Wilson, brought Carli and I together.
I can still remember Denny's excitement as we drove out to Pasadena to meet Carli at his home. And forty-two years later, I am absolutely certain that DW, and his younger brother Carl, are looking down at Carli and I—with a warm smile on their face and enormous pride for a job well done.
You see, this album is a genuine labor of love. We put nearly two years of our lives into this great music. We were fortunate that a number of our friends gave unselfishly of their time and talents to help make this exceptional album.
When I left the Beach Boys in 1971, I moved to the South and became a marketing executive for Capitol Records, the same label that had been home to The Beach Boys for so many of their hit albums and singles. In 1973, I accepted a similar position with RCA Records and a short time later, in the spring of 1974, at the urging of Waylon Jennings, I moved to Nashville. I consulted for a number of artists, including The Captain and Tennille, and George Clinton (Parliament/Funkadelic), along with RSO, GRT, and Chess-Janus Records. I also kept up my personal friendship with Denny, Carli and 'the boys.' In fact, this year, 2012, I have been a close friend and associate of The Beach Boys for 49 of their 50 years.
I always visited the group on the road whenever time permitted and, of course, Carli and I would have long talks about his music and the 'solo' project that Denny was contemplating. Denny's musical dream became a reality with the 1977 release of his critically acclaimed album, Pacific Ocean Blue. Carli, along with Daryl Dragon ("The Captain"), Gregg Jakobson, and engineer Tom Murphy, played a significant role in the album. DW had finally stepped out from the shadow of his older brother Brian, and the result was met with enormous praise from fans and media alike.
I was well entrenched in Nashville at the time of POB's recording and on a trip to the West Coast in late winter of 1977, I visited Denny in his rented beach house in Venice. Seeing his excitement as he played me selections from the album on his piano--and listening to a few of the taped tracks that were near completion—I, like so many others, could hardly wait for its release.
While POB did not initially achieve the sales success we had all hoped for, it has become somewhat of a cult classic—and, more than that, it gave DW the incentive to begin work on a subsequent album, Bambu, which was finally completed posthumously in time to be included in a special two-CD set on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the first release of Pacific Ocean Blue.
Carli was a major part of Bambu, as a co-producer, composer and musician. From the beginning, as we started to formulate the production of In My Soul, we knew that four of Bambu's tracks would become the corner stone of this album: It's Not Too Late, Under The Moonlight, All Alone, and Constant Companion.
For the past thirty-two years, as owner-operator of Treasure Isle Recorders, the Nashville studio I co-founded in 1980 and still manage today, I've been truly blessed to have worked with some of the most gifted and successful artists of the 20th Century. The Beach Boys, James Taylor, Alabama, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, BB King, Isaac Hayes, Sheryl Crow, Rodney Crowell, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Sting, and John Denver, among others, have all experienced the unique "sound" of our studio. More recently, Keith Urban, Jason Aldean, Trace Adkins, Miranda Lambert and Montgomery Gentry have recorded with us.
But I could not be more proud of my friendship with Carli and the love and passion we put into this album. We hope you enjoy our efforts as much as we enjoyed working together on In My Soul.
Additional liner notes In My Soul — Liner notes
By J. A. Crowther
So who is Carli Munoz and why has it taken him over 40 years to record his first rock album? Well dear listener, that is like asking what is a sunrise and why does it take 24 hours to return? The truth is that Carli is a musical force of nature and Art takes as long as it takes to gestate.
OK, so a bit of history maybe needed here. Carli along with future Beach Boys lyricist/manager Jack Rieley headed out West in late 1969 with a few compositions and nothing more than traditional Yankee pioneer spirit in search of the Promised Land, (although in truth Carli had cut his musical chops playing jazz since 1963, and then fronting The Living End also known at times as Space, the first, maybe the only but certainly the best psychedelic band to emanate from Puerto Rico.)
Once in California and due to co-incidental events of epic proportions whilst on Beach Boys turf, both Jack and Carli found themselves as part of the Beach Boys Family, where Carli would remain until 1981. Towards the end of his tenure, he was trying to coax Dennis into finishing his follow up to Pacific Ocean Blue, an album of Carli compositions known as variously as the Bamboo/Bambu/Caribu Sessions, but until unearthed recently in conversation designed to be known as The End of the Road. The compositions remained hidden for years till All Alone appeared on a Beach Boys compilation. Then on June 17th 2008, after decades during which Carli had released a series of critically well received jazz albums and some 30 years after their original proposed release date, Sony/Epic/Caribu released POB/Bambu as part of their Legacy series.
Again only a fraction of the songs that Carli had intended to be part of the project appeared on the double disc; it seemed that would be the last anyone would hear of the project, until Carli announced in Feb 2012 on a British radio station that he intended to make his first solo rock album using the songs intended for Bambu and also compositions dating back to the late 60s, some of them composed with Rieley.
To huge applause from the listening audience Carli announced the rising of a new album in the horizon. It is not a Beach Boys Album, it's not even a traditional Carli Muñoz Album, it is in truth the blossoming of a rose whose seeds were planted in the previous Millennium, the music spans presidencies, generations, styles and forms. It’s the first public bow of Carli Munoz, it’s a personal work and therefore it’s a work of Art... who is Carli Muñoz and why has it taken him over 40 years to record his first rock album? In truth your ears will tell you all you need to know.