Love brought Gomez bassist Paul Blackburn to Oakland County.
And even though he and his wife Rachelle, who just completed her dietitian’s degree at Wayne State University, plan to move back to his native, England, in August, Blackburn says he’s still a fan of metro Detroit and of Michigan.
“I really like the area, and I think the state itself is beautiful,” says Blackburn, 33, who met Rachelle through a mutual friend when Gomez played in 1994 at Clutch Cargo’s in Pontiac. “People kind of see Detroit and they go, ‘Ooh, what’s going on here?’ But from spending more time over here, you start realizing there’s a lot of things going on, a lot more life than you initially think there might be.
“I think it’s got more of a bad rap than it deserves. We’re very happy here — we’re just moving because it’s easier to be back and closer to the rest (of the band).”
Blackburn and Gomez are back on the road promoting the quintet’s latest album, “A New Tide,” which came out in March. The album was recorded over a spread of time, starting with writing sessions in October 2007 and finished in September 2008, and in different locales — including the Charlottesville, Va., studio owned by Dave Matthews (whose ATO label Gomez records for) and Chicago, where the group “tucked into” gourmet hot dogs.
The working arrangement, Blackburn says, was dictated by domestic concerns that affected his bandmates as well.
“There were a lot of good things, ’cause people have kids now, and everybody’s married,” he says. “So we were kind of dividing our time up between being at home and being together, touring or recording.
“But we’ve all got laptops and all sorts of music-making programs, so we could record things at home and send them ’round to each other over the Internet. We were able to work together when we were apart as well, so we could still be productive and enjoy our home lives, which was nice.”
Gomez and Steel Train perform Friday (May 22) at St. Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call (313) 961-6358 or visit www.livenation.com.
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