I suppose the idea for BEST came to me last December. I was in Beverly Hills just walking in the rain. There was an exhibition of the photography of Richard Avedon and I’d always been interested in his work so I thought I’d check it out, get out of the rain for a while and then get a glass of wine. I remember a huge white wall with at least 60 different photos–all figurative stuff, all different. It was a very ‘60s approach. I write, play and sing music but I’m also very interested in art. I don’t really see the difference in the different mediums; literature, painting, acting, etc., it’s all expression. I saw the pictures presented that way and considered what its counterpart would be musically and BEST came out of that. I didn’t want to do the obvious thing and simply put out a "Greatest Hits” record as anyone can do that through iTunes. Just download a play list and hey, "presto.”
This collection is called BEST because it’s my best. It’s me putting together my favorite work and it’s totally subjective; I had no one to answer to but myself. It was, I have to say, great fun. I re-sang "Missing You” and "Back On My Feet Again” as the lyrics and melodies had been written literally hours or at most a day before recording the originals so long ago. I always felt I could "do” them better and bring something to them that I’d missed, update the production and make them more vital. And besides, a retrospective was a nice way of looking at my work. I wanted to connect the dots as much for myself as for anyone who might hear it.
I set about the task at hand on my return from England on New Year’s Eve. I’d been making lists over the holidays and decided to simply follow my heart. There was no way I could exclude "Bluebird Café” or "Suicide Life.” I also wanted to add live tracks from my great live band–Tim Hogan (bass), Kerri Kelli (guitar) and Rhondo (drummer)–and I remembered I had a steaming unreleased version of "Every Time I Think Of You” from last year that was so real it bordered on ‘60s soul music. My duet with Alison Krauss on "Missing You” was important to me on a profound level as it showed my love for country, bluegrass and in fact, Alison, whilst "Rough and Tumble” was pure blues rock.