©2003 Sepia Prod - All rights reserved.
“Hotel Bravo” is Napoleon Washington’s debut album. Featuring 14 original songs of acoustic blues, it has been entirely recorded under a traffic bridge next to a freight trains yard.
Executive production & financial supervision :
Eric”Prod” Laesser for Sepia Productions
Produced by Napoleon Washington
Recording & mix engineer : Fabian Schild
2nd engineer : Daniel Laurent for Bagdad Audio / Le Mobil
Mobile unit manager : Mary Brugger for Bagdad Audio / Le Mobil
On location facilities & Grip : Cédric Pipoz for Ag’Art
RECORDED ON LOCATION, july 2002
La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, under Le Grand Pont traffic bridge, yes Ma’am
Recording unit : Le Mobil / Bagdad Audio
MIxed at Bagdad Studios by Fabian Schild & Napoleon Washington,
Mix consulting & genuine mood brightening : Marc O Jeanrenaud
Mastered at Greenwood Studios by Glenn Miller
Graphics : Fourmi Rouge Tinkering Co.
Napoleon Washington plays on FINE RESOPHONIC guitars / NEWTONE strings.
Marc O. Jeanrenaud plays on BOSPHORUS cymbals.
I met Napoleon Washington fifteen years ago. Long before his name got to Napoleon Washington. Long before Sepia Productions ever existed.
We’ve been lucky to work together for seven years now: six for the Crawlin’ Kingsnake Blues Band (an average of one hundred gigs a year and one album in 98, «Stomp My Feet») as well as 5 tours with late great Rock Bottom (Tampa Bay’s Blues harp godfather).
Then on the launch of his present acoustic project. In november 2000, Sepia decided to put up a modest recording session, in order to cut a 5 tracks promotional CD of Napoleon Washington’s work.
Everything got packed in half a day for a very low budget. Surprisingly, several local US radio stations (WMNF, WFDU, WFCF etc.)
We gave it some airplay and the disc, even though originally not for sale, eventually got a little success among the american Blues audience.
After giving it a listen, Bruce Iglauer – the boss at Alligator records, one of the most important Chicago indie labels – wrote this:
«This is a very good piece of music that shows a lot of understanding of the Delta Blues tradition and a deep feeling for the true sounds. He plays and sings as well as many Americans who do this style, and better than most.
All in all, I considered this quite an outstanding recording»
Unfortunately, M. Iglauer regretted not to be able to open the US market to an artist not only european, but also white. In Europe i.e., Ruf Records was also sorry to renounce a collaboration, despite the obvious quality of the product.
In short, access to the market through established major labels comes up against two main difficulties: Napoleon Washington is european, white and lacks reputation.
There is of course no way to skip the first obstacle. Nevertheless, today’s means of communication – from the web to more and more inexpensive transportation – tend to loosen the relation between one’s passport’s color and his true membership of a «cultural community».
It is for us then, in the particular matter of an initial public recognition, to gather what seems to be the «paid-in capital» record labels demand. In short, to make Napoleon Washington exist.
Hotel Bravo is our proposition for take-off.