Stonecutters’ Union

Thank you for visiting the Stonecutters’ Union webpage. If you’ve found your way here, you probably are seeking more information about us and our first album, “Casting Spells.”
Here’s the background: Several years ago, I met Anna Montgomery, the vocalist on the album, through our mutual friend, Randy Wooten. Randy and I had played and toured together with his band, the Bloody Lovelies. He approached me about starting a new project with an amazing singer he’d met—Anna. The result was our band, Raw Sugar.
Subsequently, Anna and I would frequently get together to create demos for the band. Some of the songs worked and others either didn’t work stylistically, or became fodder for other, unrelated projects. Through the sheer enjoyment of our creative process, we slowly amassed a catalog of very “un-Raw Sugar-like” material. During the two-year period that our band was together, Anna and I realized that we had unintentionally developed a “side project.”
Most of this material sat idly for years on various hard drives and became for us a source of lament. It seemed that whenever we got together, we talked about the project that someday we’d finish. Finally, in 2012, I decided the year had arrived to dust off the cobwebs and do justice to our long-overdue collaboration. The result is the album that you have before you.
The name “Stonecutters’ Union” came from an article that I had read regarding the construction of the church “Saint John the Divine” in New York City. I was intrigued by the difficulties that the architects had encountered in trying to recreate a Gothic cathedral in the modern era due to the lack of skilled artisans with the specific knowledge of how to carve stone in the old tradition.
I remarked to Anna that I saw a musical parallel to this difficulty in the way that the recording process had changed since its early years. Recording had evolved from being an art form requiring specialized equipment available to only a small number of highly skilled engineers, to become a rather ubiquitous process supported by the new digital media that enabled nearly anyone with minimal technical resources and skills to record an album. I imagined that just as there had been no stone artisans left to help build Saint John the Divine, in a few hundred years there might be no one around who would know who to operate the antique tape machines and outboard equipment left from the earlier days of music recording. By analogy, I felt that the painstaking, handcrafted work that we had poured into sculpting the creation that is this album, we were somehow akin to the medieval, nearly extinct Stonecutters.

Regardless of our pretentious moniker, however, we sincerely hope that you enjoy the music that we made together. This album is very personal to me, and its completion, which marks the end of a process that has taken the better part of 6 years, feels cathartic. I had written many of the songs years earlier, and in working to complete the album, I often found myself forced to relive moments from my past and attempt to re-invoke the spirit or the conflict that I had been dealing with at the time the songs first came to life—whatever it was that formed the creative spark behind each song.
And always, my primary goal has been to create a body of work that hopefully would be as enjoyable and inspiring for the listener as it has been for me to create. Thank you for taking the time to seek out and listen to our music. We sincerely hope that you dig it!!!
CASTING SPELLS

Beyond the Earth and Sky
Anna Montgomery – Vocals
Aaron Kaplan – Guitars, Bass
Michael Thompson – Piano
Jimmy Levine – Organ
Michael Jerome – Drums

Blessing
Anna Montgomery – Vocals
Aaron Kaplan – Guitars, Bass, Programming,
Rob Persaud – Synths and additional programming
Jordan Feinstein – Pedal Steel
Dana Neilsen – Saxophone

Heartache
Anna Montgomery – Vocals
Aaron Kaplan – Guitars, Bass, Mandolin
Michael Thompson – Piano
Michael Jerome – Drums
Jordan Feinstein – Hammond Organ
Charissa Neilsen – Additional Vocals

One and the Same
Anna Montgomery – Vocals
Aaron Kaplan – Guitars, Bass
Michael Thompson – Piano
Michael Jerome – Drums and Percussion
Jordan Feinstein – Hammond Organ

Ewe and Eye
Anna Montgomery – Vocals
Aaron Kaplan – Guitars, Bass, Banjo
Michael Jerome – Drums

After the Rain
Anna Montgomery – Vocals
Aaron Kaplan – Guitars, Bass
Michael Thompson – Piano
Fiato Quartet – Strings
Michael Jerome – Drums

Sweet Dark Creation
Anna Montgomery – Vocals
Aaron Kaplan – Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, Synthesizer
Michael Thompson – Piano
Jordan Feinstein – Organ
Michael Jerome – Drums

Lost in the Dark
Anna Montgomery – Vocals
Aaron Kaplan – Guitar, Bass, Mellotron
Rob Persaud – Synth Programming
Michael Jerome – Drums

Ursula
Anna Montgomery – Vocals
Aaron Kaplan – Guitar, Bass
Michael Thompson – Piano
Jordan Feinstein – Hammond Organ
Michael Jerome – Drums

Blindsided
Anna Montgomery – Vocals
Aaron Kaplan – Guitars
Chris Golden – Bass
Michael Thompson – Piano
Fiato Quartet – Strings
Michael Jerome – Drums

Bonus Tracks (Digital download only)

Hardest to Find
Anna Montgomery – Vocals
Aaron Kaplan – Guitars, Bass
Jordan Feinstein – Hammond Organ
Michael Jerome – Drums

Place in History
Anna Montgomery – Vocals
Aaron Kaplan – Guitar, Bass
Michael Thompson – Piano
Jordan Feinstein – Hammond Organ
Michael Jerome – Drums

Lucy’s Light
Anna Montgomery – Vocals
Aaron Kaplan – Guitars, Piano
Chris Golden – Bass
Fiato Quartet – Strings

Produced by Aaron Kaplan
Additional production by Kevin Globerman
Engineered by Aaron Kaplan, Kevin Globerman, JJ Blair, Stephen Mann and
Jeff Vaughn
Art and logo design by Stephanie Kaplan
All songs by Aaron Kaplan except Lucy’s Light, written by Anna Montgomery
Mastered by Stephen Marsh – Marsh Mastering
Copyright 2013 All Rights Reserved