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Iceberg is now 63.
Part of the motivation for his nonstop recording project is simply to preserve his songs. "I feel like these are my last years when I'll be able to. I don't know how long my voice, such as it is, will last. I don't know how long physically I'll be able to do this."
If there's urgency in Iceberg's effort to document the songs delivered to him by the collective unconscious, there's also a lesson for anyone contemplating life's journey.
"I was a lawyer all those years — I was not very accomplished as a musician. I didn't feel I was capable of holding my own with musicians. I was kind of intimidated by approaching other musicians. But through the years, if you persevere in anything, your name starts to get known, for good or bad. I got to be a little better — at least I wasn't embarrassing myself. Other people liked my songs, and people started saying, 'Hey, I'll play with you.' I started working with better and better musicians, which taught me more."
Now those musicians are learning from him.
When we asked Howard Iceberg if hed like to post some MP3s for Pitch readers, he suggested these three, saying they represent a lot of different contributors as well as different moods or styles. He names names below.
My own bandmates at that time: longtime co-conspirator Gary Paredes on guitar, Doug Osburn on bass, and Steve DiFranco (for eight years a member of notorious London ska band Bad Manners) on drums.
MP3: "The Wrestler"
Kasey Rausch (well-known local folkie) on guitar and harmony vocals, Rich Hill (well-known jazz pianist and member of music faculty at UMKC) on keyboards, Pat Tomek (former Rainmaker) on drums, Doug Osburn on bass.
MP3: "Earth Safari"
A Beach Boys parody. Mike Ireland (honky-tonk hero, appeared on Grand Ole Opry in Nashville about a dozen times), arrangement and vocals, most harmonies, bass; Dan Mesh (current bandmate, also has appeared on Grand Ole Opry) on rhythm guitar, harmony; Chad Rex (local excellent songwriter) on rhythm and lead guitar; Josh Mobley (Hearts of Darkness, and the Afterparty) on keyboards; Pat Tomek on drums and percussion.