A stout, Mill Valley-centric contender has already arrived, as Mill Valley Music and Floating Records have teamed up on Made in Mill Valley, a new double compilation CD chock full of local musicians, from relative newbies to local legends and a slew of stalwart players in between.
“There’s a lot of talent in this town,” Mill Valley Music owner Gary Scheuenstuhl says. “I’m really proud of this project.”
Scheuenstuhl and Floating Records founder Don Zimmer began working on the project after Zimmer secured a regional distribution deal with Whole Foods Market for his fledgling label, which he started on his houseboat in Sausalito in 2008 as an “altruistic record company” whose only desire is to “discover and promote local musicians and bands.”
As part of his annual Mill Valley Music Anniversary Celebrations – the next one is set for Sunday, Nov. 23 at the Sweetwater Music Hall and doubles as a record release party for Made in Mill Valley – Scheuenstuhl had been wanting to put together an album to showcase local talent.
They certainly had plenty to choose from, including household names like Jimmy Dillon, Lorin Rowan and Lisa Kindred and emerging talents like Matt Jaffe and Caroline De Lone. And as has often been the case in the Mill Valley music scene over the past 40-plus years, keyboardist Austin De Lone is the most ubiquitous presence on the album, whether as a solo artist, a producer or a backing musician.
“He’s been a freaking unsung hero in this town and in the Bay Area since the 1960s,” Scheuenstuhl says.
The compilation’s 22 songs run the gamut from rock and blues to alt-country and, fittingly for the album’s moniker, the “Mill Valley” song itself from Rita Abrams and her Strawberry Point 4th Grade Class from 1969. While most of the songs are recent recordings, the compilation also includes “Echoes,” a track from Episode, Scheuenstuhl’s prog-rock band from the early 1990s, that was released on the now-defunct “Cassingle” format.
Given De Lone’s presence on the album, and his integral role in the Mill Valley Music All Stars that has served as the house band for each of Scheuenstuhl's prior Anniversary Celebrations, Scheuenstuhl said he and Zimmer didn’t have to search too far to find a beneficiary organization for the album and Sunday’s concert: the Richard DeLone Special Housing Project (RDSHP), which De Lone formed to educate the public about Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) and to eventually build a residential facility designed for those who have PWS.
PWS is a complex, rare, and random genetic disorder that affects one in 15,000 people, including De Lone’s son Richard, and causes those who suffer from it to be insatiably hungry and require ongoing care. Austin De Lone's annual October benefit concerts for RDSHP are star-studded affairs.
The 411: The Made in Mill Valley compilation CD will be on sale at Sunday’s Sweetwater show and starting Monday, November 24 at Mill Valley Music, Whole Foods Market and the Floating Records online store. The CD Release / Mill Valley Music 7th Anniversary Celebration is set for Sunday, November 23 at the Sweetwater Music Hall, 7:30 pm, 19 Corte Madera Avenue. Click here for more info and to buy tickets. All proceeds after costs will be donated to RDSHP.