Diamond Rugs

John McCauley has a reputation for enjoying a good collaboration with other artists between projects with his band Deer Tick -- some time off from the band led to the album Middle Brother, featuring McCauley, Taylor Goldsmith, and Matthew Vasquez -- and Diamond Rugs is a group that came together when McCauley happened to meet one of his favorite musicians. McCauley saw a performance by Los Lobos in his adopted hometown of Nashville, and after the show he met Steve Berlin, who plays sax, keyboards, and percussion with the veteran Los Angeles group. McCauley and Berlin struck up a conversation, and McCauley mentioned he was planning on recording some solo material; he invited Berlin to play on the sessions, and Berlin agreed. McCauley soon rounded up an eclectic group of musicians to join them for the upcoming project, including Deer Tick bandmate Robbie Crowell, Ian Saint Pé of the Black Lips, Hardy Morris of Dead Confederate, and Bryan Dufresne of Six Finger Satellite. Once the six musicians arrived in the studio, plans for a McCauley solo album quickly fell by the wayside as the players began exchanging ideas and introducing material of their own into the mix. The musicians soon gelled into a band, and McCauley dubbed the new group Diamond Rugs. The results of their initial recording sessions appeared on a self-titled album, issued by Partisan Records in the spring of 2012. The group reconvened for a second outing at the same Nashville studio to record their follow-up Cosmetics which arrived in early 2015. ~ Mark Deming

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