Andy Goessling: Mandolin, clarinet, dobro, guitars. backing vocals
Lindsey Horner: bass, penny whistles, backing vocals
Randy Crafton: percussion, backing vocals
Timothy Hill: guitar, vocals
Band active between 2012 – 2018
I’ve known Andy Goessling for most of my conscious life: I was 15 and he was 17 when we first met. He was already a gigging musician and proficient on several instruments at the time, both things that I aspired to.
As the years passed, we moved in somewhat different circles but always seemed to find the way back to each other. We would call each other from the road, whatever band we were touring with and swap stories, offer advice and consolation and laugh – he was a great man for a joke or a humorous take on almost any situation.
We talked for years about “getting something together”, but never could quite find the time or circumstance to do it. We’d do the odd gig once in a while and always say that we should really “do more of this”. Finally, in 2012, our mutual friend, Jim Gilheany (“St. James”, I call him), had some free studio time and asked if we wanted to come in and try putting some things down. From that humble beginning, Sleeping Bee took flight. With no schedule or deadline and no real, clear direction of where we would end up, we took our time over the next year ultimately moving operations to the first rate studio of my friend, Randy Crafton, who ended up playing percussion and becoming an integral part of the project. That first record, “Heyday Maker”, was an important one for Andy as it marked really the first time that he was able to present something that had so much of his own input. There are original tunes of his, mine and versions of songs by artists we admired like Keith Jarrett and Bob Dylan. I’ve often said that we’d each spent most of our careers as sidemen making other people sound good; Sleeping Bee was our chance to have our say.
I thought of my good friend, Timothy Hill, who in addition to being a wonderful songwriter himself and a very special singer well versed in the art of harmonic singing (whereby he can sing chords and more than one note at once), was the perfect addition to what we were already doing. The first time I played Andy some recordings of Timothy’s, he said, “I feel like I know this guy already”. Sleeping Bee thus became the four of us.
Other commitments made it difficult for us to play as much as we would have liked given what turned out to be the limited time that we had. The band grew into something special and I believe it was very significant for Andy as he played outside of his comfort zone in Sleeping Bee. He welcomed the challenge of that recognizing that we were more about “improvising” than about “jamming”. It was a more serious approach that stood up to closer musical scrutiny than perhaps some of the other things he had been involved with. He thrived on that and wanted to know more and more. And of course he always would come up with an idea or an instrument that nobody else would have though of.
We had only just finished our second album, “Come Down In Thunder”, much of it done during his last year when nobody knew how much time he had left. I do believe it was the music that kept him going as long as he did. I know that he was very proud of this record – when I went to see him for the last time, he had a copy of it propped up on his nightstand where he could see it. I do believe that some of his most adventurous playing is to be heard on this record and if I have any regrets at all it is only that, as much great music as we were able to play together, I only wish there could have been more.
Andy was a special man and a special musician. I am a better person and a better musician for having known him. I will always treasure the time we had and the music we were blessed to make together.
– Lindsey Horner