Max Greene is proud to announce the release of their new CD, “Visiting Hours,” twelve new songs freshly ushered into reality by Rod Hohl and his prodigiously talented band of musical allies. They are all musicians from the New York scene that Rod has been fortunate enough to play with in varying situations over the years, so it was with much joy and comraderie that the album came to be.
What can be said about Mr. Hohl? He is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer and engineer. He grew up in Somers, New York, (about an hour north of NYC on the Harlem line) and after graduating from Somers High he moved to California and attended San Jose State University, By the time he graduated he was so sick of the traffic he immediately fled back to his home state and settled in Brooklyn, where his good college friend Andy Hess had also moved. Through Andy he met producer Camus Celli, who helped him land his first studio job at Skyline Studios. After making a couple thousand cups of coffee he was actually allowed into the studios to work as an assistant. Concurrently, he was gigging with singer / songwriter Megan Spooner, and did a number of experimental rock records under the name Edison. This band later mutated into Fellaheen, which recorded two albums and won a Bessie Award for best composition in the dance theater piece, “Duck, You Sucker!”
Rod later worked at Electric Lady Studios, where he met both Gabriel Gordon and Jason Darling. At the time Jason was playing guitar in Gabe’s band, but was soon pulled away by other pursuits (including his own album: see Jason Darling on this site) and Rod was obliged to lend Gabe a hand. And so, with Andy Hess on bass and Tony Mason on drums, the 12th Planet was born, and recorded the flagship record, “Global Refugees” for Surprise Truck. The band toured briefly, until Gabe landed the gig playing guitar with Natalie Merchant, who kept him quite busy. Neverless, none could stop the crushing march of time, and soon another project was born….
Max Greene recorded their debut album, “Up With the Pie” for Surprise Truck in March 2001 with Rod Hohl playing guitar and singing, Andy Hess playing fender bass and Robert Bonhomme drumming. Robert had long been playing drums alongside Rod in such projects as Kevin Johansen, John Pinamonti’s High Wide Handsome Band, and in Fellaheen. The album was recorded in Los Angeles at the Lincoln Lounge with engineer and producer Steve Reflinger.
Andy’s phone, however, would not stop ringing and soon he too was on the road, first with Freedy Johnston, then Joan Osbourne, the Black Crowes, John Scofield, and Gov’t Mule. In the meantime, Max Greene adopted James Stuart on bass and from this was born the band Rearview, who made two records, one with Camus Celli and another with John Seymour running the ship.
As a guitarist, Rod has long been supporting the brilliant singer/songwriter Mary Lee Kortes in her band, Mary Lee’s Corvette, touring the US, Spain and the UK and appearing on three of her albums: “700 Miles” “Love, Loss and Lunacy” and the surprise hit cover of Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks. Additionally, he played with NY rootsy-tonk staple John Pinamonti for nearly a decade and appears on the record, “JP3”. He also wrote and produced a number of records with lyricist Steve Mandel, who co-wrote four songs on “Up With the Pie.” Notably, they created the album, “Bardonia” and most recently, “Monroe” at Electric Lady Studios. They are also collaborating on what may be the longest song in history, the Declaration of Schmindependence, already over two hours long and growing.
In the midst of this, Rod landed a job as house engineer at Harmony 534 studios, recording such notable artists as Art Garfunkel and Carly Simon, and working closely with the great arranger and composer Don Sebesky in the production of various television and radio commercials.
And the soul of Max Greene would not sit quiet…Rod continues writing and, armed with the new studio, began production of “Visiting Hours.” Andy had some time off; they grabbed Dan Rieser to drum and with the engineering help of Scott Anthony the basic tracks came together quickly and naturally. Rod had been gigging the songs in a duo format under the name Max and Lana with singer Jamie Jackson, and she lent her voice on nine of the tracks. Mary Lee sang as well, Bob Hoffnar played pedal steel, Brian Mitchell played Wurlitzer, John Pinamonti played guitar and ukelele, Camus played some wurlie too, Josh Roy Brown played lap steel and dobro, Joe Chiofalo sat in on accordion and Brian Slattery came down and blazed a solo on fiddle. Keeping it close to home, Rod mixed the record and had Scott Anthony master it.