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Never Too Late is a collection of songs written by Bobby Zirkel. When his brother Steve heard them he decided they should be recorded “with real musicians.”  This album is the result of that collaboration. The album has been a work in progress for several years, with contributions from many musicians and several recording studios and engineers. The following deserve special mention: Erich Avinger handled final mixing and mastering with Steve’s production advice and occasional suggestions from Bobby.  Special thanks to Eliza Gilkyson and Guy Forsyth for the duets with Marc Utter, who brought to each song a distinctive and unique vocal interpretation. Marc channeled Bob Livingston’s inspired version of Magic Wand. Lauren Mueller, Rachel Trudell, and Jenny Roquemore provided inspiration and encouragement. Shannon McVey created the cover art. Thanks to Groovehouse Recordings for being patient and easy to work with.

About the Band

The Shadeburners are the band assembled by Steve Zirkel to record the songs. Steve selected musicians that he has performed with over the years in various Austin bands. The basic tracks, with Steve Z playing bass, Marc Utter on vocals and rhythm guitar, and Brad Evilsizer on drums and percussion, were first recorded at Top Hat Studios. Additional vocal and instrumental tracks were added at Top Hat and other studios. 

Marc Utter grew up in Abilene, Texas, where in high school he formed his band Blood of a Poet, the first new wave/goth band in Abilene. He studied music and theater at University of North Texas, playing in bands and writing songs before moving to Austin.  His country band, The Good Medicine Band opened for The Dixie Chicks, Joe Ely, The Flatlanders, and Junior Brown. Marc was a founding member of Hundred Year Flood. He also opened for the Grateful Dead. Marc has released Blackland, a solo CD of his own songs. He has worked extensively with Will Taylor and Strings Attached. He started Ivory Ghost, playing Afro-groove and Latin influenced World music. (Steve and Woody Russell also played with Ivory Ghost). Marc currently divides his time between Austin and Terlingua, TX where he plays at the Starlight Theater and High Sierra Bar.

Steve Zirkel played trumpet in school bands in Austin.  After high school he worked with several Tejano bands, including Little Joe and La Familia, and later joined the groundbreaking Austin band Beto Y Los Fairlanes.  Steve eventually picked up bass guitar, playing with several local jazz bands, including Passenger, Mitch Watkins, and Tomas Ramirez. He traveled with Leonard Cohen on his 1988 I’m Your Man European and North American tours, playing bass, trumpet and keyboards, and singing backup vocals.  He later became an original member of Will Taylor’s Strings Attached. He joined the salsa band Sabor Latino in the early 90’ as arranger, pianist and musical director. In 1996, he began an ongoing stint with legendary Austin band, The Brew, helping that band make the transition from smooth jazz/pop/soul to a Latin salsa band.  Steve has played on over 60 albums, producing and/or arranging half of them. He is one of the few local sidemen who performed on the early Austin City Limits live TV stage with three different bands (Beto, Tomas Ramirez, and Cohen.) He now focuses on a few local groups, including Beto, Ramirez, the Brew and Strings Attached.  And most recently, he founded the group that became The Shadeburners. Brad Evilsizer currently resides in Kansas City, after many years in Austin, where he played with multiple bands, often performing with Steve, Strings Attached, and Glenn Rexach.

Guitarist and singer/songwriter Woody Russell blurs the lines between Jazz, R&B, Rock and Folk. He is also known for his vocal creativity (i. e. at the end of Thermometer).

Glenn Rexach has been playing guitar for 49 years.  He is fluent in jazz, fusion, blues, rock, Latin, and World Beat styles. He has performed with Strings Attached, the Vanguards, Just Released, the Jacqui Walker modern blues band, and jazz legend Eddie Harris. He was  featured on the Texas Guitar Slingers CD, and his Glenn Rexach Group has two albums, Living Joe to Joe and Panrican.


Produced and arranged by Stephen Zirkel

Recording Engineers

John Harvey and Mary Podio - Top Hat Studio (basic tracks)

Erich Avinger - Popsicle Rockslide Studio (vocal overdubs)

Erich Avinger - Invisible Audio (overdubs, final mixing, mastering)

Will Taylor - recording assistance (Magic Wand, Give Me Back My Breath, Footprints)

Jeff Johnson - Single Pitch Studios (vocal overdubs)