Yesterday I took 24 songs with me to Reel Love Recording Studio and laid them at the feet of engineer par excellence Patrick Himes. Two of these songs were co-written with a friend from Ipswich. (The one in Suffolk, not the one in Massachusetts.) One of them was co-written with a fine gentleman by the name of Greg Owens, and you should really check out his work here: https://www.gregowensmusic.com/. One of them is an anagram; well, many of them are probably anagrams, but one of them is intentionally an anagram. (Here’s a random thought: “Anna Graham” would be a pretty cool character name for a book.) One of them has a French title, but English lyrics. One of them has a Spanish title with Spanish lyrics. None of them have any reference to opera, Manitoba, apricots, or Tuvok.
In addition to Mister Himes, I invited some talented local musicians and songwriters to talk through the songs with me. I found their input and experience to be very valuable. You see, this was a pre-production session. The idea here was to have a plan of attack for how to approach recording these songs in order to squeeze the very best out of them. Now, for the most part, I handle the arrangement at home shortly after writing a song… I also plan out the instrumentation and personnel that I might wish to use. However, this was an opportunity to get outside opinions on these decisions, and since most of the time I write on my own, it was nice to put these songs in front of other folks.
Today I head back to Reel Love to begin tracking my second album. Yesterday and today… these are the first two steps on a long journey. I will probably write this next line several times over the next year or so, but that’s only because it’s true: I feel like some of these songs are the best I have ever written. I can’t draw. I can’t paint. I can’t sculpt. I am a very un-talented photographer. I don’t knit or crochet. I don’t know how to create anything with my hands out of wood… or metal… or ceramic. I write songs. This is my art. This is what I create with my hands, either by clumsily mashing some keys, or by caressing my Fender Jazz bass. Instead of creating a picture or a statue or a scarf or a bookshelf, I create recordings, with the kind assistance of others. This is how I share my art.
I believe in these songs. I want to share them with you. I want to share them with everyone. Yesterday and today… these are the first two steps. It will be a long trip. It will be an adventure. There probably won’t be any peril. Come with me.
To quote my dad’s favorite band, “Only the beginning / Only just the start”.