* THE STUDIO AND THE MAN. This is the third record I have made at June Audio with Scott Wiley producing and engineering. June Audio is just a beautiful space to make music; the walls are lined with incredible guitars, pianos of every size, vintage amps and pedals, rare microphones and just a great vibe. Scott could spend his time boasting about working with artists like Ryan Adams and Bonnie Raitt and Neon Trees, but instead he takes a quiet pride in making quality records in a beautiful space. He is one of the most talented people I have met in this line of work and is so good at what he does. I love the three records we have made together. He has been so generous to me over the years and I am ever grateful to have someone of his talent stand by my me and my music.
* THE SONGS. The ten songs we ended up choosing to be on the record are some of my best work. Each song landed in a different way. Calling Your Name came very quickly one night, almost laid out finished in my mind. I loved how the form of this song feels like a very traditional folk song. Others like "Shadows Of A Song" took months of editing and reworking and even enlisting my friend Paul Jacobsen to help me finish it. Paul's work as a songwriter blows me away again and again. When writing songs, I sometimes think to myself "would this lyric make the cut if Paul was writing it?" He co-wrote Shadows, Every Time I Go, and I'm Ready, not bad Jacobsen, not bad. I started writing "Every Time I Go" in Lyons Colorado during my favorite week of Song School. I had written "Every time I go, I give my heart to you..." and was stuck, Paul then suggested I sing "Every time I go, I give my heart to you, to keep you from the cold.." which is one of my favorite lyrics in any of these songs. I wrote this song for my daughter with the idea that distance cannot stop a mother's love. "Don't Bury Me" was inspired in part by my Grandpa Price who ran his family farm and was tied to his land in a way that prevented him from ever leaving it and part by a moment I had watching the ships come in and out of a bay in Galloway Scotland. I love the way we produced "Don't Bury Me." New love on "Texas" and not giving up on true love in "One Mistake" are two of the quieter numbers. When I sang on "Be My Middle Ground" I always imagined Bonnie Raitt's voice on it. And finishing "Staying Behind" was a pretty big therapeutic break through for me, took me years to write that song.
*THE HARMONIES. Wow can this group of people sing! Good gracious I was just blown away by the harmonies sung from this group. It is pretty rare to find musicians who can nail a harmony after only listening to a song a few times. My favorite harmonic moments of this record are on:
Every Time I Go-- Paul came up with the echo 'to keep' on the chorus which I still smile at when I hear it. When Ryan sing "In my arms" on the bridge. The harmonies of this chorus just nail it--thank you Ryan, Paul, and Mai.
Shadows of a Song-- Dustin Christensen sang this one with me and just slayed it. SLAYED IT. I think he heard this song twice through before he started singing along. Every take he did something different, and every time it was something brilliant. His harmonies on the second verse are my favorite.
Staying Behind--if you watch the short documentary at the bottom you will see Paul, Ryan, Dustin, and Mai all working out their parts in the warehouse. Each chose different lines to sing on and I was floored watching them all find their place.
Be My Middle Ground---Miss Mai just swooped into this chorus beautifully. I love the parts she hears. I am sure it could be due to years of singing in Raining Jane or being trained in cello and guitar...but man can she sing.
Calling Your Name--Paul's voice and all it's raspy goodness shows up in this song. I love that it is a duet. Reminds me of when we sang this song.
I'm Ready-- This song has such a sing-a-long chorus. I love feeling the group behind me.
*THE BAND. Pat Campbell slaying my heart on drums. Brian Hardy making the ivories sing, and organs, and glock, and bells. Mai with the graceful cello and angelic voice. Dyan Schorer melting me with electric guitars and pedal steel. Scott Wiley puts the edge in electric (I love that intro on Staying Behind) on guitar and bass. Paul Jacobsen, Ryan Tanner, & Dustin Christensen killing it on vocal harmonies, guitars, banjos, pianos, and ideas. Tilby the wizard playing anything with strings, do I remember a bass mando or uke??? And even a guest appearance of George Brunt on bass--so hip. The truth is that I have been making music with this group of friends for the last decade and I have loved every show, every recording session, every co-write. Thank you dear ones.
*MAI BLOOMFIELD. She was the only other woman besides myself working on this album and I think she brought such a down-to-earth richness to our creative soil. She was relentlessly positive. Recording live can be stressful at moments because you just don't have the time to sit and rehearse---this is where Mai really shined. She held her own and showed up in tune and glowing over and over.
*THE ARTWORK. Ryan Tanner took film photos for the album cover and website, and designed the album artwork. I remember him sending me a few different options for the Cover art. When he sent me the above photo, it was clear to me we had the one. The photo felt honest and vulnerable and it was all me. I know I will always love the artwork for this project, it will never seem out of date to me because he captured something special that day. And in a time when everything is turning to digital, I still love holding a physical album in my hands.
*LIVE RECORDING. This was a live record, we recorded the whole shebang in a matter of days. What you hear, really happened in that moment! I gathered my dearest friends around me and we went to work. I hired the talented Jed Wells to make a documentary of the project. I wanted not only the physical reminder of an album, but the visual reminder of the community that came together to create it. I also had the sentimental motive lodged in my heart that wanted to document this process to show my children when I grow old, something they could watch and know how real and meaningful making albums was to me. Here is that video, I hope you take a few minutes to remember the journey of it with me.
Thank you for showing up for me and the music. If you know this album, I would love to hear what your favorite parts are below in the comments.
PS: To hold you over till a new record is made...here is a new song you can download for free, click here.