Captain's Log, Stardate 8/30/2016 5:02PM
It is the eve of what I hope to be the final day of tracking on my first solo opus, which I have now officially dubbed "An Overnight Low", 12 songs, running the gamut from bare bones acoustic balladry, to full-blown riffage, and everything in between that felt deserving of a place in this particular collection. I'm already pretty stoked with the as-yet-unpolished results of our labor to date, and I think that while some of material may be a little left of center compared to my previous output, it should be a abundantly clear that I haven't abandoned my Rock or Pop roots in favor of a dalliance with Progressive Metal or any such similar nonsense. I simply rounded up the best players I could cajole into doing my bidding, and threw what I had at 'em. They spun that raw goodness into gold, at least as far as I'm concerned, and all we've left to do now is polish it up.
But first, a bit about the players…..
Me, I played the guitars…well, 99% of them…just not the slide parts, because I play slide about as well as I play basketball, and I play basketball about as well as I imagine Billy Barty did. I sang, played some keys and made loops….even arranged some strings here & there. I think I did alright for a musical illiterate.
Drums and bass on these tunes were handled by Criss Cheatham and Dave Webb; respectively, and both knocked their end of things completely out of the proverbial park. For never having met prior to their session, these two sound joined at the hip on this record.
Next up, a master of the ivories, Mr. Michael Webb added piano on a trio of pieces, including my personal favorite: "Fall To Me", which also features none other than our trusty engineer Michael Saint-Leon on some ridiculously tasty slide guitar.
Since my contract with The Great Affairs requires me to employ at least one member of the band on any solo release and he had the cheapest day rate, I chose to utilize Kenny Wright's talents on percussion, as well as Mandolin and Mandola. We'll be hammering out the last of those contributions during tomorrow's marathon session at The Switchyard, along with one more handful of vocal parts. From there, we begin the tedious process of looking for things that might need fixing, before getting into mix mode.
Speaking of THE GREAT AFFAIRS, we've been out and about for the last month, battling through my voice issues, and this stupid heatwave, to fly the flag across TN, KY, and Southern IL, starting with a return to the just-reopened John Brown's On The Square, where we learned firsthand of John's deep, deep love for Don Henley of The Eagles. It's a steadfast and enduring love that he went on about at great length, in a way that only JB can. He was remarkably candid with a packed house for being normally such a reserved, stoic man.
After that revelatory evening, I took a solo flight to Clarksville, where I participated in a "Songs & Stories" writer's round at Wicked Good Sandwiches. As ragged and uncooperative as my pipes were, it's always a good time when the Yates have you down to their place, and I got to give "My Father's Son", from the new record, it's first live airing. Another first was overhearing some guy call me "Bon Jovi's brother", but I just plucked that as a feather rather than a thorn and stuck it in my cap, seeing as ol' JBJ once dated Diane Lane, forever and always "the one that got away" for me, even if we've never met.(Diane, call me.)
A couple of sweltering, dehydration-defying outdoor shows in KY and Eastern TN followed, along with a return to the Woodbine Rocks series, after a seriously extended lapse in that semi-regular event's calendar. 6 bands, 5 songs each, and worth sticking around for from start to finish. After a long day in the studio, I figured I'd be toast after our set, but I couldn't bring myself to split until Easy Roscoe wrapped up theirs, because every band on that bill did their level best to burn the place to the ground. It was refreshing, and a much-needed reminder of what it's like to throw down in a low pressure environment, where nothing matters but the sweat and the beers. Goddamn it felt good!
So, with that, we take a few weeks off to let me rest my weary-but-(slowly)-rebounding cords, before we head north to play a double-header of IL shows, first in Chicago(specifically Libertyville) at Mickey Finn's on September 23rd, followed by Hubfest in Marion, IL on the 24th. We then resume a bit of a self-imposed hiatus from regular live activity, in order to apply ourselves to pre-production work on what will hopefully turn into the next TGA record. Songs in various stages of completion await our attention, and in order to give them what they deserve and need in order to evolve into worthy additions to our official canon, we require some time off to foster them. We'll still be playing sporadic shows along the way, but it's been nearly 2 years since we dropped "Dream In Stereo" on the world, and it feels like it might be time to follow that up with a new LP. Hopefully you folks are feeling that too.
See you soon,
p.s. Update. Captain's Log, Stardate 9/1/2016
Tracking on "An Overnight Low" has been deemed complete. Kenny arrived late in the afternoon yesterday, armed with his stringed instruments, a mallet, and a massive gong, which he employed on the album's closer "To Call This Home". More or less gliding through his parts, and doing a fairly convincing impersonation of a seasoned professional, I almost expected him to invoice me afterwards. Thankfully, he settled for splitting a 6 of Heineken with us.
The last of my vocals were cut earlier in the day, and Saint-Leon and I made a few adjustments and edits while in the midst of that work, so this thing is beginning to assume its ultimate shape at a pretty good clip now. The fate of the project rests in his hands at this point, but he seems up to the task, so I'm not sweating it….much.
If scheduling doesn't get in the way, I should be able to post a preview track in the next few days, so if you're at all curious about what we've been cooking up in the lab, keep your eyes and ears open for that.
OK then….that's really everything for right now, so Happy Barry Gibb's Birthday/Labor Day.