Like a schoolgirl off to the prom, Los Angeles spring is flaunting all its blossomed beauty. The mockingbirds are yodeling every tune they've ever heard, starting first thing in the morning. They make for a sweeter alarm clock than a rooster or iPhone, for sure. And I don't mind at all, because after a WHIRLWIND of a first campaign week, we're 109% funded from 108 backers - I am STUNNED.
Yesterday after work, I took the rolling green-hilled drive out to Thousand Oaks, to spend the evening at Buddhaland Studios playing through songs for the record with producer Shane Alexander. The studio decor is all the colors and textures I love -- guitar wood and strings, blue velvet, earthy woven rugs, Buddha candles, a old upright player piano without the scrolls, a Wurlitzer, deep couches. (Of course, I took zero photos, but here's some I found on Facebook. Shane's the proud looking guy in the blue sweater.)
Shane and I met through engineer Brian Yaskulka, who will be mixing the album and whose work I have admired since The Rescues EP came out in 2010. My sweetheart / bad*ss bassman, Darby Orr, whose playing I love not just because of my love for him, will lay down the low end. Denny Weston, Jr., whose gorgeous playing I first admired a few years ago when he was on tour with K.T. Tunstall, will play drums and percussion. More players to come...
This was the first time Shane and I sat down one-on-one. We're planning on a 6-song album, but have 10 songs in the quiver, whittled down from much more. I played him all 10 as we talked arrangements -- "Chop that chorus in half... go right to the verse 2... add the tag..." and "French horn here... rim shots on the snare... pedal steel right there..." and got the feel for working together.
If you watched the Kickstarter video, you saw a little clip from a recent solo gig. Yesterday I uploaded 3 full songs from that night to YouTube -- click here to watch/listen! These songs will be changing over the next few months. I'm already hearing them like the way you watch kids when they graduate from elementary and head off to middle school. Still gangly, still kids, but less so every day. By the end of 2019, they be all growed up.
By early 2020, they'll go out into the world to heal, entertain, and make their mark in whatever way they can.
I'm so grateful for every bit of support that has come through for this project. I can't wait to inscribe every single supporter's name on the walls of my little she-shed, so that I can remember, on those inevitable days when I'm feeling like this boulder is too heavy to push, that I am not alone.
To re-phase E.L. Doctorow: Life is like driving home at night in the fog. You can't always see the road, but lit by a thousand tiny torches, you can make it all the way home.
I am grateful for the tiny torches who are illuminating the campaign.