Vacationist League, John Tilson & Brandon Beavers, present our latest musical offering Algorithm & Blues.
Algorithm & Blues by Vacationist League was recorded by Mike Ponder in the Chapel at First Presbyterian Church, Knoxville. Mike is the sound designer for the UT Theater Department, has a background in studio recording and computer editing, and operates a recording studio in Knoxville. He is also a very cool guy.
The songs are built on three basic live performance foundations – voice, acoustic guitar + electric guitar; voice, acoustic guitar + mandolin; voice, acoustic guitar + cello. On top of these live performances we layered piano, pipe organ, background vocals, and a bit of percussion. Scott Davis added bass and Alex Tilson added a fine guitar solo on “Tom Verlaine.”
Some of the songs in this collection were completed during rehearsals in the chapel a few days before this recording was made. “Underrequited,” ”M M M M M,” and “Now I Cry” were largely written during the week between John’s return from Germany and the recording session. Other songs were written ages ago: “Algorithm & Blues” has been in our repertoire since 1999, while “InSpiral Vision” appears on the Swamis debut cassette from 1991. “Points Lines Planes” is an instrumental version of a song that John wrote for a Geometry class (the lyric is not needed since Brandon sketches out the (musical) points, lines, and planes with his mandolin). “Tom Verlaine” is based on a true story. “Backslidin’ Buddhist” has been part of our live show for years. “After The Last” is an older lyric that got a musical makeover. (Fun fact: the original name for the song was “Toilet.”) “Autonomic Storms” was written about Henry Granju. “Organ Origami” was named by John, but was improvised on the chapel organ by Brandon. It is heard here exactly as it was played there.
This is not a concept album. It is 5.5 brace of songs with many stories to tell. So brace yourself!