The genesis of "Every Side to Every Story" began with a chance meeting at CVS.
Early in my career as a writer and editor, I worked for Fred Ampel on an audio magazine. Fred had worked for many years as an engineer and producer in Los Angeles and other cities, before relocating to Kansas City. I left the magazine, then Fred left the magazine, and we lost track of each other for about 20 years.
In the fall of 2011, I was picking up a prescription and ran into Fred at the checkout. Later, as we caught up, I played him some stuff I had worked on. We decided to work together and record some instrumentals.
As a musician, I've never been tied to a particular style. Or an instrument. There were times when I was playing in jazz groups and listening to new wave and punk. Although my main instrument is guitar, I've played keyboards in rock 'n' roll bands and loved the challenge of trying to think, and play, as a keyboard player. Rather than being a guitar player who was pawing at a keyboard.
So when it came to writing and recording instrumentals, I didn't want to be tied to a particular style, like jazz or new age. I hoped to gather elements of styles I liked and make songs that complemented these elements.
"Mallable" and "Every Side to Every Story"
Both songs started as loops for a video I produced a couple of years ago. When Fred and I decided to make this EP, I rewrote and reworked the loops into actual songs. We kept Troy’s drums and re-recorded everything else.
"41st and Warwick"
This is my homage to Brian Wilson and Burt Bacharach, both of whom are big influences on my songwriting. The song consists of several different sections stitched together, like the Beach Boys did on Pet Sounds and Smile. I initially wrote the main section to be the bridge in Malleable, but it didn’t work in that song. I thought it was worth saving, so I took it out of Malleable and made it its own song. The title references the location of the house in Kansas City where Burt Bacharach lived until he was four years old.
I wrote this for my daughters Anna and Cara, thinking about the times when they were babies and they smiled at me for the first time. The tune combines my love of two genres, jazz and country. Pat Metheny is a major influence on my playing style, and the melody and guitar tone reflect this. I really liked the idea of adding the mandolin to the rhythm section and having the mando play the melody with the lead guitar.
Dan Torchia: guitars, bass, lap steel, mandolin, keyboards, drum programming
Troy Evans: drums (Tracks 1, 2 and 4)
Engineered, mixed and produced by Frederick Ampel, assisted by Dan Torchia
Mixed at Technology Visions Studios, Overland Park, Kansas
Thanks to Troy. Special thanks to Fred for getting me past the finish line. Love and deep appreciation to Anna, Cara and Karen.
For Anna and Cara.
Songs © 2013 by Dan Torchia. Recording ⓟ 2013 by Dan Torchia. All Rights Reserved.