This Cd was released in Septenber. I forgot to mention it.
There were some great musicians on board on this outing. Aaron on Bass, Howie on Fiddle. Mark the Mud Man on guitar too.
Me and Mark had been jamming a lot just before I left the States. The basic track for “The Secret Circus” came out of one of those jams though the song itself goes back a couple of foggy years.
The Song Mama Mazama is sort of about the changes in the spectacular Methow Valley on the East side of the Cascade Mountains. We have been going there every year for about 5 years or so. Even in that short time I’ve witnessed the inevitable trophy home sprawl creeping along the river like an invasive species.
Cardboard Box: A fun song about adventures in boxes.
The Contessa: A song about art and war. Apparently some folks want the art but not the artists.
Junk Shop: A song about decisions that seemed right at the time.
Garage Band: Maybe ” Garage” should be written with a silent B. As in Gar(b)age.
I recall years ago jamming up in Keith’s garage. I think a tape survived the encounter. Julie was banging on the drums, Jan was playing bass. Me and JB were on guitars. We were all off our heads. Keith’s mum was making tea.
We were thrashing “Brand New Cadillac” to death and having a blast at the neighbours’ expence. That’s all I remember. Except that outside, the night was torrential rain. Quite a racket: inside and out.
But we weren’t all thrash. We often had mellow moments like this song.
I like the stuttering end of this piece as it just fizzles and dies in true garage band style.
The Seine: A small moment in French time.
Painted Pony: For some reason I always thought that this song involved an Irish guy. The Irish are everywhere. Why wouldn’t there have been one at the Little Big Horn?
But I think it’s about a Native American boy and his horse who go to war and discover strangers fighting strangers in the middle of nowhere.
James Caird: A song about Shackleton’s expedition to the Antarctic and his subsequent rescue of his stranded crew.
I asked Aaron if he could give this song a sense of bleak haunting coldness. He immediately applied his bow to his double bass. I knew right away that was exactly what I wanted.
Unfortunately we recorded it in a slightly higher key than we usually played it which was a bit tougher on the voice.
Weeping Willow: Are people born to be who they are? Do events in life only exaggerate or diminish their essential character? We adapt to the soil but we really don’t change for longer than we need to.
This song is about a girl I once knew. She had a kind heart but it lived in a forest of anger.
Bouncy House: Some fun innuendo that hopefully goes over kids’ heads. We were in Regensburg last week and went passed the old neighbourhood “Bouncy House”. It looked quite respectable. It looked like it’s now official apartments with longer leases than it was accustomed to.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. We had fun making it.
Hopefully this CD comes across as an honest reflection of the live music we were playing over the past few years: partly spooky, a bit stompy, and a touch melancholic with an ink smudge of interesting subject matter thrown in.
At the end, because I was leaving for Europe, I had to do some rush job mixing. The first copy or two may have some longer gaps between tracks and the songs were in a different order. Apart from that I think the situation is now under control.
I do believe I mixed over 30 songs down to stereo over an intense 24 hour period. Normally I can only mix about 2 songs a day at most after a long month of analysis.
My studio is now in storage in someone’s basement (Thanks Janet). I probably won’t see it for at least a year. By then it’ll be obsolete but I definitely got great use from it over about ten years.