Having made two cds full of somewhat ornately arranged tunes, I thought it was time to try something different for this, my third cd. What you get is the stripped-down versions of thirteen new songs. Actually, what you get is the original encapsulations of the tunes, before they got a chance to get built up. So the core of the cd is acoustic guitar and vocals, most recorded in single, live takes over the course of a fall.
Of course, being me, it was impossible to completely hew to this path, so I allowed myself the minimum of adornments on each tune, a little mandola here, a little reed organ there, maybe a background vocal. I also brought in a few collaborators to fill out the sound, Dan Cantrell on saw, Rob Reich on Reed Organ, Ralph Carney on clarinet, and Richard Cohan on piano.
But by and large what you get is the songs themselves, that live or die on the melodies and the lyrics.