This is what we do for fun.
Since the release of the last TL3 disc, Raucous Americanus, we’ve been busy writing songs, recording, playing shows, exploring various side projects and (of course) eating lots of barbecue. But, by spring of 2012, we decided we were ready to start working on a new record.
Drummer Chris Bratta had barely been playing with us a month when we went into Scott Minor’s Wild Chorus studio to record the first two songs. It was a fun session, enhanced by the involvement of some local Knoxville friends.
We were off to a good start.
In June, we headed west to record in Austin with our friends John Harvey and Mary Podio at their studio, Top Hat Recording. It was the first time we’d had the opportunity to work with John and Mary, who we’ve known for a few years now. It was a great session, resulting in five completed tracks, a lot of laughs, some excellent Austin outings (including the amazing Live Oak Barbecue, a happy hour Ian McLagan show at Lucky’s, and Beaver Nelson’s record release show) and avocado margaritas.
Tucson was next on our list, and in early August, Susan and I flew out to help our friend Craig Schumacher with his PotLuck Audio Conference, which is always a good time. Afterward, Chris came out to join us and we spent the following week in Craig’s WaveLab Studio finishing up the songs we’d picked out for the project. Working with friends is always the best experience for us, and we’ve collaborated with Craig and engineer Chris Schultz so much over the past six years or so that the process is as natural as can be.
We’ve also became quite familiar with Tucson, so it’s always great to see our growing group of desert friends (thanks, Winston, for the guitar loan), eat anything smothered in green chile sauce at Poco y Mom’s, and hang out with the always amazing Karen Lustig.
The result is the record you’re holding, Devil’s Rope. It’s not one thing or another… it’s not one genre or another. You know, we’re all playing the same three chords, anyway. It’s all a matter of how you feel at the time. These songs may all sound completely different from one another, but taken as a whole it’s a rock & roll record.
It’s what we do.
And, as the prophet Viv Savage once said, “Have... a good time... all the time.”