It's been a while since my last post, and I have so much to tell you, so here goes.
We're PRACTICALLY DONE tracking the album!! I've spent the last couple months in and out of the studio, piecing things together, and getting friends to play the parts I didn't do myself. It was such a fun and generally efficient process, and I'm so proud of everything we did. There are just a few things to do on one song once Jacob, the producer, gets back in town from Ireland, so we're really really close. (Jacob's on a well-deserved vacation; he's one of the hardest-working people I know of!)
Out of everything we've recorded, one of the things I'm most proud of is a string arrangement my friend Shawn and I wrote for a ballad called "This Time Forever". It took a couple days and a really late night, but we worked to find the perfect accompaniment for the song, and I think we came up with something really great.
We had a day in the studio with cello, viola, 2 violins, and myself on acoustic bass, and stacking the parts, it sounds so full and beautiful. I've never had that kind of treatment on one of my songs before. It's quite an awesome thing to conceive of something like that, have it fully realized in the studio, and end up with something more beautiful than you imagined in the first place. And that phenomenon really applies to the project as a whole; I can't wait for you to hear it!
So most all the parts are recorded and have been sent to the mixing engineer, where the tracks will get polished, volume-adjusted and sounding even better than they already are. Then they'll get sent to mastering where the whole mix will be enhanced even more and it'll be time for making the physical discs.
Everything is really coming together, and so I'm proud to annouce that the EP WILL BE OFFICIALLY RELEASED ON JULY 3RD, 2012! I'm calling the project Share the Sky, which comes from one of the lyrics in "Someone I'm Singing For".
You wonderful backers can expect your copies and other rewards around that week! :)
In other news, last month I shot my first ever music video for one of the songs, "Heartache". I won't spoil the whole thing, but I'll let you know it involves myself and a band playing the song on painted styrofoam guitars (made by yours truly), and destroying those guitars throughout the song. It also involves a birthday cake for a snare drum; just imagine the consequences of tearing into a cake with drumsticks :)
Shooting it was a total blast and actually one of the most fun things I've ever done. In the last take of the shoot, we really did our best to fully destroy those instruments in creative and cool-looking ways. Since it was improvised, and we only got one shot at it, we really went all out. I don't consider myself a real actor, but giving that performance for the camera was exhilirating, and I hope on screen it looks as good as it felt!
I'll actually get to see the whole video for the first time later today. The film crew has been editing it, and I'm itching to get a glimpse. We'll be tweaking it over the next few weeks and I'll release it for you on the same day as the record, July 3rd. I hoping this video will be the first of many, my plan is to continue making them as I'm able to and eventually have videos for most of the songs on the EP and more new songs. Fun times ahead!
In other other news, I've got a new job as a bass player! I'm really proud to be playing with the country music and bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. For those of you who aren't familiar with Ricky's work, he's been playing amazingly well since he was a child, had a slew of number one country hits, has won 14 Grammy's and redefined country and bluegrass music in his 5 decade career. This job is a big step for me; it's musically fun and challenging, and it's already allowed me to meet and play for people I wouldn't have contact with otherwise. My first gig with them was last month, playing on the Grand Ole Opry, the iconic country music radio program. It's the beginning of an exciting new chapter for me, and I'm hopeful it will lead to a lot of great opportunities! We leave tonight for a gig in Ohio, I'll be on a bus by midnight :)
In other other other news, I just want to express how grateful I am to be able to do what I do. I'm flabbergasted at the variety and amazing quality of the musical projects I'm blessed to be a part of, as a sideman, as a leader, and even just as a listener. I'm constantly inspired by my friends and co-workers, and I feel like this whole recording process has cultivated my art to another level. I have you to thank for the ability to do this, and I'm so grateful.
This is your album as much as it is mine, and you'll enjoy the fruits of our work soon enough!
I'll be in touch again soon, especially as we get close to the finish line. Thanks again for letting my voice be heard.
PS here's a shot from the set of the video! The drummer is passing me a delicious piece of his snare drum :)