Nurture & Growth.
Living In The Same Skin.
Songs of the spirit are, at their heart, songs that nurture & grow us;
Good heart-land rock & roll makes us one with all that harms mankind and yet all that truly redeems him, indeed all that hallows his/her lives.
A good song is one where the components of Music, Lyrics & Delivery combine to make something “bigger than itself.”
A good song can a bit of Heaven given to us in the down & dusty “here & now.”
Me? I frequently return to the themes of the broken-ness & fragile-ness in ourselves, in our communities and in our collective history as a country.
I do this because such themes frame, in sharp relief, the narratives of redemption that sustain and save us.
The essence of good songs make us all part of that redemption; Yes, we are all “living in the same skin.” Me? I need such songs as these!
I’ve endeavored to become a good Americana songwriter over the years;
Drawing out the feelings of intimacy & immediacy in a song is something I’ve tried to get better and better at over 80plus albums now;
“Mother~Lode” will be the 18th album that I will have written, recorded, engineered, mixed & produced from my studio here in northern New Mexico. I know the ropes.
I will be, as in previous records, posting rough mixes, new songs & studio sessions to keep backers updated.
One of the increasing advantages to this is knowing the sonic qualities of the room. The 2ft thick adobe walls of our 175 year old home provide a sound with soul that feels richer and more intimate than many studios with 10x the amount of gear and architecture.
Obstacles in the studio usually come in two areas. Adequate gear and knowledge of how good gear is to be used is essential in the capturing of a body of songs. (A recent endorsement from Mojave Audio has allowed me to purchase a couple of incredible world class microphones!) Much of this was due to the two previous successful Kickstarter projects. My studio work ethic pretty simple:
1st. Have a stock of good songs. as simple as that sounds, i make every song song both in it’s singularity AND as the place it occupies in a record’s sequence. The idea is to always give the listener a “good ride!”
2nd: Always endeavor to generate a richness of tones from traditional instruments used in rock & roll. They should be as well mic-ed and recorded with as little “synthetic” effects as possible.
Augmenting with things like tradition EQ, Compression and Reverb, in my opinion, should be used sparingly and only as needed to bring out the songs deeper character.
What this does is re-enforce the feeling of intimacy & immediacy on the music.
The other obstacle involves more artistic sensibilities. Questions like: “What does this song need?” “Is it compelling?” “Do the themes and lyrics stand forth clearly?” “Does the sonic overlay, the instrumentation and arrangement lend itself to a great song?”
After mixing, the final step of audio enhancement/preservation on any given record it what is called mastering.” I have a long relationship with a fella who I believe is one of the best in the business, Mr. Chris Betha of Muscle Shoals Mastering studios in Florence, AL. The warmth and depth of my last few albums (Lead On, Kindly light 2020, Forest Full of Wolves (2018), Orphan Songs (2018), The Rags of Absence (2017), Lands & Peoples (2016), Winnowing (2014) is directed related to Chris final skills as a mastering “wizard!”
As a songwriter with a longstanding history of making strong albums and an increasing knowledge of the engineering side of the equation, I feel quite competent in being able to deal with these issues and bring a good song into being.
I sincerely hope you’ll consider partnering with us on this project!
I don’t think you’ll be disappointed…
Grace, Peace & Courage, friends.
Gratitude & Thanks,