Monday, September 1, 2014

The Idle Hours are here!

Last week, Marc Lacuesta and I finally debuted our EP.  This has 5 songs, all written in 2011-2012...also known as the years when I got to learn about the general awesomeness of Nashville.  We are truly proud of these songs, and you can check them out here:  They are available for streaming and download for $4.99, or $1 per song.  Not a bad deal for music, right?  You can also find the EP on iTunes and Amazon, AND...please don't forget to follow us on!

We were so lucky to have some incredible musicians on this too, so if you have the time, I encourage you to look through the EP info to see the names of some gnarly players who contributed to the effort.  Some notables (which I mentioned in an earlier post) include BJ Cole, who played on Elton John's "Tiny Dancer," as well as Sting's record "10 Summoner's Tales" in '93; and Jeremy Lister, whose group Street Corner Symphony won 2nd place on The Sing-Off in 2010.

The Idle Hours EP Track List
1. Wait for Me
2. Perfect Melody
3. The Road (feat. BJ Cole)
4. For Now
5. Third of December (feat. Jeremy Lister)

Thanks in advance for checking it out! :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Evolution of a song: "Emily"

Like many, I'm a new country fan.  After countless years of saying I couldn't get over the twang, the slide guitars, and the jiggly banjoes, I have finally crossed the line into Team Country.  Don't get me wrong, as in any genre, there are still limits to my newfound appreciation (I'll take Kacey Musgraves over Taylor Swift any day, or Johnny Cash over Dierks Bentley). But overall, I've found endearment and admiration for the storytelling that goes into a good country song. One of my favorites is an oldie - Dolly Parton's "Jolene."  Roughly two years ago I got to writing a song with a similar premise, a song called "Emily," that tells the tale of a gal desperately begging another far more attractive female to stay away from her man.  Some might say I was copying the country legend herself.  I prefer to say that I was simply paying homage to a great.

Here are 2 renditions of "Emily" in its earlier stages. This one was sent off to Marc Lacuesta in Nashville to get his input on building the track: 

A few weeks later, I was lucky enough to get into House of Rock in Santa Monica - a multi-million dollar house that included a beautiful studio in the attic that was owned by Blue Microphones.  The folks over at Blue were nice enough to let me get into the studio to record a little bit, so I did a version of "Emily" along with drummer Roberto Cerletti. 

As I worked with the song during gigs, it became evident that the song would have a heavy upright bass presence. As a result, I got together with a great bassist in town, Austin Underhill, and would play the song with him during a handful of gigs. I also took the tempo down a little to make it a bit more mysterious.

Meanwhile, in Nashville, Marc and I had built the track, working off what was recorded at House of Rock with all the tasty Blue mics in the studio.  We also got Bones Hillman, of Midnight Oil, to play upright on the track.  We topped it off with some of Marc's sweet background vocals and some organ, and then all that was left was for me to re-sing my vocals during a September 2013 visit.  Here's the final version of the track!   Stay tuned for a music video soon...