In the studio

It was a good weekend. I was in the studio from Wednesday night to Monday afternoon with Alexis Stevens; she's a talented songwriter and a good friend. She and I, with the help of Scott Hedrick and Dave Snider, worked hard. Probably about 14 hours each day, I'd imagine. We came up with a cool sound, described by our friend John as 'desert music'. Scott's drumming was great, Dave played amazing bass, baritone, and banjo, and Alexis sang and played like an angel. I pushed buttons, moved faders, positioned microphones, and ate Erin's Kettle Corn by the bushel. I played a little guitar and sang, too. Justin King let us use his place and we all really appreciated it.

There were some magic moments for sure. Recording is a funny process; sometimes you happen upon a single thing, maybe a bass line or a vocal harmony, that breaks the song wide open and defines its character in a whole new way. It's as distinct a feeling as if you walked down a street in Cottage Grove, turned a corner, and found yourself in Times Square. I love it.

One night, after a particularly long day, Alexis and I were tired but not ready to go to sleep. We ended up sitting at the table listening to some of our favorite songs on my little laptop speakers and wondering how people like Patty Griffin ever got so good. We sat in silence while the songs played, eating tortilla chips and taking big swallows of cold beer. A song would finish, we'd tell about the first time we'd heard it or why we liked it, and then one of us would suggest another song to listen to. It was almost like a musical...we were having a conversation and the dialogue was continued and supported through the music.

I'll mix her record this month and hopefully it'll make its way out into the world sometime soon.

I've been listening to Lucinda Willams' 'West'. It took me a couple of listens to get into it but now I love it. It's one for the headphones...each song is so well recorded and there are so many subtleties that are lost when listening through regular speakers. Her voice is amazing.

I upped my caffeine dosage to about double the usual amount...I'll be scaling it back down this week. I might be grumpy.

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