Hi! I think it has been well over 2 years since I last posted. Sorry that is pathetic. But let me explain; When I released my last album in 2016 (Avuncular) I was getting ready to commence a home improvement project that ended up taking almost 18 months to complete. In a nutshell, I knew the improvement project would require 100% of my extracurricular time, and i was correct. So when I released Avuncular, I made an announcement that I had a new album out and sent some copies to reviewers but that was about it. It landed with a bit of a thud and I only have myself to blame. I was fortunate to get some good press, but I was unable to play out and promote the album. I didn’t even do a CD release show. So Avuncular simply did not get the love it deserved, but the home improvement project did. Now here we are a couple years down the road and the home improvement project is in the rearview mirror. After finishing it I got a hankering to get back in the recording studio, so I booked some time locally at Laurel Lane studios here in San Luis Obispo, CA with Damon Castillo. It was a departure from my other albums, where I absconded to the Bay Area to record with John Vanderslice at Tiny Telephone studios. Those analog recording sessions were brief an efficient. Both sessions took 6 days each and we hammered out a whole album in that time.
It was not in the cards this time to head up to the bay area, so this time I was able to stretch out the recording process over several months, since Damon’s studio is about 3 miles from my house, as opposed to Tiny Telephone, which is 250 miles away. I also recorded to Pro Tools (digital software rather than analog tape) this time. Having recorded both analog and digital I must say that there is not a right way or a wrong way. They both have their charms and I feel very lucky to have experienced both processes.
Bottom line, I am finished with my new album. It has been recorded, mixed, and mastered, and now my friend Joe Koenig is working on the album art. I am aiming for a release date sometime in the spring of 2019.
I am proud of this album. It has a bit of everything. There are a couple bare, solo acoustic tracks, there are a couple tracks that are quiet and mellow but with some production, and there are some rocking, groovy tracks. It has a bit of everything. And it is coming your way. The title is “How Could a Man”, which is also one of my favorite tracks. Stay tuned!
Yes, those fine folks at Americana UK have reviewed Avuncular and you can read the review right HERE
So Patrick Hayes from Ninebullets.net did a nice little recap of a few 2016 releases worth a mention and hey, he included my latest. Read it HERE
So Gabriele Benzing of OndaRock, the Italian music publication, named Avuncular the 10th best album of 2016. There are some heavy hitters on the list and I am honored to be among them:
Check it out HERE
So let’s see. I posted an event on Facebook letting everyone (all 192 of them) know that my CD is now available, and I posted something on Twitter and Instagram, and I sent out an email to the 27 people on my mailing list. And I sent copies to reviewers, but you know how that goes. It is very hit or miss. Last time around I got lucky and had a few hits. This time, we shall see.
But in the end I am not sure where to go from here. How does a guy with a day job and no plans to tour expand his audience? Well, I suppose I can start local. I am super busy right now but I need to play some gigs. Hell, I didn’t even have a CD release show, save for a private hoedown at my house.
So, marketing the new album. What to do?
How about make a rudimentary music video! OK, here you go…
Shot</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user56649527″>Derek
Senn</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>
So my new CD, Avuncular, is officially released today. Wow, what a process. It all began about 18 months ago when I booked studio time. Then I worked on which songs to record as the recording date drew near. Then, when the recording date arrived (May 12, 2016) I kind of had to choose right there and then as to what I would record, since I had not settled 100% on what songs I wanted to put down on tape. There were actually a couple songs I had planned on recording in the studio, but they did not feel right, so I went with a couple others on the fly at the last minute.
So over 6 glorious days in May the recording thing happened. But preceding that was all the time spent coming up with new material. Oh yeah, that. The writing process. I almost forgot. And THEN the recording. And it is tough to describe the rush that comes with analog recording. I show up at the studio as a solo artist and no one knows the songs but me. And within an hour of arrival I am playing a song to a drummer who has never heard it. And ten minutes after that we are cutting the song to live 2 inch tape, which basically means that we play the song all the way through, and if there is a fuck-up in there, then so be it. Or else you start over. But you only get ONE chance to start over. After that you get what you get, fuck-ups and all.
And what do you get? Well, the intensity that is created by the need to nail it is quite a rush. And you always wish you could go back and change a few things, but there are so many things that do not need changing because the MOMENT was captured, and a captured moment can be perfect. It can also sound like shit, and oftentimes it does. But in digital recording there is always an out. You can cut out the guitar flub or the poor vocal inflection and paste in a better one. In analog recording it is all linear, you have to nail the song all the way through, and it all stays in there for better or worse, and sometimes worse is better. Whatever that means.
Also, with digital recording there is a lot of time spent in front of a computer screen. You can tweak a song much as you tweak a word document. Cutting, pasting, etc. With analog recording there is no computer screen to look at. NO COMPUTER SCREEN! The ears are king!
But in the end it doesn’t really matter whether you go analog or digital. Getting it down is what matters. Recording the songs and getting them mastered and completing the artwork and shipping everything off to the CD production factory. And then one day you wake up and you have a beautiful new CD, and the music is out in the world for all to hear. That day is today. I can only hope that there are a few more todays in my future. I’d be happy with just one. But for now I will relish a bit longer in today’s today.
Yes that’s right folks my new album is here. And when I mean here, I mean that there are 1,000 copies of my brand spanking new album sitting on my bedroom floor in 5 boxes.
Now I am trying to figure out what the hell to do next. Set a release date? Yeah, I suppose I should do that. How about September 1? OK done.
What else to do? Revamp the website. OK I will work on that. Post the songs to Bandcamp? OK. Send the disc to various reviewers? OK. Have a CD release show? Maybe. Get everything set up for iTunes, Spotify, CD Baby, etc. etc. OK. Damn it sure would be nice to have a publicist.
The name of the new album is Avuncular. I really like it.