Monthly Archives: August 2009

Recording Journal, Vol. 10: “Everything’s Just Fine”

KG and I started on two more songs last week. We put together a rhythm track for an acoustic food-tapper called “Everything’s Just Fine.” It’s a song I wrote almost exactly five years ago. I’ve performed it live a handful of times with both Dave Cook and with KG. As we were working on it, the thought occurred to me that perhaps it should be the song that starts off the CD.

Then, patience, I told myself. Time will show. Those decisions can be made later.

Next, we started on a song called “Sunny Day in November” which KG seemed to like very much. The tune is fairly upbeat and played in a major key, yet it has a somewhat unique mix of melancholy and warmth that gives the song an interesting texture. You could say that “Sunny Day” is a story of the nobility of defiance in the face of certain defeat, and the resolve it takes to know you’ll one day play – and win — again. I guess you could say it’s a song about patience, though I never really thought of that until just now.

I remember writing “Sunny Day in November.” I had the tune before I had the words, and I had to wait a long time for the lyrics to come to me. Perhaps patience crept into the song by osmosis.

We’ve worked up the structure of seven songs so far. Only a handful to go to have an album’s worth. Soon, I’ll have to put guitar parts and vocals on the songs. But I’m looking forward to that challenge. I keep telling myself that, when the time comes, I’ll be ready. Until then, I can wait.

I think.

– Kevin

Recording Journal, Vol. 9: “Horrible Sounding!”

Had a fun night at Delaware Speedway last Friday. There are a lot of people at that place for whom I have a great amount of respect. It’s always nice to share some time with them.

KG and I managed to get through the national anthems without too much trouble. They didn’t run us out of the place, so I guess we must have done okay. Of course, KG did all the heavy lifting by letting me sing lead through both songs while he sang a harmony part the whole way. It was the first time we’ve “performed” publicly since last October. Great stuff.

He and I also got together one evening last week to knock around a few of the songs we’d been working on. “Do Better” and “South Carolina” are coming along nicely. Some fresh guitar, vocal takes and a little spit and polish and we’ll have those ones.

“Bagley Avenue” is probably the next closest to being in the ballpark, though it’s got a way to go yet.

“Orlando” is on the fringe, but needs a couple of sessions to bring it back into the barn. We’re tinkering with tempo on that melody (we started at 125 bpm, then knocked it back to 120, and now we’re thinking the number could be 121 or 122).

Meantime, “No Schedule Man” brought us laughter until the tears came. Reviewing what we’d worked on for the first time in several weeks … well … it was absolutely horrible sounding! We both bust a gut listening to it. It sounded like a train wreck put to music, but we had a good laugh over it so that made it worthwhile. We both needed the chuckle, and as they say, if you can’t laugh at yourself …

After the laughter died, we started deconstructing “No Schedule” so that we can build it back up again. I’m not sure when that’s going to happen. Maybe next week.

In between, we’ve (CPT Entertainment) been working hard at preparing for our upcoming trade shows, and I finally finished my “fill-in run” on the midday shift on BX 93, which means I go back to my regular evening program this week. It’s also been arranged for me not to host the Saturday after/evening program anymore. After more than two and a half years of doing that, it’s tough to give it up, but you can only do so much. I’m happy to be settling back into the “Regular Grind.”

For recreation, I’ve enjoyed the movies “Ocean’s Eleven” and “Ocean’s Twelve” over the last week. However, beyond that my screen time hasn’t been much due to the fact that James Patterson has me hooked on his Alex Cross novels. I finished “Along Came a Spider” last week and then gobbled through “Kiss the Girls” in less than two days, which is way too fast for me. I’m not sure what my reading habits have to do with any of the aforementioned pursuits, but you never know when something might show up in a song, so I thought I’d make a note.

Call me a sucker, but I like the stories where the good guys win. Since I know there are a whole pile of Alex Cross books still awaiting me, I’m thinking his chances at prevailing are good. So I’ll keep reading for now.

– Kevin

Recording Journal, Vol. 8: “Going Slowly”

Things are going slowly. While KG continues to renovate and rebuild his new studio, he also suffered an important keyboard malfunction this week. Meantime, I’ve got so many other priorities that are simply higher on the list than the music.

A pity.

Our sole progress this week (other than a little discussion) was a re-ghost of the acoustic guitar on “No Schedule Man,” which has changed somewhat given the rhythm we’ve put to it. And that’s it.

We’re very close to the point where we could and should just zero in on a few songs and grind them out until they’re close to finished. But I don’t know when we’re ever going to have the time. So, this has become an exercise in patience, which is not my strongest quality. This will be a good learning experience, I suppose.

Meanwhile, I decided to comb through binders of old song lyrics the other night and I was quite pleased with what I found. So many songs that I’d long since forgotten are sitting and collecting dust. The thought occurred to me that I could make some acoustic demos of some of them for posting something more current on MySpace, as well as for practice in recording the project with KG. We’ll see. The struggle, there again, is time.

Matters have not been helped by a week racked by insomnia. Three times this week I’ve been up almost all night. Twice, I read until my book was finished (one was “Prey” by Michael Crichton and the other was “Roses are Red” by James Patterson) and the third time, I turned on the TV (a sign that I was truly desperate to numb my brain) and found a show called “Ghost Hunters” on the Outdoor Living Network. It was interesting enough, I guess, but I’d rather have been asleep.

The lone other thing of music-related note from this past week was that I wrote lyrics to a new song for the first time in quite a while. Oddly, the words came to me while I was driving from pharmacy to pharmacy looking for someone who had a medicine to fill a prescription for my youngest son. The key lines in the song?

“Feeling dead on my feet, I just wanna’ dream
But somehow the sleep won’t come”

– Kevin

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