O.k., so something that is very true about art: it is very hard to walk away from a piece you know doesn’t need to be messed with anymore. This week we came back to our man Dave S’s studio to lay down some more material for Robert’s new CD. I spent most of my extra time over the previous days before the recording listening to and getting inside the tunes we would be playing. Wanting to be better prepared and confident in what I play is important to me. The thing I love about Robert’s tunes is that there is emotion and depth to the music. This ain’t no bubble gum bullshit. I am always drawn to songwriters who are truly expressing what needs to be said. It is that devotion to music that makes me want to give everything I can to his music.
The previous week I had time to drive over early in the day to set up the drums, no such luck this week. I made it to Dave’s house by 7pm, set up and I was good to go. Robert came in just shortly after I did and within thirty minutes we were ready to record. Since his guitar is driving so much of the music we are recording, that’s the first thing he worked on. Dave set up mics, Robert settled in, and strummed through some of Anastasia’a Lament while I sat and listened. It feels so good to be a part of something bigger than myself. A creative project that resonates with me, and Robert’s willingness to let me play what I feel. It’s a great feeling.
After Robert recorded both Anastasia’s Lament and Ed McMahon it was my turn to lay down the drums. This week I had an idea of what I wanted the groove to sound like, but preconceived ideas don’t always work in reality. I tried a quarter note ride/hi hat/bass drum thing on Anastasia’s Lament, but it made the tune flounder. Instead I began playing a bit more snare…it worked! I had been listening to Jack Johnson on Sunday morning and I was struck by how easy the drums made the whole album swing. A little inspiration goes a long way. On the tune Ed McMahon that’s just what I did…swing! You know what Duke Ellington said, “it don’t mean a thing”… The groove that Robert had played locked right in with the drums and when I heard it back it sounded perfect. So, as I said at the beginning, I had to walk away from the tunes knowing that they are better when you don’t mess with them. As Dave said “songs sound best with a little nervous energy, they have magic.” I am so grateful that our musical path’s have crossed. Until next Tuesday, farewell.