A change of pace for me, a collection of up-tempo, guitar driven tunes about looking back, dissatisfaction and family.
After the rather dramatic DRAGON BREATHES, I wanted to lighten things up a bit. I’d been sitting on several uncompleted songs, and once I learned of friend Anthony Calderisi’s home recording set-up, I realized that I could approach this next recording a little differently. Most importantly, I wanted to record live drums, something I’d never done before. Secondly, I wanted to make the album a guitar-oriented effort, helping me to stay away from my tendency to write emotional gut-wrenching stuff on the piano.
I completed a home demo of all the songs in fall of 2006. In January, Anthony and I met to discuss the recording process, and in March we began tracking drums to tape at his studio. Old friend Miguel Salas came down for an extended drum recording session, and Chris Costello recorded four tracks in the following months. Anthony transferred the tracks to his computer, and he laid down various guitar and bass parts. At my house, I laid down keyboard and horn tracks (with the help of Bruce Hook and my daughters) and filled in bass and guitar duties. Finally, we returned all the tracks to Anthony’s where we recorded vocals and mixed. This process was completed in August of 2007.
The origins of most of these songs are from years ago. “No Point” and “Indiscriminate” were completed in 2001 after several years of struggling with the songs, while “Waiting On Samuel” was composed effortlessly while in the midst of my wife’s false labor in 2002. “Missed Opportunity” was also written quickly, but in 1997! “Jack of All Trades” was finished in 2001. Other tunes took years to complete, especially “Grounded” and “Coattails” (both originating in 2002). “My Mark” is one exception, completed quickly in August of 2006, and the finishing touches of “Here We Are Today” and “I Can Breathe” came fairly quickly during that prolific summer. “Clock Strikes Twelve” was taken from a song by a great Milwaukee band called “The Pinwheels.” I borrowed the refrain from their song, “Time Flies By” (written by Roy Anderson) and used it to cap off my song, utilizing the actual Pinwheels recording and overdubbing bass, guitar and drums.