I've been itching to get back into the recording studio. I can't really explain why because recording an album is a bit like running a marathon. It's expensive, it takes a ton of preparation, and it often hurts while your doing it. That said, I'm always glad when I've completed a recording project. I suppose it's a bit like a runner's high...you get that shot of dopamine cruising through your brain because you've completed a big project, and if it is done well, you've brought to life a bunch of songs that you've taken a few years to write.
Now that I've spouted off about the highs and lows of recording, here's the real issue: I might be done with recording full-length albums. I know, I know...this is the concern that has been on everyone's musical mind since the advent of the easily purchased digital music file (thank you, Steve Jobs). But I didn't get the memo, and I've continued to record and release albums in CD format despite the digital music revolution of the past 15 years (three albums to be exact).
So I admit that I'm late to the renaissance. I haven't sat and pondered what the new face of recording and distributing original music looks like. At least not until now. Next week, I'm meeting my friend and producer extraordinaire, Tom Deglman, at his studio to lay down tracks for two songs. It's been close to three years since my last album release, so I've had plenty of time to write new material. Indeed, I have more than enough new tunes for a full length CD, but I'm only recording two.
If I seem to be coming across tentative, I am. Somehow, recording only two songs feels incomplete, as though I ordered the baked potato without the sour cream and butter or like that painting of George Washington that Gilbert Stuart didn't finish. But I also know that the days of pedaling hard copies of CDs seem to be over. When I was on the road years ago, it would be nothing to sell 10-15 albums after a show. Now I am lucky to sell one. I'm not being snarky, I totally get it. People, including me, download or stream their music.
I start on Monday. Two new original songs for which I'll lay down acoustic guitars and scratch vocals (temporary vocal tracks that I won't keep). Then I'll start layering the other tracks...bass, lead guitar, harmony, and anything else that moves me toward bringing the tunes to life. That's the process that used to be multiplied by ten songs, but now is only multiplied by two. I think its the right decision, and I must admit that I dig the energy associated with charting a new course like this.
Pass the butter.