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Tap the Breaks


Uh oh. I think I may be contradicting an earlier blog. A while back I wrote (ranted, really) about how the world seems to be over the full-length album. As such, for my next musical project I had pretty-well made the decision to only record two songs and release them digitally/virtually rather than on CD format. So, I went into the recording studio fully bent on becoming a musician who understands the importance of the modern market for music. But it looks like I’m going back to my old ways.


For the past several months, I have been traveling back and forth to see my engineer-friend, Tom Deglman—owner of DRC Studio in Springfield, Illinois. Tom has helped me produce my last four albums, and I trust him completely. He was the first to scoff at the idea of only recording two songs. Tom is a rock and roll guy from the 70’s, so it makes sense that he is a fan of full albums. He came of age as a guitar player during the heart of the concept-album age. Tom believes in the full-length record as a complete piece of art, a complete story, a complete project. As ever, Tom made me think.


My next call was to a great songwriter named Nicole Witt from Nashville, Tennessee. Nicole and I have shared the stage several times, and I have become a big fan of her musicianship, her songwriting, and her business acumen. I posed the album question to Nicole, and she didn’t equivocate at all. “You have to do a full album.” Those were her words, and they perfectly punctuated Tom’s sentiments.


Two people that I admire and trust saying that I should resist the path of individual, virtual/digital tracks and encouraging me to stay true to the model of full, ten-song record. This did more than cause me to take pause. Really, it tipped me toward an approach to recording that feels better to me; an approach that somehow feels pleasantly and artistically old-fashioned. I don’t feel like I’m bowing to pressure. Rather, I feel like some people I respect helped me get back on my path.


Tomorrow I drive back to DRC Studio to record two more basic tracks. That will make seven down and three to go. Here’s the tentative list of tunes:


Go to Omaha

Storyline

Faded Blue Jean Night

Catch Me If You Can

This Crazy Way Home

Better Alone

Just Another Highway

Maryanne

Whiskey and Grace

Old Octobers


And the new album name? I’m thinking “Tap the Breaks.” We’ll see.


See you in Springfield.