is a motto that has been running through my head for the last three
months. I wanted to produce my new album and I am producing it.
But who was the idiot who scheduled the studio time during the summer?
that would be the producer! That idiot would be me.
an outdoor, equestrian, gardener, summer, outdoor party type of
person that I am, spending endless days inside often-windowless
rooms has been frustrating. When I have not been in the studio,
I have been on the road working. Spinning my wheels. What has kept
me going is the music and the feeling that it will all have been
worth it in the end, and thankfully we are almost finished
just in time for winter.
has been the summer that never was for me.
I know we had summer because the weeds in my garden are very mature
looking. They enjoyed a stress free summer sucking up all the nutrients
from the soil that was meant to go to my flowers. I had some nice
flowers this year
by accident. I know we had summer because
all three of my horses are so fat from eating grass all day long
without any exercise. They do run around on their own every now
and then when a horse fly lands in a spot they can't reach. I know
we had summer because Jake somehow managed to grow an inch when
I wasn't looking. Now Jake, he had a summer. He went to parties,
to Disney World, to LA. He swam and fished and carried on with total
abandon even though I abandoned him. He did hang out in the studio
a few times, and I even got him in the recording booth. He can sing.
He actually likes the new album. So does my father who never really
cared for most of the types of albums that I've made. When I played
him a finished track, he actually asked me to play more. That has
never happened. Oh, he has always like my voice, just not my music
choices. He likes classical, polka, or "something with a beat."
have a little free time here and there just enough to make
me realize what I was missing. I had two weeks off at the end of
August. It was just enough time for me to dig out from underneath
everything that had accumulated at home. I live on a farm and farms
take a lot of work. I'm almost looking forward to winter just so
I can take a break from weeds and lawn and everything green that
hardest part has actually been just leaving my house every day to
go to the studio. The sun would be shining, the birds singing, the
pool beckoning, the thought of long trail rides teasing me. The
drives into Manhattan became torturous. But once I was in the studio,
all would be forgotten because this album is fun.
honestly say that I will play this album on a regular basis the
same way I would any current favorite album that I might purchase.
There is a big difference between performance music and radio friendly
music. The latter can live happily in your car stereo no matter
what volume. It can be a loud focal point or soft background without
losing its impact. The hooks and beats are infectious and sustain
repeated listening without wearing you out. It took a lot of years,
but I finally have faith in my ability to know what works for me
in a popular format.
Stein (I'm sure all you Ederettes remember him from playing second
keyboards in my band for many years) is my co-producer. It has been
a wonderful partnership, and we have both learned from the other
and taught the other through the process of working on this album.
For all the hours I have spent, he has spent almost double because
of the time it takes to not just track, but then to manage the tracks
in a Pro Tools rig. Pro Tools is the digital format that everyone
uses to record these days. No more tape. I still remember them cutting
and splicing the fat multi-track tape from my first album. Nowadays
that is akin to the cotton gin. Computers have taken over the world.
It's hard enough to get your mind around the fact that your voice
is faithfully captured on a piece of tape. It's mind boggling to
imagine it recreated in 0s and 1s on a computer. Billy is a master
with Pro Tools. The manual that comes with the program is 4 inches
thick. A single song can have over a hundred tracks between the
instruments, the vocals, and background vocals, so there are thousands
of bits of information to manage, edit and compress. It can be a
nightmare. It can also be your best friend. But is takes time and
lots of it.
runs on very little sleep thanks to the Starbucks around the corner
his gas station. I started to drink coffee again during the sessions
just to try and keep up. I'm an old mother with an eight year old
and I can't stay up all night like I used to. So I fell briefly
into the coffee trap. In the old rock and roll studio days, some
acts had a line in their album budget for drugs. (Of course, they
called it "candy" to get around that.) Well, I think coffee
is the new drug and Starbucks is a pusher! Venti Hazelnut with lots
of sugar. Keep 'em coming! Yeah
I was flying! I had caffeine
in my veins for about a month until I got tough with myself and
got off the "candy." Billy refuses to give it up. :-)
These days I use Starbucks for what they're best for
bathrooms. (good thing to know when you're walking around Manhattan.)
will finish the album in October and it will be out around February.
I've given up my summer, but I've given myself a birthday present
because I finally have a CD that I am completely proud of and will
actually play while I'm driving down the road dreaming of a Venti
Hazelnut coffee. You won't hear it until the ground is white and
the air freezing, but maybe listening to it will bring back memories
of the summer of '07.