The new CD is done!!
It took 8 years to set aside enough time to record this music.I started it the day after Julia left for University last year. With a few detours for other projects, and requiring more tenacity and fortitude than I ever thought I could muster - The CD IS FINISHED!! YES!!!!!
It's titled - "Find Our Way", a title which eluded me until the final day of mixing. And though I feel like I've been run over by a truck (with a preemptive apology for my insensitivity to those who actually have been run over by a truck), I am SO THRILLED. Not just to have finally climbed that mountain, but (thankfully) with the finished product as well. (Pride is not one of the 7 deadly sins is it??) It was the hardest and most rewarding thing I've ever done. Oh wait, I guess it would have to be in second place after child rearing. I'm now "in recovery" while it's being manufactured celebrating with frequent napping. This is the 19th album I have recorded, (including those with the Pied Pumkin, UHF, etc.), my 7th solo album and the first I've self-produced. Now, I have always counseled other recording artists NOT to produce themselves, but ever since I started demo-ing songs on my own back in the early 80's when I got my first "Portastudio" (a 4 track cassette recorder) I have LOVED the process and been curious what I might produce being at the helm myself. And since I've always done film projects on my own, I figured - why the heck not?! Though the kid in me wants to say..."I did it ALL by myself!", that's not entirely accurate. I did mercilessly poll my friends and family as I went along: My partner Bill Runge, who plays bass and piano on several of the tracks and did most of the cooking and dog walking while I virtually lived in the basement studio; Jane Mortifee, who was so patient about endlessly responding to lyrics; Pete Heitzman, producer, guitarist & husband to New York songwriter Karen Savoca - who was inspiringly supportive; daughter Julia who is the queen of music consumers; and last but not least, Claire Lawrence, who actually produced all but a few of the CD's that I've been involved in. Claire has always been the master 'diviner' of vocal performances, and was kind enough to listen and give invaluable feedback.
That's probably more background info than you needed. The only thing I really wanted to convey is - It's DONE! And you'll love it. And I hope you'll consider it to be THE PERFECT Christmas gift! You can preview and order it directly from the website in a couple of days (I'm being a bit of a keener with this note), or it should be up on CD Baby or iTunes within the week if you'd rather download it. However, I worked as hard on the cover and booklet as much as I did on the music, so I'm hoping you'll want the actual object! By the way, the cover is David Graff's artwork, and there is more of his beautiful work all through the CD (Make sure you let me know if you want it signed.) I'll be posting notes about all the songs here on my website as well.
On to other things. This fall I attended my 40th high school reunion (OK, go ahead and do the math) down in Sausalito, California. And though I hate to use the "F" word, Facebook did indeed allow many of us to connect ahead of time, which made the conversations much more interesting when we actually got together. Even though in many ways, we felt like we were so unformed in our high school years, we did find it quite moving to trade stories and perspectives of that time in our lives. So when your next high school reunion comes up, I recommend you GO!
While I was down south I stayed with son Mike's adoptive mom, Millie. On impulse, the two of us decided to try to find Mike's birth father, who I hadn't seen since a year or so after Mike was born. We phoned the one person with his name that we could find in the area, and by god, it was HIM! The next day we visited him and his wonderful family. After all these years, it was a profound experience to see all that goodness and sweetness that I saw in him when we fell in teenage love at 15. That was the last big missing puzzle piece of my life. Wow. Mike was thrilled that his Moms did the hard part and is planning to meet his birth father at Christmastime.
It's been a great fall. (Well, performance wise anyway. The re-entry into months of gray and rainy weather has been a bit harsh). Roy and Bill and I did a couple of UHF 20th anniversary concerts - I got to play a few shows with Barney's Grand Cariboo Opry which was TOO much fun!! It was also the season of fundraisers - name a disease or cause - I played a fundraiser for it. But really, I'm so appreciative of getting to make music in this life, I'm happy to share it in this way.
By the time Julia comes home from McGill for Christmas it will have been four months since I've seen her - by far the longest we've ever been apart. We've both been so busy there really hasn't been any time for pining, but it will be wonderful to have her home. I'll probably hold off for a CD release concert until she's back in the spring. Her violin playing is all over this record - it wouldn't be right to do the concerts without her.
So there ya go. Remember, I can make your Christmas shopping really simple this year! Otherwise, don't let the consumer madness get you. Try to make it the season of gratitude and giving - but we don't need more 'stuff'! I'm determined to make all my presents this year (okay, that's my promise every year). I'm a little bogged down with that pony for Julia, but it's coming along.
Don't forget to breathe - and take it easy out there.
Much Love and Happy Trails,