With the release day of Nothing We Say EP coming up in a few days, Sept 30, I wanted to share a little more about the making of the album. In the end, it is the music that stands, but I am fascinated by process, particularly that of other musicians and artists, and for that reason, wanted to share a little about the journey and place in which this project was made.
Nothing We Say was recorded in two locations, first at Pipe Dream Ranch in Del Norte, CO and then finished at eTown Studio in Boulder, CO. The ranch, with some seeking, seemed to fall into my hands, through the generosity of a stranger, and now friend.
Del Norte, let me tell you, is a hardly-town. One stoplight adorns the center and from there two highways run off in four directions. There were two bison farms within a few miles of the ranch. A small basic grocer, a tire repair shop, a liquor store, a library that seemed to always be closed, and a few other quaint businesses that we discovered in our few "trips" to town. The Rio Grande runs through town and continues along the back spine of the ranch, coming just behind the river house, where we were situated
Jacob Blumberg engineered and co-produced the project. We tracked together in the dead of winter, February to be exact. The temperature never rose much over the teens. Cold, clear skies, nearly every day - that’s Colorado for you. I had a desire to record somewhere with space, somewhere with quiet, with room to explore. That was the kind of space where most of the songs were written and I wanted that reflected in the recordings. Mark Schatz joined us and we spent three days tracking together. Mark and I had worked together on Della Mae’s latest album as well as in a few performances settings. His spirit of generosity and exploration pervades whatever he puts his hands to.
In an effort not to ramble, I will let a few pictures speak of the ranch more than my words...
Here is an excerpt of my writings from the time of recording:
We set up in Shane’s grandmother’s cabin. She hadn’t lived there for a little time, but it still felt inhabited. We walked in that first morning, and just turned and smiled at each other. Every little thing in its place, it had the feeling of a flea market home, funny tchotchkes in every nook and cranny. I was set up to record in the living room, near the woodstove. The pipes had frozen over the winter, so we didn’t have running water the entire time. But we made do. The wood stove kept us warm, and Jacob and Mark showed a hefty hand to the ax and woodpiles by the house. We had what we really needed which was electricity to record with and fire to keep us warm. During recording breaks, instead of walking down the street to pick up a coffee or catching up on emails (no internet!), we stocked the wood pile and stoked the fire, hauled water from the pump out back, cooked together. Every evening at sundown, we'd break to walk along the Rio Grande til dusk.
This album is a collection of songs that I wrote and labored over in hotel rooms, late at night, early in the morning, on the road or at home during a few days of rest and laundry. They are observations of the world around me, of the people and places that have infiltrated my mind. This was how I processed the world, as I saw it fly by me through van and plane and subway windows in my travels over the last five years. The songs have and continue to be my teachers as I strive to create work with ever-open and vulnerable eyes. If somehow they resonate in you, then I am that much more grateful for them. I appreciate your support and your ears more than I can say.
With love. And happy listening.