Greetings from a business park in San Clemente, one of the unlikelier places to find a recording studio. I’ve been getting my tacos de pescado fix every time we break for a meal. There are two small windows in the live room; from the piano bench I can see blue sky, edges of palm fronds, rays of endless sun.
We tracked drums, bass and keys for three songs today, and we’re now totally exhausted. These are not easy songs to play. Sometimes it’s obvious from the start that something’s going to be tricky (e.g. “Stray Italian Greyhound”—why oh why did I write so many sixteenth notes in there?). Other times it catches us by surprise, and we spend hours zeroing in on exactly the right flourishes, finding the pocket of the groove, then letting go of all that thinking and giving a performance that simply feels right…there’s a reason why top session musicians are paid so well. Relaxed concentration is a precious resource.
But oh, it is nice when things finally fall into place. One song, “Augustine,” spent three years in purgatory before finally clawing its way out in March, then jostled onto the recording schedule despite my misgivings. Hearing it in the studio today, I think it may have a chance of going on the album. Scrappy little fighter, that one.
oh my god
what have I done
chasing some mirage in my Mojave sun
don’t say every chance is lost
please don’t say anything at all
lead me now
faith is both the prison and the open hand
bells on low on high
will you ring for Augustine tonight
Exciting to see new material.