The new album was done before the surgery to remove the tumor in my throat. We wrapped the vocals the day before I entered the hospital!! So the song selection was driven as much by my emotions (potentially the very last recording work I'd ever do!!) as the music.
“You’ve Changed .. Me Too!!” is my musical trek from my beginning as a country singer through the blues and jazz work. Oh, hush .. I definitely hear snickering out there!! I never wore a fringe leather jacket .. wait .. I did do that in my hippie phase!!!
There is very little doubt when you hear this collection what things were like in the studio. While we were mastering tracks yesterday, George turned to me and said, "All of you were smiling .. you can hear it in the music!" We were!! The atmosphere was driving the music and, in turn, the music drove the atmosphere! We worked hard. Don't kid yourself .. whether you're a Grammy winner or a garage band .. if you put your heart and soul into what you're doing, there is hours of hard work in what you hear and it starts long before you step into the studio.
Most people think a musician simply comes into a studio, records and leaves with tape or, in today's world, a thumb drive of songs ready to go to market. Some do but not most, if you catch my drift!! Recording it just the beginning. You spend some time with the raw tracks listening. I'm so lucky to have an excellent set of ears listening besides mine (partially because I have a noise notch from my time in the military and certain frequencies will often go MIA). Then there's mixing it .. finessing the sound. Mixing doesn't change the foundation. If you hit a clinker .. it's there! If a string vibrates, it's there. If a drums rimshot sounds more like mortar fire, it’s there too. The point of mixing it is to make sure the blend is right. Then .. you go home and live with the mixed tracks for a while.
We done yet? Nope!!! Now it’s mastering .. hours sitting and listening and putting the final polish on the whole project. By the time the collection is actually a finished project, I’ve heard the tracks so many times that they hurt my ears and I’m bored with them and ready to start something new. That’s true for most musicians, I think .. on to the next creative project when, in reality, ahead lies the hardest and most tedious but essential aspect of it all .. getting it heard, marketing it, etc. I am NOT good at that side of the business. I’ve tried publicists and I’ve been even less successful picking good ones!
Sigh!!! BUT I’M READY TO MOVE ON RIGHT NOW!! I don’t know whether that means a return to the studio or not. Speech therapy turned out to be entirely too expensive for me so I’m vocalizing on my own. Things are improving slowly but, to my ears, still have so far to go and it’s demoralizing and discouraging but … you push on because the alternative is to simply give up and I just can’t .. I still hear the laughter from this last session still ringing in my years and still feel the satisfaction at the end of a long day knowing we created something really good!!