Our Debut Album is Out. A Few Words on the Process

     We recorded all ten songs at the home of Scott Weiss, who works as a sound engineer at Pure Audio in Seattle during the week and changes into his SuperAudioman costume on weekends. The man’s got a nice house, very mid-century modern, very airy, with wooden floors and hipster couches that were often tipped on end for sound buffering. Sometimes Scott would come out of the sound room and move my guitar mic one inch to the left. He’d tell Ari not to wear a squeaky coat. He’d come back to me and shove a cushion under my butt to raise my guitar a smidge.
     Typically we tracked guitar, bass, and vocals “live” and then overdubbed fiddle, harmonica, mandolin, and pedal steel. Most sessions worked like this: Ari, Ted, and Sander would be arranged in a large triangle in the living room—me hunched with my guitar in a thicket of microphones, Sander with his standup bass positioned over a blue “X” taped to the floor, and Ari in the corner on the fluffy rug.
     We’d do about three takes of a song and then adjourn to the listening room to see if there was a clear winner, to see if we needed to go back and try something different. Maybe we liked the bass best on Take #1 and the vocal performance best on Take #3. Scott would later swap out bits and pieces here and there. A flubbed guitar run. A flat vocal line.
     After the basic tracks were in the can and given a little TLC by SuperAudioMan, we overdubbed the fancy stuff. What you hear on the album is invariably the single best overall take with bits and pieces of other attempts (i.e. the vocals for “Whiskey Makes Me Mean” are all from take #5, with the exception of one line grabbed from take #2). Hopefully, the music playing on the speakers of your ’72 Buick Skylark—as you careen down the highway in escape of the latest tsunami, or cruise languidly home from The Cabin Tavern at 1:00 a.m.—feels spontaneous yet refined. Enjoy.

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