A Very Good New Year To You
Top o’ the year to you! Hope your holidays were happy and your celebrations, joyful. It’s been a little over a month since I last checked in and it’s been pretty nutty, it usually is for everyone, even if you’re employing the old “duck and cover” technique to get through those historically, and hysterically, wild four weeks.
The highs and lows, they all get magnified during the holidays and it’s like a collective sigh goes out when January hits and people can all downshift into a lower gear. Some people can create with high RPMs but I’m a low-rev kind of guy. Trundling along at idle speed and allowing me enough time to marinate in the discovery that comes along with creating something, call it a flashers-on approach, but it works for us slower folks!
Mountain Dulcimer In The Band Book 7 is currently in production and it’s the first new book of the series since 2010. The focus will be on easy flatpicking and once again, the book of tunes comes with demonstration tracks to show you how each piece goes, and backing tracks so that you can jam along with the band. The idea is based on the old Music Minus One record series and is designed to teach players how to work with an ensemble while also having the freedom to practice chords, leads and experiment along with the groove.
It’s been about three years since I fully produced a record here at the studio (2015’s Sweet River); everything I’ve released since then has been recorded elsewhere and mixed here with the occasional mastering job by someone with better ears than I. The next two albums I’m working on are Quarters, a rock album, and The Beauty and the Terror, which is going to have a pretty wide spectrum of music, overall. With the purchase of the M-Audio M-Track Eightaudio interface at this time last year, phase one of the upgrades started off solid. Having the extra inputs has allowed me more freedom in recording multiple instruments at once, which comes in handy during the initial demo process.
Phase two recently saw the purchase of the Universal Audio Solo/610 Tube Pre-amplifier to toast up my inputs with a Rode NT-1a condenser microphone and an Electro-Voice RE20 dynamic microphone to step up that game. Finally, I did a fresh install of Band In A Box 2018 and added some graphics generators to Final Cut Pro X to aid in both audio and video production, respectively.
Just four years ago, this kind of technology upgrade wouldn’t have been possible. This is the slow season for a lot of musicians and it’s usually the best time of the year to hunker down, study, write, rehearse, practice, produce and prepare for the busy seasons ahead. We tend to count on those fewer gigs to get us through. But thanks to my patrons on Patreon, I can make a budget each month and choose to make upgrades with peace of mind. It’s a remarkable thing and I’m so grateful to all of my patrons, past, present and future, who have been a part of this slow-motion wave of music. Thanks for helping to make it possible!
Production resumes tomorrow and I’ll be posting some of the new tracks over the next couple of weeks. To get a sneak preview of the upcoming book and CD set, check out the “Open House” section of the Featured Tags on my Patreon site. There, everything that I’ve made public is available for streaming and download; pictures, music, tablature and video, it’s all yours! $5 per month gets you unlimited access to my entire back catalogue, unpublished sheet music and instant downloads of all new works.
For you devotees who return to this website, again and again, thank you for being here! I’m currently looking into getting some kind of management so that I can remove a few hyphens from my job description. It’s not a bad thing to be a wearer of many hats, in fact, when things matter most, you’ll always make the smart choice for headwear, am I right?
Peace and love till the next -