Saturday, August 3, 2013

Taking Our Pulse

Earlier this summer, we released our first album of original songs. Then we got busy playing gigs. Then we took some time for some personal trips - like Dennis with his family to Italy, and David with his family to Key West. 

And while Dennis was away, Nathan held down the front desk, and managed to get interviewed for an article about us for next week's show in Covington, Ga. Here's the fruit of that opportunity:

(It's a cool article, but please don't accept their incorrect spelling of my name.)

Now we're back and ready to work. That means getting ready for more shows, especially the gigs with orchestras. So we need to practice our versions of "I Am The Walrus" and "She's Leaving Home," as Nathan fine tunes the orchestral charts. That's exciting, but it leaves us in a peculiar place.

Much of our history as a band is doing Beatles songs. But in our hearts, we have much more to say, and to sing about. Writing and producing our album has been an invigorating experience, pushing against the boundaries of our older identity. 

But the excitement is tempered by the reality of what we do, and the limited time we have. It may seem odd that we don't play any of our new songs onstage. Curiously, we haven't even learned them. 

It's not for lack of desire. It boils down to having too many things to do, and not enough time to do them all. 

A recent blog called "From Studio to Stage" addresses the practical issue with one song. "In '63"  is a new one which we've learned and played several times onstage. It became a priority because it was written for a specific show, in Virginia Beach, later this month.

But taking care of business, by rehearsing the Beatles songs we're working on, makes it easy to forget that we've created an album of a dozen songs of our own. 

But we have other ways of being reminded.

One is a response from a friend of David's in Miami, a musician named Danny. He listened to our album, and liked the song "Louise" so much that he actually recorded a new version of the song for us to hear. He took four bars from the chorus and spliced it into the intro, doubling the length of the intro. It's a cool idea, and he did a great job with the audio editing. 

Here's the link to Danny's version of "Louise:"

Another great response is from another friend of David's, a fine young bass player named Zach Ohlsan. He added our CD to his iPod playlist, where we're included among artists like Violent Femmes, Warren Zevon and Weather Report. 

Here's what that looks like: 

But the best example of our new identity being recognized is an article that was recently published in the Murfreesboro Pulse. It's a full page feature called "A Ticket To Write," the title being both a Beatle song title reference and the theme of our unique identity as a band.

It was written by our friend Steve Morley, who's also a musician and knowledgeable pop music fan. Steve spent hours interviewing us to gather material for the article.

Most of the interview was conducted by phone, while we were driving down I-65 to our gig in Perdido Beach. Steve was back home in Nashville, taking notes, while we were somewhere near Birmingham heading south, in our Wanna-van talking about how we came to write and record an album of original songs. 

Steve's article tells the story well, so this is a good time to give you the link:

We couldn't ask for a better job. Thanks Steve, for such a fine article. You help us see ourselves in a way we couldn't see ourselves. 

There's one more quote that helps us see what we're doing. It's from my sister Anne, who lives in Atlanta. I gave her a copy of our new CD, and she played it right there in her kitchen, and said "Even though I've never heard this music before, it makes me feel warm and nostalgic inside."

Hearing that makes us feel warm and nostalgic inside. 

Thanks to David for technical assistance on this blog.

Bloggin' Bryan 3aug13

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