Local supporters who pre-ordered CDs can arrange to pick them up at the Release Party, OR you can email me directly (use the contact form at this site) and ask for local delivery by bicycle. NOTE: East-side only, sorry. If you live on the west side your CD is being mailed to you, because I am not riding my bicycle to Beaverton.
My sister came over yesterday for a visit -- and to pick up her copy. At the end of our visit, I walked her to her car and she invited me to sit inside and listen to my recording "on speakers that don't suck" (an allusion to the speakers in our living room, which do). I was happily surprised at how great it sounded over a real stereo system.
I've been asked by some in the Jewish music scene why I made the recording choices I did -- to record in a small, local studio using as few overlaid tracks as possible, when the current standard is to lay down separate tracks for each voice and instrument. Part of my decision was influenced by my budget -- in the real world, $5,000 is a drop in the ocean, not much money at all with which to record an album. But a larger part of my decision was influenced by what I think is one of the most important albums in rock/pop music history -- Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska.
Produced in 1982, Nebraska is one of Springsteen's darkest albums, with songs about loss, disappointment, and dreams deferred. But it ends with a determinedly hopeful note in the song, "Reason to Believe". The album features Springsteen singing, playing a little harmonica and a guitar -- and that's it. There is virtually no other instrumentation, and only a few echo effects here and there. What's really striking about Nebraska is that the entire album was recorded in Springsteen's home, using a TEAC 4-track reel-to-reel. Mixing and mastering came later, of course, but the actual recording was spare and lean, much like the songs themselves. The effect is stunning and the album remains one of the most powerful collections of songs ever assembled and recorded. Over thirty years later, Nebraska remains one of my all-time favorite albums.
Knowing that I could not afford to record a multi-tracked album with rich textures and instrumentations, I decided early on that I would focus on telling stories with my songs, and letting the words and melody carry the album. I also knew that I wanted an album that sounded less like digitally-perfect, sterile CDs and more like vinyl -- I wanted something warm and organic, the way I remembered the record albums I grew up with; I wanted a recording that would sound like the listener was in the room with the musicians, with all the warts and quirks of a live performance. So that was what I went with. Listening to the finished product more times than I care to admit, I can tell you that I am very pleased with the final result. I am excited to share it with all of you on February 2nd.