What is this site about??
After being on tour with Leonard Cohen from 2008- 2013 and then spending 2014 working on “Live in Dublin”, “Can’t Forget” and “Popular Problems” I was pretty worn out to say the least. Having not been home for an extended period of time since the tour began I decided to concentrate on reorganizing my loft. One of my initial tasks was to set up my turntable for the first time in (not an exaggeration)- 30 years! As I tinkered about I began to listen to my extensive record collection and was completely “knocked out” by the sound!!! Of course these were pretty much all GREAT, GREAT records- “Abbey Road”, “Who’s Next”, “Odessey and Oracle”, “The Band”, “Harry” (Harry Nielsen), “Alone Together” (Dave Mason), Jethro Tull’s “Stand Up” and so on and so on. After spending considerable time listening and studying I decided I would “attempt” to make an album of my own work with a similar sound and spirit to what I was hearing- and so this is what I am presenting to you dear reader. Whether I have in any way succeeded or failed I will leave for you to decide.
Is there more to the “spirit” than the songs and performances??
In my opinion- yes indeed there is- and in one word- analog. I think it is not an accident as to why people are drawn to vinyl. In addition to the appeal of having a piece of “artwork” you can physically hold and relate to there is just “something” more pleasant in it’s sonic properties. The same can also be said of magnetic tape. I had (have) in my possession a stash of Telefunken M15a tape machines (leftovers from Allen Zentz Recording) which when I began this endeavor were in various states of un-functionality. To those not familiar with these machines let me just say they are the truly among the finest professional analog tape recorders ever made and no doubt ever to be made. Starting as just an exercise I began to see if I could get one of the ¼ inch stereo machines working. (Virtually all professional stereo recordings made until the early 1980’s were mixed to ¼ inch tape). After a few part acquisitions and some tinkering I was able to get one up and working like new. I then proceeded to do a mix to it (from a high quality digital multi-track source)- WOW!- what a sound- completely different than a digital mix. What does it do?? To put it simply it seems to homogenize the music- I hear the music as a single piece rather than a discrete collection of parts. I believe this is what vinyl does as well. Encouraged by this I searched through my collection of unrecorded songs, wrote a few new ones and began recording the ones I thought would be stylistically appropriate- I’ll go into each one later.