Secret Christmas

It’s been a long time since the last post here. We played a full band show in late August at World Cafe Live-Upstairs, with our new friend Matt Muir behind the drum kit and our old friend Tony Winkler on electric guitar. We took some time off from the studio and stage in September, while Troy and I moved to a new house, and also in October, when we got married. In November we finally got back to Kawari and continued where we’d left off, making comps with Matt from the last sessions with Nate Graham on keys, and with Troy on additional guitar stuff.

Nate was amazing. In one marathon day, he played the Hammond organ, Rhodes, tack, toy, and acoustic pianos, filling in pads and weaving lovely hooks throughout all of our EP songs: Shooting Stars has even more of a Beatles-inflected vibe now, Fretz has just the right keyboard punch, and Ghost has the perfect spooky mellotron seasoning.

To Gettysburg,we added Bob Meashey’s haunting trumpet voicings to further flesh out the imagery of that song. It was a stroke of genius, and I admit I’d been lobbying hard for violin instead, but Troy’s choice of trumpet is now unassailable. In fact, we were so inspired by Bob’s playing, that we called him back the following week to add some parts to Secret Christmas.

Secret Christmas was recorded, start to finish, acoustic guitar and scratch vocal, then trumpet, Matt’s various percussion ingredients (a temple bell, shakers, sleigh bells, a crashing cymbal, a drumroll), and my multiple vocal layers, in one very long day. That was truly nerve-wracking yet totally fun, moving at a feverish pace, and we had to: it was after Thanksgiving, and our plan was to finish recording and mastering in time to get physical cds ready for a Christmas show and holiday gift-giving. And we did it. I even managed to create a lyric video (though not without the assistance of my 14-year-old niece, of course).

The following week we spent another day in the studio, with Troy adding more guitars, and then we completed comps for the remaining tunes. So now it’s almost time for vocals.

In the meantime, you can grab a copy of Secret Christmas (and also hear it live) at the Mermaid Inn on Sunday evening 12/20, where Troy and I are doing a short acoustic set during an evening of local music by  Jefferson Berry and the Urban Acoustic Coalition, Emily Drinker, members of Sonoma Sound and members of the Analog Gypsies. Proceeds benefit Covenant House.

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