After an incredible time at New Orleans Jazz Fest we returned home inspired and wanting to make some new music. John and I went into Tucson’s Big Block Studio with engineer Mike Prado to record some new instrumentals for a tour cd we call “Tool Box”. The songs were written while tossing ideas around for a three day stretch and after we finished John suggesting asking Victor Gastelum if we could use one if his earlier works. So we called up Victor who said yes and also offered to help set the typography for the album artwork. The figure kind of has a tool box head which seems to fit our state of mind these days.
The instrumentation on the album features a wide range of instruments John and I have collected over the years including acoustic/electric guitars, drums, upright bass, cello, vibes, accordion, glockenspiel, cuatro, banjo and a new addition to the guitar collection, a waylacho from Mexico. For the recording process John and I ping-ponged parts and popped out the album in three days. We wanted to go back to basics and see what we could do with just a handful of instruments played between the two of us. It was fun and sounds good with lots of soundtrack worthy material and headphone friendly sounds for those who never leave home without their music bubble.
After recording we mixed the batch of tunes the next week with Craig Schumacher at Wavelab and mastered with Jim Blackwood at KUAT, all in all a speedy Tucson creation with much thanks to our Chicago pals Adam Reach and David Babbitt at Touch and Go Records.
We also ordered new calenders for 2008 and hope they’ll arrive before New Year’s Eve.
Tucson’s been beautiful. It’s great to be home and see the slow turning of Spring into Summer. We’ve been busy recording with a few friends both local and out of town as well as working on music for the Todd Haynes’ film “I’m Not There” about Bob Dylan. So far what we’ve seen of the film is really good, especially the parts featuring Cate Blanchett. A big thanks goes to music supervisor Randall Poster and Jim Dunbar for connecting us with the film.
Last week we played a benefit as a three piece (John, Jacob Valenzuela and I) for a local school, Gentle Hands, who help support families and kids in need of long term commitment and heartfelt care. An inspiring evening of good food and drinks, fancy dressed folks, and perfect summer evening temperature made this one of our favorite shows in a longtime not to mention the occasional horn blasts from the Santa Fe train in the distance.
We have a few weeks off before the European Summer tour begins. Time to work on some more new material and find some new cover songs for the tour. We’re all really looking forward to the trip since we’ve had a relaxing break at home. Hope to see you on tour.