I wrote and recorded “Get In, Get Out” during a week in July this year while staying by myself at a friend’s cabin in Northern Michigan on the Au Sable river. The songs on the album are in the order they were written and recorded that week. The album is available on iTunes, Spotify, etc. Thanks for listening!
First Thing. Called so because it was literally the first thing I wrote once I brought in my stuff and picked up my guitar. It came out mostly formed and I recorded it before I unpacked my bags.
I Know You, Yes, You Know Me. This song came later that same night. It’s a meditation, of sorts, on the mind/body relationship. “You’re where I belong”. As you get older your body starts to whisper a little louder and louder. The ethereal sound is two acoustic guitars, stereo, run through a heavy delay, then a flanger into a Fender amp with the reverb and tremolo cranked- for you music nerds.
Memory World. I woke up the first morning with this song in my head. The main melody. I went out to the porch to grab my guitar to catch it. Dream songs fade quickly. When I went to the porch the door slammed behind me. I thought nothing of it. But when I tried to go back in, it was locked. I was wearing shorts and nothing else. I ran around to the front door, it didn’t open, tried the side doors, all locked. I started to worry. I was in the middle of nowhere with no phone, etc. Anyway, I went back to the front door, tried it again, it opened and I went in to finish and record this song. It’s for my Dad who had just passed away the month before. “I’m yes, you’re no”. Probably my favorite track.
Get In, Get Out. This one came to me on the porch later that day. It was a beautiful day and insects were trying to get in and then get out of the screened in porch. It was like they were indecisive. I then start meditating on what I wanted to bring into my life and what I wanted to get out of life. It turned into this. I recorded it on my phone and then ran the signal into effects and the Fender amp and tracked it multiple times adding lush electric guitars. It truly sounds like the cabin, which makes me feel like I’m there again.
Do You Know It? I had just visited some of my relatives in Grand Rapids on the way to the cabin. I was really struck by how much love they had for me. Especially my aunt and uncle who had known me since birth. That lead me to reflect on how many people have loved me throughout my life. I realized that I’ve often failed to truly appreciate, feel and reciprocate that love. So I asked myself “do you know it?” and the song went from there. I said yes to every idea that came way. This was the end of day two.
Purple River Mushroom. This one makes me smile. It’s something of a time capsule, all three things were big parts of my week. Michigan is full of purple flowers and plants. I’m pretty sure purple is God’s favorite color as well, but that’s just a theory. The river, Au Sable, was a constant presence in the backyard and always seemed to be in such a hurry “don’t hurry past me as you flow.” And I was getting into identifying mushrooms, bought a book etc, and so when I wasn’t recording I was often mushroom hunting in the woods around the house. Found some good ones.
Every Echo. This came quickly then took a while to craft. I probably worked on this one the most, overall. I’m still not 100% sure about the vocal but, as my buddy Vess would say, “it’s the one we have!” Truth. I think you can hear a little bit of a Yacht Rock vibe in this one. I’d just seen the Yacht Rock band play, on a boat in Louisville of all things, and loved it. I’m a sucker for radio music from the mid/late 70s. It’s pretty and I like how it ends.
Au Sable. Named after the river flowing in the backyard. Sounds like water flowing doesn’t it? Well, I think so. Anyway, it started out very strangely. I was outside lying on a hammock listening to Jimi Hendrix “Machine Gun”, great track, and the record started skipping. It was a crazy sounding skip. I decided to follow it and set up a mic to record it. I recorded it multiple times, layering on top each other, then I added drum machines. It started to get insane. I remember burning a CD of it and listening to it in my car and just laughing at how crazy it was. Then I added the synth playing the main melody, liked it and deleted everything else and built a completely new song from there. So none of the original Hendrix stuff survived. Which is good, so now I can’t get sued.
Practice. When I wasn’t doing music, hunting mushrooms, cooking or floating down the river, I was often practicing meditation. I had brought with me an intention to take my practice of mediation to a new level that week. And I did, but that’s another story. Practice became something of mantra for me and this song’s rhythmic riff was trance-like when played over and over like it is here.
Every Moving Thing. This one kinda just fell out. I wish I was a better singer since it’s a song that could use a better singer, but again, I used what I had. I hear now that I was writing this to my future self, a message to take back with me: “Don’t be blinded, by the light, reflecting off, every moving thing, keep the path, see what it can bring.” It was one of those moments where I didn’t know who was driving, which is a wonderful thing while it lasts.
Ring Ring Ring. Ok, so I wanted to end the album with something special. Eventually it came to me. I would do a song trilogy but base it on a recorded walk around the property. It starts out on the porch- you hear the wind chimes, then down to the river then back to the house where I walked around it rhythmically a few times. Then I wrote and recorded songs to interweave with it. In the end you only really hear the “walk” at the beginning of songs, but the overall structure was still informed by it. But I broke the three songs into two tracks since it made more sense that way for a listener.
Hello Goodbye/I Never Go Away. All week I’d been working through my Dad’s death. It was a constant sub-current. Sometimes it was like he was there, not in a presence way as much as his mind, if you will. Hello Goodbye sounds to me now like me saying goodbye and I Never Go Away feels like his God-joined response.