2 big milestones this month!
First off, I flew down to Austin for my holiday trip and was able to schedule some folks to come record backup vocals on the record. I got a couple of Maxwells in there (Stella & Urny) as well as my girlfriend’s mother, Cheri (this was way impromptu and I put her on the spot asking her to run into her grandson’s closet to record some backups, so I appreciate her playing along!)
This is unmixed (just turned the faders up), but I couldn’t wait to share this little snippet:
Yeah, ridiculously incredible, right?
Like I said, I brought my whole rig down to Austin and set up in my girlfriend’s son’s closet. It turned out to be PERFECT as it had clothes hanging all over one side (which Stella was shopping through in between takes) and a blanket that I hung over the inside of the door to help deaden any reflections in there. I set up in the bedroom on a desk and tracked Stella, Urny, and Cheri, and also was able to get vocals for another one of my songs done – a strange whispery little deal called The Resonance.
Instead of heading back to Seattle after my Austin trip, I flew onto Chicago to fulfill my first (and largest) Kickstarter reward. I played a show in my cousin Karen’s living room in Minooka (outside of Chicago) to a packed house of relatives and friends. It was magical.
But the more magical part is that my wonderful sweet mother was the one who donated the amount for the show. She called me right after she did, and we cried on the phone together as she explained to me how proud my dad was of me and how important it was to make sure I was able to do this record. Important to her, important to him, and important to me. She called me back in October and said “You probably didn’t think I’d call this in, but I want my show” – of course I was going to play for her even if she didn’t want the show, but I assumed it would be in Arizona for some of her old work friends and maybe a relative or two. But instead, she wanted me to come to Illinois prior to Christmas and play (I was born in Joliet and lived in that area until I was 12; I have a large and CRAZY family there still). So that’s what I did.
Of course, a lot of them have seen me play in Dynamite Boy when we’d come through Chicago on tour, but I think this was very different for them. In the living room, just me and my acoustic, playing a different breed of song than they had heard from me before. To be honest, it was much closer to what they are probably listening to than Dynamite Boy ever was, so I felt like they connected to it very closely.
I played my songs, some other people songs, a bunch of songs, until my fingers were so sore I couldn’t play anymore. Then I hung out for a bit, picked up the guitar, and spent another later night session playing anything I could think of. Or remember the lyrics to.
I stole some pictures from my cousin Michelle:
I even caught my cousin Kathy posing with my guitar afterwards:
It was amazing trip, and I’ll be back to see my family in Illinois next summer (with my little monster in tow). I did run out of time and forgot to get everything I wanted recorded in Austin, so I’ll be hauling all of it down there again in the winter/spring break to record some final parts before moving onto mixing.
Thanks to Katrina for letting me take over Ayden’s room, my mom for helping with my kickstarter and getting me to come to Chicago, Karen for putting me up, Michelle, Jenny, and Benjamin for taking me for late night donuts in Joliet, Portillo’s, White Castle, Maria’s Tacos, and Whataburger for still being in business.
I’m going to try to get a few folks recorded during the holidays and get some more updates out!