Shortly after Donnie and I returned from the Green Sundresses Tour we got an email that caused me to do a bit of a double take. I see the name of a semi-famous musician in my inbox, a musician I’d followed for quite sometime, so of course I automatically assume that this is a chain letter or that I must have signed up for some sort of mailing list. As I read further I saw that this guy had allegedly found Welch & Penn via reverbnation.com, liked our sound and wanted us to come record with him in Nashville. Of course I wasn’t buying it at first. I’ve been spreading my music throughout the social mediasphere for well over six years and have run into many a con in my day. However, after talking to this guy over the phone I knew he was legit and that it was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.
Neither Donnie or I had ever been to Nashville before, so it was exhilarating to be in a city with such a powerful reputation for being a mecca of music and art. It was wild to walk around Downtown the night before and be in the mist of so much live music. As clique’ and contrived as it was, there was a certain charm to it all. It was exactly as I would have expected it to be.
Being able to record in Music Row was beyond humbling. The morning before we started the recording process Donnie and I showed up to the studio a few minutes early. As we waited in the lobby anxiously we noticed the plaques on the walls. Realizing how many legends and far superior musicians had recorded their albums in the same space we were about to track a three song indie EP was quite intimidating. The studio itself was the spitting image of every “Behind the Music” docs I’ve ever seen.
Recording a performance poet/singer-songwriter duo is a bit awkward because it’s a pretty foreign concept, kind of a new frontier. With a rock band the itinerary is concrete. Drums, Bass, Guitar, Vocals. It took a while to plan out exactly how we’d tackle the obstacles we faced. Donnie isn’t a singer or a rapper. His poetry is sparatic and organic, it dances to the beat of it’s own drum and definitely not to any sort of set earthly tempo. So of course the guitar had to be recorded with a scratch track of Donnie’s vocals.
The producers we worked with were fantastic. They both were as talented as they were funny and down to earth. Brandon Metcalfe mixed the record wonderfully. It was obvious this dude had been doing what he does for many years and that our little EP was just another day in the office. Gabe Borquez did the engineering, the nitty gritty editing, played electric guitar and gave “Early Bird Gangsters EP” it’s ever-present ambiance. It was enlightening working with these guys and a blast hanging out with them.
So now I’m back in Davidson and Donnie is (almost) on his way back to Boston. I’m not sure I’ve ever been as proud or excited about anything as much as I am of this EP. I can’t wait for the world to hear and evaluate what we created. I want to see what people make of it. If anything, it’s different and it’s genuine, I don’t know if it can get any better than that.