Yesterday was spent with headphones and guitars and microphones and Emily and Bruce and me in a little room making stuff happen. You wanna know where magic gets made? It gets made in spare bedrooms and basements and living rooms when people come together believing that even they can create beauty after working their part-time jobs and moving around the schedule so they can put in a few hours for their vocation that is music. We've all seen the super cool studio footage of The Rolling Stones or The Heartbreakers singing into microphones on the other side of a glass wall where music nerds are hunched over some kickass board as big as a banquet table. That was then.
Now the music legends of the 21st century are the stories you hear about The Black Keys by themselves in some dirty warehouse recording their record on their own. There are countless musicians out there making magic with the tools at hand with the little time they've got before they have to leave for work. They're not magazine worthy images, but you have no idea how much heart and soul starts in those tiny rooms and basements before making its way out into the greater world in the form of a new record.
That's what we're doing over here in Chicago this week and I'm so grateful for this time and for these people on the journey beside me.
Yesterday was spent going through the tracks with a fine tooth comb. It was caring enough about the work to make sure it was just right. Confession: that level of caring is new to me. But I love it. Thank God for Bruce running the board and for Emily watching the screen and for them letting me sit behind my sound curtain and do the easy stuff (which my mind can turn into a really hard task).
As I was waiting for the plane in Lincoln on Saturday I took out a piece of paper and started writing the names of people I wanted to take with me to the studio. I wrote down names of Nebraska friends, my family, Song Schoolers, fans who faithfully come support my music, people who've taught me things over the years, teachers who got me started in music when I was a kid, cheerleaders who are always there to give me a boost when I'm feeling down. I wrote down people who have gone out of their way to encourage me or help me when I know very well they didn't have to do or say anything. I wrote lots of names down. So you're there too in the spare bedroom beside me while I'm plugged in and playing. Good thing you're in written form. You guys would've never fit in physical form.
Today is a morning break. Then a little rehearsal then back to the studio before a songwriter's supper together at a local restaurant. The adventure continues. And I'll say that if you're itching to pick up an instrument and sing a song into a microphone so that it lives long after you do, then I know lots of spare bedrooms and basements and weekend warrior musicians who would be more than happy to help you along. Peace.