Over the past few years, I have been slowly plugging along at recording an album of my original music. It has been a long process, and a steep learning curve, but an undeniably rewarding one. I finished recording my own vocals and guitar over the summer and have, ever since, been bringing many of my wonderful and talented friends into the studio to contribute their musical genius to the project. This has, of course, brought its own unique set of challenges to the table, no longer do I have to struggle with motivating myself to move the process along, but instead I now put my energy into communicating with friends.

I have, and have always had, a very hard time with criticism, both dishing it out and taking it. Even as a young child, I would refuse to take advice, and cover my ears when I thought a suggestion was about to come my way. And the belief that I am supposed to know how to do everything, with no learning period, has stuck with me into my adult life. So the subconscious assumption that everyone else reacts to criticism as strongly as I do, accompanied by the subconscious belief that it is my job to protect everyone else’s feelings, makes it a HUGE challenge for me to deliver constructive criticism or even guidance to musicians who are adding a part to my album.  As with anything new, the more experience I get under my belt, the easier things get, and I am excited to be crossing the last half-dozen things off of my ‘album to-so list.’

Below is a half finished track titled ‘The Small Town Song.’ I am including it because I want to share an unfinished part of the recording process. Before it is finished, this track will also have a banjo, a dobro, and three or four people singing on the chorus. As of right now, it includes my vocals and guitar, drums by Jim Yeager, Bass by Evan Antal, and mandolin by Emile Smith. It was recorded in Hartland, VT, by Dave Baldwin. It has been a pleasure to create art with all of these wonderful friends who I love so dearly. Things like the mix will also be adjusted before this song is finalized, but for the sake of sharing the process, please enjoy!

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