Thursday, October 20, 2005

New CD Underway: First Two Songs

Howdy, Dear Readers,

I've been promising information about the new CD I'm working on, and I'm finally ready to kick it off with a bang.

I'm writing tonight from Chicago, after the first recording session. I was in Steve Rashid's studio all day with Fred Koch co-producing and two fantastically talented players, Jim Cox on upright bass, and Don Stiernberg on guitar and mandolin. Steve also added blues harp, vibes, and percussion, and we tracked vocals for two songs.

First up was "The Cat Came Back." This is an old folk song in the public domain, and there are dozens of versions of it out there. I basically wrote my own version from scratch with a surprise ending. The recording features a spectacular performance by Don, who is world renowned for his talent on the mandolin.

Next we tackled "I Took My Dragon For a Walk." A few of you may have heard this one last summer in early June. I performed it at a couple of library programs, but I dropped it from the show, feeling it wasn't quite ready for prime time. It took me a couple of re-writes to get it right (not unusual) - I was still making revisions last night!

Anyhow, the two recordings sound amazing! They still need to be mixed, and there may be a bit of editing to do. I also may add some parts to the dragon song. But all that will be done at home. I plan to share rough mixes with you soon in my next podcast, so please stay tuned!

The plan is to have the CD ready for this summer, with ten to twelve songs revolving around a "reading and pets" theme. This will make it ideal for librarians all over the country who are planning a summer program based on pets: "Paws, Claws, Scales and Tales." In fact this is also the working title of the new CD.

These first two tracks have set a challenging standard for the rest of the CD! I'll be doing most of the work at home, and I have several more songs ready or nearly ready for recording, so hopefully I'll have lots more to tell you about soon.

Lisa and Evalyn are with me. They spent the day at the big aquarium here in Chicago. Fred and I met them for dinner and Evalyn took to Fred right away. She told us about giant crabs and dolphins and sharks, and her new buddy Lucy, the baby harp seal. No they didn't have baby harp seals at the aquarium but Lucy was Evalyn's choice of souvenir.

Tomorrow we're heading on up to Delavan, WI for the Children's Music Network national conference, and looking forward to meeting and mingling with old and new friends who also do this crazy children's music thing for a living.

I'll keep you posted with progress on the new CD, at least once a week. Talk to you soon!

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